Kyle McCulloch, left, and Darrell McClellan celebrate the Noel Road Blue Jays' win over the Yarmouth Gateways in the first game of a double elimination final. The Jays went on to win the second game, and earn the 2014 Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League title.
Emotion was running high as the Noel Road Blue Jays and Yarmouth Pub Gateways squared off in the 2014 Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League championship game Aug. 24.
The Blue Jays were already coming off a 2-1 win Sunday morning over the Pictou County Albions and a 4-3 eight-inning victory over the previously undefeated Gateways when they took on Yarmouth in the sudden-death championship game.
In the championship finale, the Noel Road Blue Jays scored eight runs in the first, followed by eight runs in the second to give them a 16-2 lead. The game then took an unexpected turn, as the Yarmouth bench took issue with some of the officiating. In addition, there was also some bantering between the large hometown crowd gathered at the beer gardens and the visiting team.
By the time the melee ended, the Gateways had enough players ejected from the game that they had to forfeit it to the Blue Jays, as well as their hope of winning the 2014 NSIBL championship title.
The official recorded score for the final was 9-0.
“The situation was unfortunate but what was done, was done and it is time to move onto the Nova Scotia Baseball Championship in Hantsport and Sackville this coming weekend,” said Barry Anderson, the NSIBL president.
The Yarmouth-Noel Road championship tilt was the third game of the weekend between the two teams. On Saturday, the Gateways remained undefeated when they recorded a 7-6 verdict over the Blue Jays. During that game, Kenny Miller slugged a solo home run and a two-run homer for the Jays.
In the 4-3 victory for the Blue Jays over Yarmouth, Damon Blois started pitching before Miller came in for relief and recorded the win.
Windsor Knights eliminated early
The Windsor Knights were hoping for a better tournament than what resulted.
In their opening game Saturday morning, Aug. 23, the Knights fell behind the Blue Jays 2-0 after four innings before coming back to tie it with a pair of runs in the fifth.
Kyle McCulloch pitched the win for Noel Road and Miller, who had a great weekend of ball, picked up the save in this game.
The Blue Jays scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on a critical Knights error to win the game 3-2.
Paul Humphreys suffered the pitching loss for Windsor.
The Knights then played the Pictou County Albions, with the loser being eliminated from additional play. The Albions scored five runs off of Dave Swindall in the first inning and went on for an 8-0 win.
Other tournament highlights
The Blue Jays pitching staff, which had a tremendous season, saw Justin Campbell named as the league's top pitcher for 2014 as he finished the regular season with a 7-1 record, striking out 40 batters over 47 innings pitched while giving up 31 hits.
Aaron MacPhee, also of the Blue Jays, was named the league’s MVP for the season after hitting .395 while recording a .483 on base percentage and a .931 slugging and on base percentage combined.
Dave Wiseman, often called Mr. Baseball in the Rawdon area, has coached hundreds of young people over his 40-year career. A stickler for playing the game the right way, he instilled passion, hustle and a winning attitude in all his teams.
Eight years ago, Wiseman entered the Noel Road Blue Jays in the NSIBL and developed a team with all the characteristics that he is known for.
Wiseman has also served as vice president of the league and has helped it to grow.
He was one of three inductees into the NSIBL Hall of Fame during the opening ceremonies. The other two inductees were former players David Slade and Matt Keddy, both of Amherst.
The presentation of the All-Stars, Golden Glove awards and Hall of Fame certificates took place Aug. 23.
The local all-stars included catcher, Jed Martin (Hantsport); first baseman, Mike White (Noel Road), who tied with Yarmouth’s Scott Jeffrey; second baseman, Aaron MacPhee (Noel Road); outfielders Nathan McCulloch (Noel Road) and Mike King (Hantsport); and pitchers Justin Campbell (Noel Road) and Paul Humphreys (Windsor).
The local Gold Glove recipients included catcher, Martin (Hantsport); first baseman, Deron Moores (Hantsport) and tied with Jeffrey (Yarmouth); second baseman, MacPhee (Noel Road); shortstop, Humphreys (Windsor); third baseman, Adrian Lloy (Hantsport); outfielders McCulloch (Noel Road) and Joe Gaudet (Hantsport); and pitchers Campbell (Noel Road) and Humphreys (Windsor).
Sheldon MacPhee received the 2014 coach of the year award.
~ with files from the Yarmouth Vanguard