Nicholson facing seasoned hitters in senior baseball this summer
This summer has been a learning experience for Sydney Sooners rookie left-hander Garrett Nicholson, who’s preparing to pitch in university this fall.
The 18-year-old from Sydney Mines will leave Aug. 18 for school and won’t finish the season with the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League squad, but says he’s taken a lot from his first summer on the circuit, playing against more seasoned hitters.
“I really enjoyed it. It was good to come home for the summer, come home for two months and it was my first time playing in Cape Breton in the last four years,” said the 6-4 hurler. “To come home and play again is pretty fun.”
The 6-4 southpaw recently graduated from Vauxhall Baseball Academy in Vauxhall, Alta., a town of about 1,100 people located between Calgary and Lethbridge. In the fall, he’ll pitch for the Central Michigan University Chippewa, an NCAA Division 1 school located in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
“I learned a few things,” said Nicholson, who said he’s been working with Sooners import pitcher Devin Mahoney of Pinole, Calif., who graduated from Saint Louis University in the spring.
“He’s been teaching me a few things about university, college ball down there to help me prepare for when I get down there, and learning from these guys who’ve been playing in the league a few years now, telling me to stay relaxed and pitch like I can. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Nicholson, a product of Sydney Mines and District Little League, was also a member of Baseball Canada’s junior national team (ages 15-18). He also took part in the Blue Jays Tournament 12 held at the Rogers Centre in Toronto two years in a row.
He’ll suit up for the first-place
Sooners (14-4) this weekend when they host the fourthplace Kentville Wildcats (5-14) at Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park. The teams play Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.
“There are some great players on this team and to come in with a winning team and be able to contribute and help them stay on top, I’ve really enjoyed it,” said Nicholson, who’s carried out mostly relief work this summer.
Sydney is looking to rebound from its first series loss of the season. The Sooners dropped two of three games to the thirdplace Dartmouth Moosehead Dry at Beazley Field last weekend.
“We make no bones about it: we’ve been chasing the top since the start of the year,” said Sooners manager Jim (Rico) McEachern. “I think we’ve been in first place for pretty well the whole season and I want to stay there. If we’re going to stay there, with 10 games remaining, we need (to win) seven, possibly eight of those.
“I know Kentville is fighting for a playoff spot with Truro right now, so they’ll be looking for every win they can get. It won’t be an easy task by any means, but this will be a good chance for us to get back on track.”
Rookie left-hander Garrett Nicholson of Sydney Mines has earned plenty of experience in his first summer in the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League. The 18-year-old will pitch at Central Michigan University in the fall.