Astros slide into sil­ver

Bay Roberts team drops base­ball fi­nal

The Compass - - OPINION - BYNICHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

The As­cen­sion Col­le­giate boys’ base­ball team came up short in its at­tempt to re­peat as high school base­ball cham­pi­ons af­ter drop­ping a lop­sided 11-4 de­ci­sion to the Holy Heart of Mary Re­gional High at St. Pat’s Base­ball Field in St. John’s on May 27.

Head­ing into the tour­na­ment, coach Scott Mercer said had “high ex­pec­ta­tions” due to the success the team ex­pe­ri­enced last sea­son in cap­tur­ing the cham­pi­onship.

Holy Heart jumped out to an early lead, putting up three runs in the first in­ning. They did it again in the sec­ond and the fourth to squash any chance As­cen­sion had of re­peat­ing as cham­pi­ons.

Mercer said the team had “their best on the mound” for the tour­na­ment fi­nal, but, “What­ever hap­pened on that par­tic­u­lar day, give Holy Heart credit. They just hit us.”

The team was bat­tling some in­juries dur­ing the cham­pi­onship. Bradley Sparkes left the game in the top of the sec­ond in­ning, and Travis Drover was playing through a twisted an­kle.

But Mercer is not mak­ing any ex­cuses for not de­fend­ing the school’s ti­tle.

“Holy Heart played a re­ally good game. They pitched a good game and it threw us off,” said Mercer.

As­cen­sion got off to a good start in the tour­na­ment, best­ing the Mount Pearl Se­nior High Huskies 8-3 at Small­wood Park in Mount Pearl, May 24.

“We faced a re­ally good pitcher in that one, and it worked out well,” said Mercer.

Next up, was a tilt with the Queen El­iz­a­beth Re­gional High Pi­o­neers at Small­wood Field, May 26.

The Astros and Pi­o­neers were close for four in­nings be­fore As­cen­sion broke the game open, more than dou­bling up the Pi­o­neers, 8-3, en route to an un­de­feated round-robin record.

The Astros fea­tured a mix­ture of tal­ent from the Con­cep­tion Bay North Bull­dogs or­ga­ni­za­tion from Level I to III.

Mercer said the se­niors on the team re­ally stepped up and “took the lead.”

Teacher sup­port

Mercer sung high praise for the trio of teacher rep­re­sen­ta­tives work­ing as a part of his coach­ing staff — Lisa Doucette, Glen Lane and Lisa Stone.

Doucette and Stone were bench man­agers, while Mercer and Lane coached third and first base, re­spec­tively.

“I’d like to ap­plaud them and the work they did,” he said. “It was a great coach­ing staff.”

It is rare to see more than one teacher rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the bench for high school sports. A prime ex­am­ple be­ing nearby Cres­cent Col­le­giate in Blake­town, who had what could have been a promis­ing hockey sea­son squashed be­cause of a lack of teacher rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Mercer said the three had some base­ball knowl­edge as well.

Lane hails from Grand Falls-Wind­sor, while Doucette is from the West Coast of the prov­ince.

Both are tra­di­tional base­ball hot­beds in New­found­land and Labrador, with the Cataracts (GFW) and the Barons (Cor­ner Brook).

Re­flect­ing

Mercer said that at the time, the loss was dis­ap­point­ing, given the team’s success at the tour­na­ment last spring.

How­ever, he said, “sil­ver is not too bad.”

This is es­pe­cially true given this is the sec­ond year for the As­cen­sion base­ball team, and its sec­ond Top-2 fin­ish.

Mem­bers of the team are Mathew Coombs, An­drew Par­sons, Zack Nose­wor­thy, Stu­art Brazil, Jared Adams, Zack Coombs, Travis Drover, Mitchell Drover, Wil­liam Rose, Tyson Drover, Zack Mercer, Bradley Riggs and Bradley Sparkes.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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