The Hantsport Shamrocks and the Pictou County Albions finished first and second in the final Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League standings. The Shamrocks were just a half-game ahead of Pictou before their highly anticipated doubleheader was rained out Aug. 19 in Hantsport.
The teams will not make this twinbill up as the league was notified prior to the beginning of the season that the Albions, if they made the playoffs, would not be able to play in the championship tournament due to a wedding in Pictou County in which seven Albion players were all a part of.
League officials were unable to confirm this as of press time, but as a result of Pictou being unable to play, the Yarmouth Gateways were apparently able to snatch a playoff berth and will likely open against the defending league champions, the Shamrocks, at 9 a.m. Aug. 25.
The Windsor Knights, who split a doubleheader with the Noel Road Blue Jays Aug. 19, will once again play the Blue Jays in an 11 a.m. game.
The tournament is a double knockout affair and the two early favourites are the Blue Jays and the Shamrocks. These two clubs have made it to the league championship final during the past two seasons, with Hantsport winning both times.
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Hantsport finished the season at 17-5 while the Blue Jays were three games back with a mark of 15-9. Pictou County was 17-6 and Windsor 8-18.
Yarmouth and Bridgewater split a doubleheader on the South Shore Sunday afternoon, leaving the Gateways at 6-18 and the Bulldogs 5-18. While it could not be confirmed Aug. 19, there was some discussion that a make-up game could be played this week. If it was to be played Aug. 21, and the Bulldogs won, they could possibly slide into the final playoff spot instead of Yarmouth.
Swindall no-hits the Blue Jays
After a 149 pitch effort against the Yarmouth Gateways Aug. 12, the Knights’ David Swindall threw a masterful game on the Noel Shore in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader as Windsor blanked the Blue Jays 5-0.
Swindall walked only a single batter while striking out eight Blue Jays. He also helped his team offensively, going two for three at the plate.
Paul Humphreys also played a large role in the win, collecting three hits in five plate appearances, one of the three hits being a double.
Knights’ catcher Gwenaël Dugué said Sunday afternoon's no hitter by Swindall was "a pleasure to catch as Dave had the Blue Jays stymied again and again."
The Knights’ coach, Jason Hanes, slugged a two-run homer for Windsor and added a sacrifice fly. Ryan Clarke was two for five for the Knights.
In the opening game of the afternoon, the Blue Jays downed the Knights 5-2 as Damon Blois threw a four-hitter for Noel Road. Aaron McPhee stroked a pair of RBI doubles off of the Knights’ losing pitcher, Hanes, who gave up eight hits, walked one and struck-out six Blue Jays.
Humphreys had a banner afternoon for the Knights as he opened the doubleheader with a two for four effort at the plate; recording a five for nine afternoon. The Blue Jays scored three runs in the third and added two more in the sixth in garnering the win.