The Kentville senior Wildcats played nine innings Tuesday evening, June 3 in Truro, but as it turned out, all they really needed was one.
And what an inning it was! Trailing 12-3 entering the top of the seventh, the Wildcats sent 20 men to the plate, batting around twice and scoring 15 runs. It was the difference in an 18-12 win, giving Kentville its first victory of the season.
The Wildcats, short-staffed as they will often be this season in weeknight games on the road, began the game with what head coach Ian Mosher described as “nine players and me.”
Truro struck for a pair of runs each in the second and third innings for an early 4-0 lead off Kentville starting pitcher David McIntyre.
The Wildcats got two of the runs back when Kyle Dougan stroked an opposite-field home run, his first homer of the season and his Wildcats’ career, in the top of the fourth.
The Bearcats replied with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to restore their four-run cushion. Kentville came back with a run in the top of the sixth, and then, as Mosher pointed out, “the fun began.”
Helped by what the coach termed “three bad calls,” Truro plated six runs in the bottom of the sixth, the big blow being a grand slam by Sheldon Ryan.
The offensive explosion spelled the end of the evening for McIntyre in terms of pitching, and when Jason Pleasant-Sampson was ejected from the game, it forced the 56-year-old Mosher into the lineup.
The player-coach contributed a pair of walks and a run scored to the 15-run inning, but the biggest hit was a grand slam by Codey Shrider.
Shrider then took the mound in the bottom of the seventh and pitched three scoreless innings, striking out five and saving the victory for McIntyre, who ended up being what Mosher described as “an improbable winner” despite allowing 12 runs. Tony Stewart, Truro’s third of four pitchers, took the loss.
The Wildcats finished with 18 runs on 15 hits and a pair of Truro errors. The Bearcats scored their 12 runs on 12 hits and five Kentville miscues.
Shrider had a single in addition to his grand slam. Rob Shepherd chipped in three singles, Mike Lockhart singled and doubled and drove in a run, Dougan singled and homered, McIntyre doubled and singled. The team’s newest player, John Ansara, contributed his first hit as a Wildcat.
Mosher suggested Shepherd, Kevin Benjamin, Mike Lockhart and Devon Boutilier “all had big hits.” In all, it was “a great comeback for our first win of the season.”
For Truro, Ryan had a double along with his grand slam. Guy Pellerine also homered and had three singles and three RBI. Player-coach John Chapman doubled and
singled and had one RBI, and Mike Tobin doubled and also drove in a run.
The Wildcats are back in action Friday evening, June 6 at 7:30 when they host the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry at Memorial Park, weather permitting of course.