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Kentville Wildcats drop first two games of the season

Starting pitcher Codey Shrider throws the ball at a Halifax player trying to steal second base
Starting pitcher Codey Shrider throws the ball at a Halifax player trying to steal second base

KENTVILLE, NS - Ian Mosher is at a loss.

The head coach of the Kentville Wildcats senior baseball team can’t understand how the team ended up going 0-2 in the first two games of the year.

Brad Fuller catches the ball as a Halifax player slides into second.

“You go in every night hoping to win and starting the season 0-2 isn’t what anyone wants,” he said. “I don’t really have an explanation for it – I thought we might hit a lot and struggle in the field because weather conditions in the spring and the condition of the field affected our ability to practice.”

Instead, the reverse was true – the Wildcats were masters at fielding but the bats didn’t make much contact with the ball in either of the first two games of the season.

The Kentville team started out with a 7-3 loss to Dartmouth on the road. While it looked good at the start of the game as the defence kept Dartmouth from scoring, towards the end of the game the Wildcats were outpitched.

Starting pitcher Codey Shrider prepares to throw the ball in the Kentville Wildcats home opener at Memorial Park May 24.

It was the same story for the May 24 home opener. Starting pitcher Codey Shrider staved off the visitors for the first few innings until both teams scored one run in the fourth. Then, in the sixth inning, the visiting Halifax Pelham Molson Canadians pulled away with three runs against losing pitcher Joey Cavidini and picked up a fifth run in the seventh. Kentville battled back with three runs in the eighth but couldn’t catch up and lost 5-4. 

Tyler Fancy led Kentville’s offence with a home run, two singles and a run batted in, while Brandon MacKay contributed two singles.

“As I try to sort through our pitchers and try to find out who is healthy, the other teams are doing the same and, so far, their guys have outpitched ours,” Mosher said. “Their starters have been equal to ours, it’s the closers where we’re getting outpitched and lose.”

And the Wildcats weren’t expecting to get much practice over the weekend.

“With a nor’easter blowing through and the Apple Blossom Festival using some of the fields, we aren’t going to get much time to practice before our next game,” he said.

Colby Turple swings at the ball for the Kentville Wildcats in the home opener May 24

“We have some big guys who can hit, but so far we haven’t really been able to really drive in the ball. And you can’t change who you are. If we can’t hit the ball, we can’t start trying to steal the bases – we don’t have a team that’s built like that, we don’t have little guys who can run.”

The Wildcats will be back in action at home on May 31, when they host Dartmouth starting at 7:30 p.m.

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