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Windsor Knights miss NSIBL playoffs by one point

HANTS COUNTY — The Windsor Knights were one point shy of clinching a berth in the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League (NSIBL) Championship, which is set for this weekend in Noel Road.

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The Knights’ playing coach Paul Humphreys commended Dave Swindall for pitching “one of his best games of the year,” but said the team “lacked the necessary killer instinct” to defeat Shelburne.

They lost to the Shelburne Schooners 4-3 in eight innings.

A win would have put the Knights into the playoffs with 52 points.

Despite leading 2-0 with two outs in Shelburne's home half of the seventh, the Schooners suddenly found their hitting groove and tied the game at 2-2.

The Knights came back with a run in their half of the eighth only to give up two more runs to Shelburne in the bottom of the eighth.

“We somehow can beat the best teams in the league on certain weekends, only to turn around and lose to the weakest teams the following weekend,” said Humphreys.

He said the Knights need to realize that they “simply can't leave eight runners on base in a tight game” like the one on Aug. 24 and still expect to be rewarded.

The Knights were feeling good after the opening game of the doubleheader as they scored a 2-1 victory despite leaving 12 guys on base.

Humphreys pitched the 2-1 win.

He said despite the victory, they had several opportunities to score additional runs.

Jason Hanes put down a perfect suicide squeeze to give the Knights their first run in the win. The Knights managed only two hits that game.

With Sheburne winning the second game, the Schooners slipped past the Knights and moved into the fourth and final playoff spot with 51 points. Windsor and the Pictou County Albions each had 50 points on the season.


Hantsport highlights

The Hantsport Shamrocks settled for second place in the league standings after missing the playoffs last season. They split doubleheaders with Shelburne and Yarmouth in the Southwestern part of the province.

Hantsport blanked the Gateways 3-0 in their opening game Aug. 23 but lost the second game 7-2.

In Shelburne the day before, the Knights were hopeful the Shamrocks would win both games to give them a better chance at making the playoffs. But, the Shamrocks split the pair of games with the Schooners, losing the opener 4-3 before winning the second game 12-4.


Noel Road highlights

The Noel Road Blue Jays secured the right to host the league championship tournament by holding down first place.

On Aug. 22, the Blue Jays eliminated the Pictou County Albions from playoff contention with a pair of wins in Noel Road by scores of 8-5 and 11-6.

The Blue Jays trailed 5-1 in the fifth inning before taking control and winning the opening game 8-5.  

Blue Jays coach Matt Wiseman doubled and singled, and Aaron MacPhee singled twice to pace the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays also had an explosive rally in the second game as they were down 3-0 in the fourth inning only to win it 11-6.

Sean Marshall pitched five innings while also collecting a pair of RBIs before Ryan MacPhee picked up his second save of the afternoon, having relieved Damon Blois in the opener.


Upcoming tournament

The first place Blue Jays open the double-knockout championship tournament Aug. 29 against the fourth place Shelburne Schooners at 9 a.m. before Hantsport and the Yarmouth Gateways meet at 11:30 a.m.

The losers of the opening two games will play at 2 p.m. with the losing team being the first to be eliminated.

“We have been hitting the ball exceptionally sharp all season and I don't see any reason for it to stop this coming weekend,” said Wiseman.

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