Soon­ers re­main on top with win over Dart­mouth

Plenty of of­fence in Fri­day night slugfest

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY DAVID JALA sports@cb­post.com

The Syd­ney Soon­ers have struck first in the bat­tle of the top teams in the Nova Sco­tia Se­nior Base­ball League.

The Soon­ers de­feated the Dart­mouth Moose­head Dry 1511 on Fri­day evening to im­prove their record to 13-5 on the sea­son, good for a game-and-a-half lead over their main­land ri­vals who sit sec­ond with an 11-6 record.

The first six in­nings of the con­test, that at­tracted about 200 fans to the Su­san McEach­ern Me­mo­rial Ball Park in Syd­ney, were rou­tine by base­ball stan­dards, and head­ing into the sev­enth the Soon­ers held a 4-2 lead.

Maybe there was some­thing in the air, the wind was cer­tainly blow­ing, but the last three in­nings saw the two teams com­bine for 20 runs and when the dust cleared, the Soon­ers had hung on for the win.

“It was a wild game - it was one of those reck­less, all of­fen­sive kind of games,” said Soon­ers man­ager Jim (Rico) McEach­ern, who stopped short of say­ing that it was a coach’s night­mare.

“Of course, I’m happy with the win - I am hop­ing we can come back out on Satur­day and put to­gether a cou­ple of good games to stay ahead of Dart­mouth.”

There’s no doubt­ing Dart­mouth’s abil­ity with the bat - last year, the Dry bat­ted their way to the reg­u­lar sea­son cham­pi­onship as they av­er­aged more than seven runs per game. The 2015 sea­son is prov­ing no dif­fer­ent as they once again lead the league in runs scored.

With both teams cir­cling the bases late in the game, it was a Jor­dan Shep­herd grand slam home run in the sev­enth in­ning that made the dif­fer­ence. The left­fielder also had two sin­gles and ended up with six RBI.

Corey Christie, Justin Brewer and Jeff MacKin­non were also key con­trib­u­tors at the plate for the Syd­ney squad.

The best Dart­mouth bat­ter was Cape Bre­ton na­tive Chris Head, whom McEach­ern has in­vited to join the Soon­ers at next month’s Cana­dian se­nior men’s base­ball cham­pi­onships in New Brunswick.

Reilly O’Rourke picked up the win for the Soon­ers af­ter com­ing on in re­lief of An­thony Ian­netti. Jason Mosher was tagged with the loss.

The two teams re­sume the three-game se­ries with a Satur­day dou­ble­header that kicks off at 12 noon.

Prior to the first pitch, the Soon­ers will hon­our the 1959 New Water­ford Giants, the first Cape Bre­ton team to win a na­tional se­nior men’s base­ball ti­tle. The team was in­ducted into the newly es­tab­lished Mar­itime Sport Hall of Fame ear­lier this year.

DAVID JALA/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Soon­ers left­fielder Jor­dan Shep­herd, left, pulls up short of Chris Far­row af­ter be­ing waved off by the short­stop, who caught the pop fly, dur­ing Fri­day’s game be­tween Syd­ney and Dart­mouth at the Su­san McEach­ern Me­mo­rial Ball Park.

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