By John DeCoste
The Kentville senior Wildcats will pay tribute this weekend to a pair of successful Kentville minor baseball teams.
Prior to game five of the NSSBL final on Sunday afternoon, the Wildcats will recognize the Kentville peewee AA team that won provincials, as well as the midget AAA team that competed at nationals after winning an elimination tournament.
In addition, recognition will he given to the 1985 national champion Wildcats team that will be inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame on Nov. 2.
Speaking earlier in the week, Wildcats’ head coach Ian Mosher said he was looking forward to playing games three through five of the final this weekend, and hopefully giving local fans the chance to see the Wildcats at the top of their game.
With the exception of Alex Ostrov and Joey Cavadini who are scheduled to play university baseball for Saint Mary’s Saturday, Mosher expected the rest of the Wildcats’ roster should be present and accounted for.
At the time we spoke, he hadn’t yet committed to starters for the weekend games, and admitted the final decision would hinge on Kevin Nichols’ work schedule.
“Kevin and I were both scheduled to work all weekend. I managed to get the time off; he wasn’t quite so lucky. He’s been our ‘go-to’ guy all season, and given what he’s meant to our team for so long, I honestly can’t see us playing three games this weekend and Kevin not pitching if he’s available.”
Mosher stressed that he would likely have “10 or 11” pitchers available this weekend, including Kentville native Alex Tufts who is currently in Europe but scheduled a visit home to coincide with the series, and Trevor Wamback who is “available if we’re stuck.”
Having this kind of pitching depth “has been a long time in the making,” Mosher said, adding that depth might end up being an advantage in a long series.
With lots of available options, whoever ends up starting the weekend games “will be a game-time decision. Nichols will pitch whenever he’s available, and we’ll work the rest around that.”
Sydney was likely to once again go with some combination of Paul Doucette, Justin Brewer and Anthony Ianetti. Mosher will counter with arguably more pitching depth than Kentville has had in years.
“The ideal scenario,” Mosher suggested, “is to have strong pitching available at the end of games. Right now, I feel we have that potential. We’ll be very motivated, and ready to let the chips fall where they may.”
With the best-of-seven series tied at one game each entering play on Saturday, either team can win the league title by sweeping the weekend games.
“I’d just as soon not have to go back to Sydney next weekend,” Mosher admitted – “unless we should lose game three. Then I’ll be glad of the chance.”