Canada Baseball Day is a national initiative and Midget AA Wildcats head coach Dave Bell said Baseball Day in Kentville has been observed for several years now.
Kentville teams of various levels see play on Baseball Day but it’s been three or four years since the Midget AA Wildcats have had the opportunity. He said it’s an honour for the team to get to play a double-header this year.
The Wildcats and Athletics were tied at five in the bottom of the seventh inning of the first game on July 30 but Amherst scored another five runs, resulting in a final score of 10 to 5.
“It was a good game, just a rough ending,” Bell said.
Looking forward to the second game, Bell said the Kentville players had to concentrate on cashing-in potential runs.
“We can’t leave guys on base like we did,” Bell said. “We can’t leave them loaded and expect to win games.”
18-year-old Bryce Rivard of Hantsport pitched part of the first game for Kentville, played third base and hit a double. Rivard said it felt “great” to get to play on Baseball Day in Kentville. He’s pleased that there’s a day set aside to celebrate the sport across Canada and said it couldn’t have been finer in terms of the weather.
Rivard said he felt that he did okay in terms of his efforts on the field in the first encounter with Amherst, considering that it was his first game in a week. Rivard just returned from a trip to Quebec. He said he would have liked to hit better and make better use of his other two turns at bat.
He said he was concentrating on “minimal errors” and hitting the ball heading into the second game. Hitting is his favourite aspect of the sport. Rivard said baseball helps to keep him busy and he enjoys the social aspect of the game. He’s met a lot of great friends on the baseball diamond.
Catcher Dan Bell said he felt that he had a good first game in terms of his efforts behind home plate but he wished that he had hit better. The 18-year-old Coldbrook resident said he planned to wait on the ball a little more in the second game because he felt he was “a little bit ahead of it.”
Bell thought it was great to get to play a double-header as part of Baseball Day in Kentville.
“Baseball is probably my favourite sport so it’s good to be out here on a day that’s set aside for baseball,” Bell said. “It’s a great day for it, not too hot.”
Bell said he enjoys the team aspect of the game. You get into a close-knit group of guys, which makes the experience “even more fun.”
The Wildcats won their second game in dramatic fashion, 12 to 11 in the bottom of the seventh with a bases-loaded, walk-off sac fly.
Hantsport hosts the provincial qualifier weekend Aug. 5 and 6, beginning with a game against Kentville at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.