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Fencebusters fall short in quest for Atlantic 13U AA supremacy

Springhill Fencebusters catcher Kieran Sears tags a Fredericton DQ Blizzards baserunner in U13 AA Atlantic baseball championship action on Friday. Springhill lost 4-3 to the New Glasgow DQ Blizzards in the Atlantic final on Sunday.
Springhill Fencebusters catcher Kieran Sears tags a Fredericton DQ Blizzards baserunner in U13 AA Atlantic baseball championship action on Friday. Springhill lost 4-3 to the New Glasgow DQ Blizzards in the Atlantic final on Sunday. - Chuck Linney Photography

Springhill drops tough 4-3 decision to N.S. rival New Glasgow

SPRINGHILL, N.S. —

After going winless on opening day it would’ve been easy for the Springhill Fencebusters to fold during the 13U AA Atlantic Baseball Championships held here over the weekend.

The Fencebusters reeled off two big wins on Saturday only to fall just short of their championship dream, dropping a 4-3 decision to the New Glasgow Blizzards on Sunday at the newly renamed Paul ‘Gino’ Sharpe Memorial Field.

“The kids never gave up. New Glasgow is a good team and well coached. If you’re going to lose, it’s nice to lose to another team from Nova Scotia,” Fencebusters coach Kyle Remington said following the game. “It was a great weekend. Win or lose, baseball is about making memories and it happened.”

In the final, the Fencebusters jumped out an early 2-0 lead when Kierean Sears scored when Trey Smith-Johnston ripped a double down the leftfield line by a diving Blizzard third basemen.

New Glasgow rebounded in the bottom of the inning scored two of their own with Robert Hollis scoring on an Ayden Brezinski doubled to left field while Brezinski scored on a single by Ethan MacKay.

In the bottom of the third, Isaac Haines got all of a Phoenix Remington pitch to hit a two-run homer to centerfield to give the Blizzards a 4-1 lead.

The Fencebusters weren’t done, though, as Mandel Nickerson fouled off several pitches before hitting a two-run single to right field in the fourth scoring Kyler Edwards and Phoenix Remington to pull Springhill back to within a run.

Keinan DeCoste relieved Brezinski in the sixth and forced Reese MacDonald to ground out to second base with the tying run on board in the top of the seventh to preserve the win.

Kieran Sears, who made a huge running catch in left field in the first inning to quell a Blizzard rally, finished the game on the mound for the Fencebusters.

“I don’t know if it was the playing at home in front of their friends and families that got them on Friday, but on Saturday we were able to regroup and play Fencebuster baseball,” Remington said. “There was no quit in these kids.”

Blizzards coach Billy MacKenzie said the championship marks the end of a season of hard work that began in late May.

“We have a good group of kids and it’s nice to see how far they’ve come and how much they’ve improved from then,” MacKenzie said.

The championship game was a rematch of the tournament’s opening game when New Glasgow defeated Springhill 10-6 as well as the provincial 13AA Tier ! championship, which Springhill won.

“Springhill is always tough and they’re nice to play. We played them two years ago at the 11U provincials and they beat us 2-1. We’re starting to develop a nice rivalry with them. It’s nice that we were able to meet them in the final,” MacKenzie said. “It was a great way to end the tournament. Our guys never let up. We put guys in different roles all weekend and they responded.”

New Glasgow went 4-0 during the round robin while Springhill split its four games and ended in a three-way tie for second. A tie-breaking formula was used to determine who would play New Glasgow and Springhill emerged with the best ratio amongst the three teams by virtue of a 13-2 win over the Western Mariners from P.E.I. on Saturday.

In the opening loss to New Glasgow, Kieran Sears tripled, Mandel Nickerson doubled and singled and Reese MacDonald and Phoenix Remington doubled while Kyler Edwards and Nolan McNally each singled once.

In the second game, the Fencebusters fell behind late and then rallied only to fall one run short in an 11-10 decision to the New Brunswick champions, the Fredericton DQ Royals.

Trey Smith-Johnston hit a long home run to centerfield in the game while Nolan McNally singled three times and tripled and Mandel Nickerson singled twice and doubled. Phoenix Remington singled twice, Seth MacPherson doubled and Kyler Edwards singled.

Needing a win to have any shot at the championship game, the Fencebusters scored five runs in the second inning and put the game away with four in the sixth en route to the win over Prince Edward Island.

Mandel Nickerson, Kieran Sears and Seth McPherson each singled twice while Kyler Edwards, Nolan McNally and Gregor Millard each adding singles.

The Fencebusters put themselves in the tie-breaker late Saturday with a 15-2 win over the Grand Falls-Windsor Braves from Newfoundland and Labrador. Stats from this game were unavailable.

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