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Shamrocks capture 12th NSIBL title in 14 years


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The Hantsport Shamrocks won their 12th Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League (NSIBL) Championship title Sunday afternoon on their home field but it took a pair of grueling games against the Noel Road Blue Jays in order to do so.

The win marks their ninth consecutive league championship.

With a 4-2 win in a game that started late Sunday morning, the Blue Jays forced the sudden-death championship game.

In the championship final, Hantsport broke from the gates early with a four run first and two run second and seemingly were in command with a 6-0 lead entering the bottom of the seventh inning.

Shamrocks starting pitcher Nick Tibert was in command throughout the game until Dryden Schofield relieved him after Tibert issued a lead-off single to Darrell MacLellan and a walk to Justin Campbell.

Schofield then came in only to face a few anxious moments as Jays catcher Matt Wiseman singled and Josh Burke reached on a fielder's choice after the second baseman dropped the throw from third base. Schofield then hit Shawn Marshall with a pitch to load the bases with no one out and the Jays trailing 6-2.

Aaron McPhee then struck a two-run single to make it 6-4 with only one out.

The rookie pitcher settled down to get a ground ball and a strike out for Hantsport's victory.

Hantsport led off the top of the first inning with their first six batters reaching base on two throwing errors, three walks and a base hit to score four runs.  They scored two more in the second inning and the game then sailed along with little to report other than a double by MacLellan and a few base hits.  

Blue Jays centre fielder Nathan McCulloch made the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the third inning as he made a nice diving catch to take a sure hit away from the Shamrocks’ Joey Gaudet.

In the 4-2 Blue Jays win that forced the championship final, the Jays jumped in front scoring three runs in the top of the third inning and adding another on an RBI single from Mike White in the fifth inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Schofield led off with a monstrous home run to almost dead centre field. Schofield then provided the Shamrocks with their second run in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI single after Kyle Johnston drilled a shot down the first base line that the Jays first baseman just missed.

Following are the highlights from the other tournament games.

 

Shamrocks 12, Bridgewater Bulldogs 0

This game was called after five innings due to the 10-run rule.

The Shamrocks scored two runs in the first inning following two errors by the Bulldogs shortstop and then scored a total of 10 runs in the third thanks to a grand slam home run off the bat of Johnston and five errors committed by the Bulldogs. Johnston homered after four of the first six Hantsport batters reached base with singles to start the fourth.

 

Windsor Knights 2, Blue Jays 1

This game went to nine innings before the Windsor Knights emerged victorious.

The League's MVP for 2013, Dave Swindall, of the Windsor Knights, pitched a gem of a game, allowing only five hits over nine innings while striking out four.

The winning hit came off the bat of Derek Hart.

 

Blue Jays 10, Bulldogs 0

Still stinging after their loss to Windsor, the Blue Jays came out in full attack mode against the South Shore team, scoring 10 runs in the first inning.

To make matters worse for Bridgewater, they had a player ejected in the second inning. They arrived with just nine players and by losing one, they had to forfeiture the rest of the game.

 

Shamrocks 7, Knights 2

The Hantsport Shamrocks took advantage of shaky fielding by the Knights and scored three times in the second inning.

Hantsport led off their half of the second inning with three consecutive base hits and were then assisted by two Windsor errors.

Johnston finished Hantsport's scoring with a two-run home run in the fifth inning after Gaudet singled. Doug Fraser pitched the win for Hantsport.

 

Blue Jays 11, Knights 1

Despite their earlier 2-1 nail-biting win in nine innings, Windsor was stunned by a six-run second inning by the Blue Jays in their second game.

The Blue Jays showed no power in scoring the runs as they simply base hit the Knights into submission while also taking advantage of two more Windsor errors.

The Jays scored three more runs in the fourth and twice again in the fifth inning to go on to win 11-1 and eliminate the Knights from further play.

MacLellan was the only true power source for Noel Road with a two-run triple.  Marshall was the winning pitcher.

 

Championship notes

With the NSIBL now finished for 2013, league president Barry Anderson told the Hants Journal that the Bridgewater Bulldogs would likely not be back for the 2014 season.

However, Anderson said two other expansion entries may come to fruition.

“Nothing can be confirmed until our annual meeting but a second Pictou County team is expressing interest as is another team from Hants County out of Kennetcook,” said Anderson.

The Nova Scotia Intermediate AAA Baseball Championship will be played in Yarmouth over the Labour Day weekend. Play begins Friday afternoon, Aug. 30, at 2 p.m. with Hantsport squaring off against Bridgewater. At 5 p.m., the Knights will play Spryfield and Noel Road will go up against Eastern Passage.

The tournament is a double knockout affair meaning a team must lose two games before being eliminated.

The championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Sept. 1, at Gateway Park.

The Hantsport Shamrocks won their 12th Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League (NSIBL) Championship title Sunday afternoon on their home field but it took a pair of grueling games against the Noel Road Blue Jays in order to do so.

The win marks their ninth consecutive league championship.

With a 4-2 win in a game that started late Sunday morning, the Blue Jays forced the sudden-death championship game.

In the championship final, Hantsport broke from the gates early with a four run first and two run second and seemingly were in command with a 6-0 lead entering the bottom of the seventh inning.

Shamrocks starting pitcher Nick Tibert was in command throughout the game until Dryden Schofield relieved him after Tibert issued a lead-off single to Darrell MacLellan and a walk to Justin Campbell.

Schofield then came in only to face a few anxious moments as Jays catcher Matt Wiseman singled and Josh Burke reached on a fielder's choice after the second baseman dropped the throw from third base. Schofield then hit Shawn Marshall with a pitch to load the bases with no one out and the Jays trailing 6-2.

Aaron McPhee then struck a two-run single to make it 6-4 with only one out.

The rookie pitcher settled down to get a ground ball and a strike out for Hantsport's victory.

Hantsport led off the top of the first inning with their first six batters reaching base on two throwing errors, three walks and a base hit to score four runs.  They scored two more in the second inning and the game then sailed along with little to report other than a double by MacLellan and a few base hits.  

Blue Jays centre fielder Nathan McCulloch made the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the third inning as he made a nice diving catch to take a sure hit away from the Shamrocks’ Joey Gaudet.

In the 4-2 Blue Jays win that forced the championship final, the Jays jumped in front scoring three runs in the top of the third inning and adding another on an RBI single from Mike White in the fifth inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Schofield led off with a monstrous home run to almost dead centre field. Schofield then provided the Shamrocks with their second run in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI single after Kyle Johnston drilled a shot down the first base line that the Jays first baseman just missed.

Following are the highlights from the other tournament games.

 

Shamrocks 12, Bridgewater Bulldogs 0

This game was called after five innings due to the 10-run rule.

The Shamrocks scored two runs in the first inning following two errors by the Bulldogs shortstop and then scored a total of 10 runs in the third thanks to a grand slam home run off the bat of Johnston and five errors committed by the Bulldogs. Johnston homered after four of the first six Hantsport batters reached base with singles to start the fourth.

 

Windsor Knights 2, Blue Jays 1

This game went to nine innings before the Windsor Knights emerged victorious.

The League's MVP for 2013, Dave Swindall, of the Windsor Knights, pitched a gem of a game, allowing only five hits over nine innings while striking out four.

The winning hit came off the bat of Derek Hart.

 

Blue Jays 10, Bulldogs 0

Still stinging after their loss to Windsor, the Blue Jays came out in full attack mode against the South Shore team, scoring 10 runs in the first inning.

To make matters worse for Bridgewater, they had a player ejected in the second inning. They arrived with just nine players and by losing one, they had to forfeiture the rest of the game.

 

Shamrocks 7, Knights 2

The Hantsport Shamrocks took advantage of shaky fielding by the Knights and scored three times in the second inning.

Hantsport led off their half of the second inning with three consecutive base hits and were then assisted by two Windsor errors.

Johnston finished Hantsport's scoring with a two-run home run in the fifth inning after Gaudet singled. Doug Fraser pitched the win for Hantsport.

 

Blue Jays 11, Knights 1

Despite their earlier 2-1 nail-biting win in nine innings, Windsor was stunned by a six-run second inning by the Blue Jays in their second game.

The Blue Jays showed no power in scoring the runs as they simply base hit the Knights into submission while also taking advantage of two more Windsor errors.

The Jays scored three more runs in the fourth and twice again in the fifth inning to go on to win 11-1 and eliminate the Knights from further play.

MacLellan was the only true power source for Noel Road with a two-run triple.  Marshall was the winning pitcher.

 

Championship notes

With the NSIBL now finished for 2013, league president Barry Anderson told the Hants Journal that the Bridgewater Bulldogs would likely not be back for the 2014 season.

However, Anderson said two other expansion entries may come to fruition.

“Nothing can be confirmed until our annual meeting but a second Pictou County team is expressing interest as is another team from Hants County out of Kennetcook,” said Anderson.

The Nova Scotia Intermediate AAA Baseball Championship will be played in Yarmouth over the Labour Day weekend. Play begins Friday afternoon, Aug. 30, at 2 p.m. with Hantsport squaring off against Bridgewater. At 5 p.m., the Knights will play Spryfield and Noel Road will go up against Eastern Passage.

The tournament is a double knockout affair meaning a team must lose two games before being eliminated.

The championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Sept. 1, at Gateway Park.

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