Pictured are the 2021 Antigonish Guysborough Rural Fastpitch League champions, the St. Joseph’s Chiefs (front row, from the left): Logan Kennedy, Logan Deyoung, Robert Bernard, Arnold Murphy, and Luke Macpherson. (Back from the left): Carl Kennedy, Jaron Kennedy, Spencer MacKeen, Paddy MacDonald, Jared Green, Jarrett Rossong, Craig MacDonald, Joshie Avery, Riley Wilson, and Spencer Baron.

HEATHERTON: While the Carmie MacInnis St. Joseph’s Chiefs lost their first game of playoffs by nine runs, they find themselves champions of the Antigonish Guysborough Rural (AGR) Fastpitch League following an 11-4 victory over the Pomquet Acadians.

The four-team league, which started play on July 9, saw the Pomquet Acadians, Heatherton Warriors, St. Andrew’s Flyers and St. Joseph’s Chiefs playing a reduced-game regular season before playoffs wrapped up Aug. 21.

The Chiefs finished the regular season with a modest 4-4 record, before going 4-1 in the playoffs and taking home the league title.

Logan Deyoung took home the Joe Andy MacDonald Memorial Award as the playoff Most Valuable Player (MVP) for St. Joseph’s.

“It was great to get back at it. With the revised schedule they played on Friday night and Sunday afternoons,” Philippe Babbin, the AGR’s statistician told The Reporter. “They had four fields they were working with, two of them had lights and two of them didn’t, so on Friday nights they played a double header at the lights.”

On Sunday afternoons, he said they would play at the other fields and would alternate back and forth.

Robert Bernard recorded the victory for the Chiefs in the championship game, registering 12 strikeouts in the final, while also sharing the honours as the team’s top hitter, Spencer Baron, who both hit home runs.

Richie Connors struck out seven batters and both Blair Van Orschot and Brian Gilfoy homered in a losing effort for the Acadians.

Unfortunately, the Guysborough Broadhorns weren’t able to field a team this season due to lack of players, but the club remains hopeful as their future looks bright and they should be able to re-field a team next season.

AGR’s Finals Weekend got off to a red hot start, with both Semi Final games coming down to the wire as the Acadians snuck away with a 10-9 victory over the Flyers and the Chiefs narrowly escaped in a 5-3 win over the Warriors.

“It was a very competitive playoffs, and the fan support was really well received too,” Babbin said. “Heatherton was a strong team all year, and St. Joseph’s beat them in the semi finals.”

The Warriors finished the year with a 7-2 record, while the Acadians went 4-5. St. Andrew’s rounded out the group going 2-6.

“That made it pretty interesting to see how it all played out,” Babbin said of the season. “The two losses that Heatherton had on the year, St. Joseph beat them those two times; so they had their number for the year I believe.”

Bernard, who was 4-0 for St. Joseph’s in the regular season and registered 31 strikeouts, along with Heatherton’s Paul Purcell, who went 4-1 and also recorded 31 strikeouts, were co-winners for the Gerald Chisholm Memorial Award for the AGR’s top pitcher in the regular season.

St. Joseph’s Luke MacPherson was the Harold MacPherson Memorial Rookie of the Year for the AGR, while Pomquet’s Bryden Boudreau was the Ernie Jack Memorial Coach of the Year.

The Jerry Broussard Memorial Award for the regular season’s top hitter was shared by Heatherton’s Alex Chisholm who recorded eight RBI’s, eight singles, two triples and two home runs with Pomquet’s Brian Gilfoy who tallied 10 RBI’s, five singles, two doubles and two home runs.

Heatherton’s Jackie MacDonald received the Hughie Smith Memorial Award for Sportsmanship and Athletic Ability.

Now that the playoffs have wrapped up, Babbin said the AGR now looks forward to next season, one in which they hope will return to normal, having Guysborough back in the mix and playing a full slate of games.