Sooners defeat Halifax for fourth straight win
Sydney pitching continues to impress
It was the same old story for the Sydney Sooners, but the team’s long-time manager wasn’t complaining.
“Once again, we got a strong performance from our starting pitcher,” said Jim (Rico) McEachern, referring to the seven innings tossed by Justin Brewer in the Sooners’ 6-2 home win over the Halifax Pelham Molson Canadians on Friday.
Brewer cruised through the first six innings without allowing a Halifax runner to cross the plate before he was tagged for two runs in the top of the seventh inning.
With Sydney leading 4-2, McEachern then opted to pull his starting pitcher in favour of Logan Aker.
The 19-year-old right-handed hurler began by walking the first two batters he faced before settling down and working his way out of the inning with the help of a tic-tac-toe doubleplay.
A hard hit ball was fielded cleanly by shortstop Chris Farrow who threw to Josh Forrest for the out at second base before the pivot-man whipped a hard and accurate throw to first base to beat the batsman by a half step.
And, with darkness descending on Sydney’s Susan McEachern Memorial Field, the skipper stayed with young Aker who retired the side without a run.
“Our fielding has been bailing out lately and that’s good to see, but I’d like to see us improve on what we did tonight in leaving 12 base runners stranded”, said benchboss McEachern.
“I’d like to see more of the keys hitting right now.”
And, while more timely hitting would obviously please the manager, he might not need it if his pitching staff continues to deliver the solid performance it has of late, including back-toback complete-game shutouts by lefty Nate Brewer.
The win, before a good-sized crowd, extends the Sooners winning streak to four game and improves the team’s record to 11-4 on the season, while the loss drops Halifax to a 7-8 mark.
Sydney sits atop the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League standings, but only by half a game over the always-competitive Dartmouth Moosehead Dry (10-4).
The Sooners and Halifax resume the three-game series with a Saturday doubleheader. Game 1 is set for 12 noon, while the second game of the twinbill is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The Sooners snuff out another Halifax rally as first baseman Kenny Long catches the Josh Forrest relay just ahead of the visitor’s base runner to complete a 6-4-3 doubleplay that ended the eighth inning in Sydney’s 6-2 win on Friday at the Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park.