Port Hawkesbury to host U18 Northeastern Baseball League play-offs

PORT HAWKESBURY: The play-offs for the U18 Northeastern Baseball League will take place next weekend.

On Saturday, September 19, the Port Hawkesbury ballfield will host the first play-off game at 10 a.m. where the league’s first place team will face the fourth place team.

Then at 12 p.m. the second place team in the league will take on the third place team.

The championship final is scheduled for September 19 at 2 p.m.

Strait Area Sting coach Shane Richards told The Reporter that the seven-team league was competitive this season.

“It was just put together this year for COVID,” Richards explained. “Normally, there’s a province-wide league that they play in.”

With a team of 18 players, drawing from Richmond and Inverness counties, as well as the Town of Port Hawkesbury, the Strait Area Sting are in a play-off position, and Richards is optimistic they will still be there at the end of the schedule.

“There’s some strong teams in the league, and on a good day, we’re up there with any of them,” Richards said. “We definitely have strength in our pitching, we have Ellie MacAulay who’s played for the national team for the girls, she’s definitely a strength for us. We’ve got depth, we’ve got some pretty good pitching.

The coach said Port Hawkesbury was chosen to host the play-offs because it’s a central location.

“There are rules regarding how far teams can travel, that’s still part of the COVID rules,” Richards said. “There are teams in Sydney, and there are teams as far as Lake Echo and Great Village.”

Richards said he, co-coach Darren Bona, and volunteers will help get the field ready and do the other legwork required.

“We’ll have to look after the umpires, which is not the easiest thing now,” Richards said. “We’ll probably have some kind of barbecue, or something, but there’s rules around that, so we’ll have to look into that. We’ll have to get the fields ready so we put on a good show. We want people to want to come here this year and years down the road.”

After tying and winning in a double-header last weekend, the Strait Area Sting close out the regular season with a pair of games on September 12, the first against the Great Village Tide, and the second against the Amherst Athletics, with both games taking place in Great Village.