Sooners open NSSBL championship series with split of double-herader

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SYDNEY — The Sydney Sooners split the first two games of their Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League championshipseries with the Kentville Wildcats on Saturday afternoon at Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park.

Sean Ferguson of the Sydney Sooners is shown hitting a second-inning home run on Saturday at the Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park.

The Sooners lost 11-10 in the opener early Saturday and came back with a 6-4 win later in the day.

Kevin Nichols of the Wildcats was the winning pitcher over nine innings in game one, while Paul Doucette was tagged with the loss.

The Sooners were ahead 3-1 after three innings, but lost their lead after Kentville knocked in one run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth.

The Sooners would tie the game 5-5 in the sixth, but the game's fate took a turn when the Wildcats scored five runs in the seventh to put the score 10-5 in their favour.

The Sooners picked up five hits in the remaining two innings, but it wasn't enough for a win.

"I was pleased overall," said Sooners head coach Jim (Rico) McEachern. "Defensively we had a few miscues, I think that we'll try and see if we can tighten up and I'd like to go into Kentville and try to play flawless defensive ball if I could."

Jordon Shepherd hit a home run and a single for the Sooners, while Phil Brown added a double and a single. Cory Christie chipped in with two singles for Sydney, while Sean Ferguson added a solo home run.

For the Wildcats, Codey Shrieder hit a home run and a single, Mike Lockhart hit a three-run home run, and Curtis Falls added a solo home run and a single.

In game two, Justin Brewer picked up the win after relieving Anthony Ianetti  in the eighth.

Shayne Conrad was tagged with the loss for Kentville.

The Sooners were trailing by one run after three but fired back in the sixth with four runs to put the score at 5-3.

Both teams picked up runs in the seventh inning to end scoring for the game at 6-4.

Cory Christie, Phil Brown, Kenny Long, Josh Forrest and Jeff MacKinnon all scored singles for the Sooners.

For the Kentville offence, Mike Lockhart hit a two-run home run and a single, while Billy MacKenzie and Alex Ostrov added a double and single each.

The series resumes next Saturday in Kentville for games 3, 4 and 5.

"We're going to work hard to try and see if we can minimize any defensive errors and hope to get some good outings from our pitchers," said McEachern.  

The series represents the first time in 20 years that the Sooners have competed in the league's championship series.

Sydney last reached the league final series in 1993, losing to the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League

Geographic location: Sydney

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