HANTSPORT - The haven of hospitality and little town of big firsts are playing co-hosts for the Nova Scotia Double AA Midget Baseball Provincials this weekend.
Play will kick off on Aug. 19 at 2:30 p.m. with the third-place Windsor Knights playing the Halifax Mets (fourth) while in Hantsport the Shamrocks (sixth) will play host to the Pictou Albions, also at 2:30 p.m.
The second game in Windsor on Aug. 19 will be Hammonds Plains (seventh) against the second place Cape Breton Reds. Hantsport will see the first place Dartmouth Arrows playing the Clark’s Harbor Foggies.
The foggies are expected to be a team to watch as they finished their single A schedule at 12-0 while outscoring their opposition 121-20. Baseball Nova Scotia felt moved them from A ball to being the 8th seeded team in double AA Provincials.
The 8 teams are divided into two divisions with the top two teams from each advancing to the playoff round on Aug. 20 and 21.
Windsor Knights’ head coach David Shankel said his team will hold their own this weekend citing a pitching staff of Brice Rivard as well as Nick Sauveur and Gabriel Bibby who will also handle pitching.
“We will be counting on second baseman Jake Caldwell who is an offensive player with speed and catcher Dawson Lake who has immense offensive strength,” Shankel said. “It is tough managing a pitching staff because Baseball Nova Scotia limits pitchers to 105 pitches, so some real balancing has to be done at certain times throughout the tourney.”
Shankel said the Knights proved they’re able to score runs this season, going 10-8 in the Bluenose League while scoring 152, an average of slightly more than 8 a game while allowing 112 runs.
As for the Hantsport Shamrocks, Head Coach Shawn Gertridge says despite his club’s 0-5 record against Cape Breton and their 2-3 mark against the Dartmouth Arrows, he believes his team can still be competitive because the majority of games were close.
“Both divisions of eight are real tight and it is the team who plays their best baseball over the weekend who will walk away with the provincial championship,” Gertridge said.
Hantsport’s pitchers include Lachlan Forsyth-Gertridge, Luke Thimot, Henry Tebogt and Brandon Schofield.