Wes Harding, #18, is a pitcher/centrefielder from Liverpool. The 18-year-old is five feet, nine inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. He throws left and bats left.
Kentville is down one game, but they’re far from out of it.
The Kentville Midget AAA Wildcats lost their first game at the 18U Midget Nationals Thursday against Team Manitoba 7-4 after a rough seventh period, when they gave up four runs.
“This morning’s game involved lots of competing from both sides, but I assure you Kentville isn’t even closed to finished,” said Wes Harding, a pitcher from Liverpool who was named player of the game.
The game got underway with Logan Aker, of Little Pond, taking the pitcher’s mound.
Coaching staff said the Wildcats seemed “pretty loose” and weren’t letting nerves get to them as play began.
Harding singled and then advanced to second base on an error by a second baseman. On a swinging strike from Kentville’s Brady Atwater, Harding advanced to third, then scored to make it 1-1.
“The boys are coming out of the gates ready to go and we’re all having a good start to the week,” said Yarmouth’s Luke Muise during a break in play.
In the fourth, Keegan Gaskell of Hammonds Plains replaced Aker as pitcher, allowing Manitoba to score once to bring the score 2-1, but the Wildcats quickly took that lead away when Jaelin Trider of Dartmouth advanced to first on an error by Manitoba’s shortstop. Bradley Fuller singled, but Manitoba tagged Trider for the first out of the inning. Fuller stole second and then scored on a single by Wolfville’s Brett Long to tie up the game.
“It’s very evenly matched,” said Coach Michael Reid.
Manitoba came back at the top of the fifth for a run and two hits to make it 3-2. Harding singled, but couldn’t make it home as Manitoba changed up its pitcher.
Kentville subbed in Eric Such of Hantsport as pitcher to end the top of the sixth and he was able to hold off the Manitoba squad, allowing only one hit.
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At the bottom of the sixth, Muise advanced to first base on a walk, then stole second as White Rock’s Bradley Fuller struck out. Alex Armstrong singled to get on base, but neither Armstrong nor Muise could make it home.
Trider moved into the pitching position for Kentville in the seventh, but allowed four Manitoba players to score, making the score 4-2 at the end of the top of the seventh.
Travis Hartt of Hantsport led the offence for the Wildcats in the seventh, with a walk to first as Manitoba switched pitchers, then advanced to second after New Minas’ Mike Boylen made it to first on an error by the second baseman.
Atwater singled and then advanced to second on an error by the Manitoba left fielder, allowing Boylen to make it to third and Hartt to score.
Boylen was quick on his heels to score and make it 7-4 as Muise made a sacrifice fly to the right field. The inning ended as Trider’s fly out to left field was caught for out number three to end the game.
“It was a great game of ball to start our tourney,” said Coach Derek Atwater. “We were solid for six innings, then it got away from us in the last inning. We will regroup and get ready for tonight.”
The Wildcats will now move on to face off against Team Newfoundland tonight at 9:30 p.m. AST. Visit www.kingscountynews.ca for updates from that game.
See a slideshow with stats of each player HERE
See a schedule of games HERE.