Opening weekend of NSIBL play sees great offence, defence

Dan Boyd
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Whether you enjoy plenty of runs and hits or great games of pitching and defence, the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League and the four Hants County teams participating in the 2014 season delivered both in their regular season openers on the weekend. All four local teams were in action Sunday, May 18. Following is a recap of the six games played.


Noel Road Blue Jays

The Noel Road Blue Jays took both games in their home opener against the Pictou County Albions, winning 8-2 and then 1-0.

"It was obviously a terrific start to our season as we are aiming to overtake the Hantsport Shamrocks as league champions,” said Matt Wiseman, the Blue Jays coach.

The team is also aiming to win the Nova Scotia Intermediate AAA Baseball Championship this season.

Justin Campbell pitched the opening game’s 8-2 win for Noel Road while Josh Burke tagged a pair of RBI doubles and Aaron McPhee an RBI single to go along with another base hit to pace the Jays defensively.

McPhee was back at it in the second game, as the Jays scored the only run of the game after Sean Marshall singled, stole second and made it to plate home after McPhee delivered an opposite field single.

Damon Blois pitched the second win for the Jays.


Windsor Knights

The Windsor Knights and Yarmouth Gateways split their weekend games, with Yarmouth winning 15-5 and Windsor winning the second bout 4-0.

"Yarmouth hit the ball exceptionally well,” explained the Knights’ team spokesperson Paul Humphreys about the first game.

“Errors killed us but yet the game was reasonably close until the sixth inning when the Gateways exploded for five more runs to salt the game away,” he added.

Humphreys tagged a solo home run out of the park in the losing cause while Gwenaël Dugué slapped a double and a single. On Dugué’s single, he was attempting to turn it into his second double of the afternoon when he was thrown out.  

In the second game, Humphreys was brilliant on the mound, striking out 11 Gateways as the Knights scored a pair of runs in the first inning, added another in the second and an insurance run later on. Dave Swindall contributed an RBI single in the victory.


Hantsport Shamrocks

Hantsport Shamrocks showed no mercy for the new Hants County team the Kennetcook Braves, defeating them 15-0 and 19-3.

Despite arriving in Hantsport with only nine players, one must credit the Kennetcook Braves Coach Tyler Singer for his brutal honesty.

“Two of our players are injured and will not return until the third weekend of play, while we have another player still attending school and studying,” said Singer following the weekend loss.

Singer said he does not feel he will encounter a shortage of players throughout the season.

“There is no point in beating around the bush making excuses; we are a new group of guys playing baseball for the first time in three years so we were surprised the defending league champions only scored 15 runs off us in the opening game."

The Shamrocks scored eight runs in the first inning of the opener, added three more in the second and four runs in the fourth

Despite their offensive domination, the Shamrocks did not collect an extra base hit in the opener.

The Shamrocks did their scoring in the first on seven base hits, an error and three walks.  Their four-run fourth came after two players were out as the Braves pitching staff gave up a pair of base hits along with four walks and hit a batsman.

In the second game, the expansion team made five errors and allowed the Shamrocks another eight-run first inning and five more in the second.

Joey Gaudet and Jed Martin contributed RBI doubles for the Shamrocks in a four-run third.

Greg Harris contributed a double for the Braves when they scored their three runs in the first inning. Dryden Schofield pitched the win for the Shamrocks and Chad Bartlett suffered the loss.


Upcoming games

Saturday, May 24

Kennetcook Brave at Yarmouth (doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)


Sunday, May 25

Shelburne County Schooners at Windsor (doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)

Hantsport Shamrocks at Pictou ((doubleheader at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)


Organizations: Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League, Pictou County Albions, Braves Noel Road Blue Jays Windsor Knights Kennetcook Braves Hantsport Shamrocks

Geographic location: Hants County, Hantsport, Windsor Kennetcook Noel Road

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