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Noel Road Jays lose in bid for fourth NS Championship

Paul Humphreys, number 7 with the Windsor Knights, hits the pall past Noel Road Jays pitcher Justin Campbell.
Paul Humphreys, number 7 with the Windsor Knights, hits the pall past Noel Road Jays pitcher Justin Campbell.

NOEL ROAD, N.S. – The Noel Road Jays made it to the championship game and were hoping it would produce a fourth consecutive Nova Scotia Intermediate AAA Baseball Championship before a large hometown audience, but The Eastern Passage Pirates had other plans.

The championship game was tight through four innings with the Pirates leading 1-0 before the Pirates exploded for ten runs in their half of the fifth for an 11-0 win as the game was called after five due to the ten run rule.

The Pirates win surprised some as they lost to Noel Road 9-8 in the preliminary round robin and finished at 1-2 after being hammered by the Windsor Knights 11-1 on Sept. 2.   

The Pirates only advanced to the championship round because they had squeezed by the Hantsport Shamrocks with a 2-1 victory in the round robin.

The Pirates and Shamrocks both finished at 1-2 but two-way ties are broken in the tournament by whoever won the round robin game between the two clubs – meaning the Pirates advanced.

The Eastern Passage Pirates shake hands with the Spryfield Rays following a playoff game during the Nova Scotia Intermediate AAA Baseball Championship. The Pirates ultimately won the championship.

The Pirates did not waste any time on Sept. 3 in crushing the previously undefeated 3-0 Spryfield Rays 16-4.   

Windsor and Noel Road played in the second semi-final of the day with the Jays winning 8-3.   

Justin Campbell pitched the win and went the distance for the Jays while Paul Humphreys threw four innings for the Knights before needing relief help from Dave Swindall and finally Alex Sabean.   

Patty Benedict went 2 for 4 for the Jays with a triple, home run and three RBI’s.   

Kenny Miller while not having any RBI’s still went 4 for 4 with three singles and a double.  The Jays scored twice in the second, three more times in the third and added a pair in the fifth.

Nate Mcculloch, number 24 with the Noel Road Jays, runs hard for first base during a semi-final game against the Windsor Knights on Sept. 3.

More playoff action

It was late in the evening on Sept. 2 in Noel Road before the four semi-finalists were determined for the 2017 Nova Scotia Intermediate AAA Baseball Championship.   

Paul Humphreys threw a brilliant game for the Windsor Knights and was selected Game MVP as the Knights routed the Eastern Passage Pirates 11-1.   

Paul Humphreys, number 7 with the Windsor Knights, pitches during a semi-final game against the Noel Road Jays. The Knights ultimately lost to the Jays 8-3.

A Windsor loss would have put the Hantsport Shamrocks in the playoff round as the Shamrocks had earlier defeated the Dartmouth Drillers 8-1. However, the playoff format for Sept. 3 saw Windsor and Noel Road collide at 12:30 p.m. with the winner of that game moving on to play the winner of the Spryfield-Eastern Passage game for the Provincial Championship.   

Humphreys only gave up three hits in securing the win in a game called after five innings due to the ten-run rule.   

Here’s a look at how Hants County teams did during the round robin:

Spryfield 11 - Noel Road Jays 7

Without a doubt, one of the most exciting games of the tournament as of late Sept 2, the Jays took a 7-0 lead but somehow could not manage to hang onto it.

With a chance to win it and leading 7-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the Jays, despite not securing a hit, left the bases loaded without scoring a run.   

The Jays led 7-0 after five complete with Lee Spares hitting a three-run homer in the top of the fourth after singles by Colin McCulloch and Nate McCulloch.   

Spryfield rallied with three runs in the bottom of the sixth on two singles and a two-run double.   

The roof collapsed on the Jays in the bottom of the seventh as they were leading 7-3 when Spryfield’s five of their first six batters reached base on an error, a hit batsman, a three-run homer and two singles.   

Two more singles tied the game at 7-7 before Eric Rose delivered a game clinching grand slam home run with the bases loaded.

Noel Road 9 - Eastern Passage 8

The Jays exploded for seven runs in the third inning on a walk, a single, three hit batsmen and two Eastern Passage errors.  It was 9-0 for the Jays after three innings before Eastern Passage attempted a valiant comeback with a single run in the fourth, five more in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

Spryfield 8 - Windsor 5

The Rays struck for six runs in the first inning on two doubles, thee singles and a walk.

Eastern Passage 2 - Hantsport 1

The Pirates put the game away with a solo home run in the sixth inning. Matt Lloy was the losing pitcher for Hantsport despite pitching a sensational game.

Spryfield 2 - Hantsport 1

All the scoring was done in the game’s first two innings. Kyle Johnston connected for an RBI Double for the Shamrocks in the first. Taylor Welch pitched the loss for the Shamrocks.

Windsor 5 - Dartmouth 3

The game was tied 3-3 after Paul Humphreys RBI Double in the third inning. The Knights added another run in the fifth on two Dartmouth errors. In the seventh, Austin Sabean walked and Alex Patterson clubbed a 2-run homer to give the Knights their 5-3 win.

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