Hants teams top contenders in baseball provincials

Ashley Thompson athompson@hantsjournal.ca
Published on August 31, 2014
Paul Humphreys of the Windsor Knights dives for first after getting caught in between bases during a critical play in an elimination game against the Yarmouth Pub Gateways.
Ashley Thompson

One thing is for certain as the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League provincials continue in Hantsport: there will be a Hants County team in the final.

It’s been a battle from the opening game between the Hantsport Shamrocks and Windsor Knights Aug. 29.

The Knights were off to a rough start in the double elimination tournament after losing the opener against the hosting Shamrocks by a score of 6-4.

With one more loss marking the end of their season, the Knights fought hard to emerge victorious in elimination games against the Pictou County Albions and Yarmouth Pub Gateways.

Windsor topped Pictou 9-4, but struggled to overcome Yarmouth’s one-point lead in a tough Game 6 played Sunday morning.

Knights batter Shannon Best cracked the ball over the Gateways’ outfielders to send a teammate home in the make or break inning. The play put the Knights on the scoreboard, tied the game and forced an eighth inning.

Windsor catcher Gwenael Dugue drilled the ball to the fence to secure second base at the top of the eighth. Wade Flynn helped Dugue advance to third with a sacrificial bunt, and Cory Whitney snuck a grounder by first base to send Dugue home.

A player known for his speed, Whitney stole second while Paul Humphreys was up to bat. Humphreys gave the ball a good smack and tried to take second, but got caught between two bases on his way there. Humphreys hoofed it back to first with Yarmouth’s second baseman in hot pursuit, and dove in an attempt to touch the base before he was tagged by Yarmouth’s first baseman. Humphreys was called safe in the close play, but Yarmouth returned Windsor to the outfield soon after.

Yarmouth connected with the ball multiple times, besting Windsor outfielder Derek Hart once and finding his glove twice. Outfielder Wade Flynn made the last catch of the game to solidify Windsor’s 3-1 victory.

With another critical win, Windsor advanced to an elimination game against the Shamrocks at 11:30 a.m. The winner advances to face the undefeated Noel Road Blue Jays. The Blue Jays are the league champions this year. A tiebreaker will be held at 4:30 p.m. if necessary.

The top team from Hants will face the top team from Metro in a championship game in Hantsport Sept. 1 at 1 p.m.

Click here to see photos of some of the action that has taken place so far.

Quick summary as of 11:30 a.m. Aug. 31:

Game 1: Hantsport trumps Windsor 6-4

Game 2: Noel Road tops Pictou 9-7

Game 3: Hantsport beats Yarmouth 2-1

Game 4: Windsor eliminates Pictou with 9-4 win

Game 5: Noel Road shuts out Hantsport 3-0

Game 6: Windsor eliminates Yarmouth with 3-1 win in eight innings