COLE HARBOUR: There was no shortage of high drama last Sunday as the Strait Area Sting 15Us battled Hammonds Plains (yellow) for the Tier I provincials, but when all was said and done, the Sting were holding the provincial banner.
“The other coach, Shane Richards, told me he nearly had a heart attack,” said Darren Bona, Sting coach. “Everyone was on their feet and cheering. We ended up beating them 15-14 in the bottom of the seventh. It was crazy.”
The journey to the championship game was eventful, as the Sting went 4-0 in preliminaries. Game one was a 10-0 win over Cole Harbour, and that was followed by a 15-11 win over Hammonds Plains (green). Game three was against Hammonds Plains (yellow) and the final was 12-6. The fourth game was against New Glasgow, and the Sting beat them 9-4.
“Most of the games were close,” Bona said. “Even the 10-0 game was a good one. We just kept picking and picking, and we got them by the 10-run rule in the sixth inning.”
With the Sting going 4-0, the banner would have been theirs if no other team could do better than a 2-2 record. When a team goes undefeated at Baseball NS provincials, no championship game is required unless one of the other teams is 3-1.
Just after the Sting won its fourth game on Sunday morning, Hammonds Plains (green) was playing Hammonds Plains (yellow). Had the green team won, the Strait would have gotten the provincial title automatically. However, yellow won which put them in the final game.
The championship was a good one, Bona said.
“They had the lead for pretty well the whole game right to the sixth inning,” he explained. “We were three runs down, and we came to bat [in the bottom of the inning]. We scored nine runs in that inning, and Ellie MacAulay came in to pitch. She had closed two of the games for us already.
“They started hitting her fast ball [in the top of the seventh]; they kept picking and picking. There were two guys on base, and they were down two runs. The batter hit the ball, and the first runner scored. We had a play at third base, and we got him out, but the other runner scored before we tagged the guy out.
“We went into the bottom of the seventh. The first batter popped out to the catcher, and the next guy walked. He stole second base, and advanced to third. On a wild pitch, he ran stole – sliding in under the throw.”
It was that run that lifted the Sting to their provincial championship win.
The Sting is looking back on a great season, as the guys went 18-1 in the Bluenose League.