By: Mitch Sanderson
Canadian Baseball Network
A dual-sport baseball player is far from unheard of, but Pascal McCarthy’s baseball-volleyball combo isn't exactly the first one that comes to mind.
The Fredericton, N.B., native and Atlantic Maroon pitcher is entering his third year at the University of New Brunswick in his hometown where he plays volleyball for the Varsity Reds. McCarthy credits a wider defensive range as a pitcher to his career on the court.
“It’s made me stronger and more of an all-around athlete.” said McCarthy, before his team’s matchup with the Quebec Blue Wednesday morning. “As a pitcher, I don’t really make a lot of plays, but volleyball has helped me to make plays that are usually out of a pitcher’s range.”
Unfortunately McCarthy was injured in preparation for the competition, but he’s still hopeful that he’ll get his shot to throw this week. The right-hander has competed on big stages like the Canada Games and Canadian National Baseball Championships before and won’t shy away if he get’s his chance at Rogers Centre.
“I’ve been to a few national championships, but never anything so professional like this,” said McCarthy. “This would definitely rank at the top in terms of importance, being injured kind of sucks because, even if I do get to pitch, I won’t be able to perform at my highest level.
“But I’m still going to try.”
While his injury is a tough pill to swallow, McCarthy is handling it well. After all, he has a leg up on his competition in the maturity department. The Atlantic Maroon hurler is the oldest player in this year’s Tournament 12 as a 19-year-old with a November birthday.
The experience is something rather new for McCarthy who got the opportunity to pitch for the Fredericton Royals of the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League this summer.
“It’s definitely different,” said McCarthy. “I’m usually the youngest guy on my team, so being the oldest has been quite humbling to see all these younger guys performing at such a high level.”
While he still has volleyball to fall back on, McCarthy has a desire to get the most out of baseball throughout his athletic career and, despite his injury, he’s still hopeful for success in sport.
“Baseball is my first love,” said McCarthy. “I’m always going to want to push myself as far as I can within the sport and even if I can’t go into baseball somewhere right now (because of injury) hopefully I can come back to it after my volleyball career.
“I’m just here to push myself and have fun, but I’m always looking to go as far as I can in either sport.”