By Eric Bourque
The Nova Scotia intermediate AAA baseball champions will be crowned in Yarmouth over the Labour Day weekend as the Yarmouth Dooly’s Gateways play host to the 2013 provincials.
The Gateways – who finished fifth in the regular-season standings of the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League – are scheduled to open the provincials with a Friday (Aug. 30) game against the Pictou County Albions, the three-time defending provincial champs. Start time at Gateway Park is 2 p.m.
Tournament action will be split between Gateway Park and Veterans Field, with the title game to be played at Gateway on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Gateways will play their second game of the tournament on Saturday (Aug. 31), but what time they play it will hinge on how they do in their tournament opener. If they win their game Friday, they will play at 1 p.m. Saturday. If they lose Friday, they will play at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Yarmouth is in the tournament’s pool A, along with Pictou, Noel Road and Eastern Passage. Pool B consists of Hantsport, Bridgewater, Spryfield and Windsor.
The Gateways went 2-2 this year against Pictou County in league play. Yarmouth finished the regular season with a record of eight wins and 14 losses – fifth in the league – while the Albions were 6-12 for sixth.
Hantsport topped the regular-season standings (16-5), followed by Noel Road (13-7), Windsor (12-8) and Bridgewater (6-10).
The Gateways finished their regular-season schedule by splitting a pair of games with Noel Road, Yarmouth losing 3-0 in the first game but coming back to win the second 8-1 behind a no-hitter by Tristan Reede.
The weekend before – on Aug. 11 – the Gateways split two with Windsor, Yarmouth falling 2-1 in the first contest, then posting a 10-0 shutout in the second. Colin Jeffery was the winning pitcher for Yarmouth in the second game.
Asked for his thoughts on the Gateways’ 2013 season, Yarmouth player-coach Robbie LeBlanc said, “We struggled in the middle, as usual, for some reason, but we’re playing well right now and we’ve lost close games where we faced good pitching … We’re jelling at the right time, I believe, and we should be good to go when provincials come.”
Meanwhile, as part of the provincial AAA intermediate tournament in Yarmouth, a family day is planned for Saturday (Aug. 31), as the Gateways pay tribute to minor baseball. The event, which is scheduled to go from 1 to 4 p.m., will include a chance for rookie-aged youngsters to “run the bases with the big boys” in an activity sponsored by McDonald’s. The day also will include a bouncy castle and face painting.
The Gateways played host to – and won – the Nova Scotia intermediate AA championship two years ago.