Sydney maintains first place standing in NSSBL
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The Sydney Sooners’ home ballpark may soon need a new home plate after 42 runs were scored in Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Sooners managed a split of the high-scoring afternoon twinbill against the Halifax Pelham Molson Canadians, but manager Jim (Rico) McEachern said it could have been worse and it could have been better.
“With our win on Friday it means we won two out of three and you could argue that we were lucky to do that,” said the longtime bench boss.
“But, we were winning 8-2 in the last game and ended up losing 14-11, so it also could have been better.”
Following Friday’s 6-2 win, the Sooners were looking to sweep their Halifax rivals on Saturday and got off to a good start by taking the first game 9-8 after a dramatic ninth-inning walk-off win under sunny skies at the Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park.
But, there was plenty of drama prior to the final inning. With Halifax leading 4-0, the Sooners’ Matt Denney launched a threerun home run over the left field fence to bring Sydney back into the game.
Another threerun rally in the eighth gave the home side a tworun lead heading into the ninth. The visitors then mounted their own rally that netted them four runs and an 86 lead.
The dramatics were not over, though, as the Sooners staged another rally that was highlighted by Justin Brewer’s gamewinning single that drove in the tying and winning runs.
Nate Brewer, of Gardiner Mines, was credited with the win after coming on to relieve Anthony Ianetti, who had earlier replaced rookie Reilly O’Rourke.
The second game began with a bang as Denney hit his second home run of the day as he pounded a Mark Haverstock offering over the leftfield fence with the bases loaded.
“I’ll have to remember what I had for breakfast and eat it again next week,” said Denney, who is second in league batting with a .431 average.
The Sooners continued to produce runs and by the end of the third inning had an 8-2 lead. But then it began to unravel for the local lads.
Starting pitcher Nate Brewer, who has been pitching brilliantly all season, was roughed up for four runs in the fourth inning and by the end of six the Sooners’ lead had been cut to just one run.
Then, after Halifax’s manager and coach had been thrown out of the game following their vocal protests over an umpiring call, the visitors came to life and by the end of the seventh inning had pushed seven more runs across home plate.
With his team trailing 14-8 in the eight inning, Justin Brewer hit a solo homer over the fence in leftfield. And, in the ninth inning the Sooners gave themselves some hope after they scored a couple of runs and then loaded the bases with one out.
However, Halifax managed to turn a game-winning double play and that was the ball game.
The Sooners are now 12-5 on the season and hold a half-game lead over the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry (10-4), while Halifax sits third in the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League standings with an 8-9 record.
The two-time defending league champions are back in action next weekend when they host Dartmouth in a three-game series that includes a Friday night match (7 p.m.) and a Saturday doubleheader (12 noon and 3 p.m.).
The Sooners’ Matt Denney, shown here lashing a single in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, hit a home run in each of the two games, including a grand slam, as Sydney split the twinbill with the Halifax Pelham Molson Canadians.