© John DeCoste
Catcher Kevin Benjamin makes contact with the ball in the Kentville senior Wildcats home opener May 21. The Wildcats lost 4-2 to the Pelham Canadians. – John DeCoste, www.kingscountynews.ca
The Kentville senior Wildcats are off to an 0-2 start following a pair of defeats in NSSBL action last week.
The Wildcats dropped their season opener May 20 in Truro 8-1 in a game head coach Ian Mosher said was “closer than the final score would suggest.”
Truro took an early 4-0 lead with single runs in the first and second and two in the third. It remained 4-0 until the Bearcats tacked on four more in the sixth. Kentville scored its only run in the ninth, too little and too late.
Josh Fushtey scattered nine hits in a complete game performance to earn the victory.
“We hit the ball hard, but they were luckier,” Mosher said. “We hit the ball hard into outs; their hard hit balls ended up being home runs.”
Wildcats’ starter Corey Kent took the loss, with David McIntyre appearing in relief.
Guy Pellerine led the Truro offence with a two-run homer, two singles and three RBI. Jeff Chisholm added a three-run homer and a single and also drove in three. Daniel Bates chipped in a single and a solo homer, and John Chapman, a Wildcat in 2013, singled, doubled and also drove in one for the Bearcats who had 14 hits.
Junior call-up Dusty Isenor singled, doubled and homered for Kentville, his solo homer in the ninth accounting for the Wildcats’ only run. Mike Lockhart added a double and two singles, and newcomer Kyle Dougan added a pair of singles.
“Without having really practiced together as a team, we went out and battled pretty well,” Mosher said. “Their pitcher shut us out until the ninth, and we couldn’t match that performance.”
4-2 loss to Halifax
The Wildcats played their home opener May 21 and dropped to 0-2 on the season with a 4-2 loss to the Pelham Canadians.
The game featured what Mosher described as “a pretty good pitcher’s duel” between Halifax’s Mark Haverstock and Kentville’s Shayne Conrad.
Halifax broke through with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, the first run scoring on an error and the second on a Josh Pelham RBI double.
The Wildcats bounced back with two in their half of the fourth. Mike Lockhart doubled home his brother Ian, then scored himself when Dougan blooped a single into centerfield.
The Canadians broke the tie with a run in the seventh off Conrad, and added an insurance run in the eighth off McIntyre.
Halifax finished with four runs on six hits against Conrad and McIntyre, while the Wildcats had two runs on just four hits off Haverstock and Joey Cavadini, another former Wildcat who pitched the eighth and ninth to earn a save.
Mosher described it as “a tough game, which we unfortunately ended up losing.” Conrad, he said, “was tagged with the loss on an error on an attempted pickoff play.”
An 0-2 start wasn’t what Mosher was hoping for, but it wasn’t unexpected.
“It’s obviously not the start we were looking for, but considering the weather we’ve had and our lack of practice, it maybe could have been expected,” Mosher said.
“We have to regroup, move on and hopefully get better.”
Kentville’s next chance to pick up its first win of the season will be May 29, when the Wildcats travel to Dartmouth for a 7:30 p.m. start. After another road game June 3 in Truro, Kentville next plays at home June 6, also against Dartmouth.