CLARKS HARBOUR -The year couldn’t have ended in a better fashion.
Locked in a tight battle in a championship game at the end of a tough tournament, a pitcher who hadn’t thrown a game all year stepped in to spell the team’s tired arms.
And Shannon Stewart pitched a gem. He got some help from the team’s bats along the way too as the Shelburne County Schooners won the Nova Scotia Provincial Intermediate A Championship in a thrilling 4-3 victory over Sydney Mines.
The Schooners finished 13-12, in 4th place, overall. That result was a far cry from the team’s inaugural season when it lost the majority of its games, finishing with less than six wins for the season.
Player Keith Nickerson said it was a huge improvement for the Shelburne County squad.
“This year the guys really stepped up,” said Nickerson. Were we much better in hitting and on defence,” he said.
He said the team, while overall much better, could still use better pitching in the regular season.
“There’s certainly still room to improve,” he said.
The championship tournament, hosted by the Shelburne team, saw the Schooners only lose once, a 5-1 loss to Sydney Mines. They avenged that game the following day in the championship.
Nickerson said the team pulled together well this season and noted the efforts of the team’s coach, Davis Nickerson and Assistant Coach Trevor Swaine, as well as Roddy Conrad, who served as the team’s manager.
Bringing intermediate baseball back to Shelburne County has had an effect on younger generations as well, notes Nickerson.
“It’s been really fun seeing lots of kids coming out and watching us play ball,” he said.
With the “A” championship win, Nickerson said he wouldn’t be surprised if the team is moved up to the “AA” playoffs next year.