RICHMOND COUNTY: The Nova Scotia Monarchs were the top guns in the AAA Division at the Roy Hobbs World Series, and the efforts of four Richmond County players were a key part in the 60+ team winning big in Fort Myers, Florida.
“I had a great trip and an awesome experience, and winning it was just icing on the cake,” said Richard Boudreau, who competed with the Monarchs along with Billy Digout, Les Sampson and Sandy MacMullin.
“We had a good squad and a great bunch of guys. There were 17 or 18 of us, and everybody pitched in. It was great.
“I’d recommend it to anyone who’s up there in age and looking to play some ball.”
The Monarchs were 8-1 at the event, and they faced the DuPage Lugnuts in the championship. It was the Lugnuts who put that single blemish on the Monarchs’ record (an 8-0 final in the seeding game). Things were different in the championship, with Nova Scotia winning 11-9.
“They took us for granted and we got off to a big lead,” explained Digout. “We were leading 7-0 after two innings. Richard was pitching and he pitched well, but he had come in in relief in the semi-finals that morning [a 12-2 win over the Livingston Dodgers].
“He pitched very well for four or five innings. At 8-4, he was relieved but the new pitcher didn’t do so well. He hit the first batter and walked a couple.”
Eventually, the score was 9-9. Another Monarch pitcher took the mound at the bottom of the seventh. The eighth inning was scoreless, and the top of the ninth saw the Monarchs pull ahead.
“It was Sandy, Richard and I involved in those two runs,” said Digout. “Sandy drove us both in.”
In the bottom of the ninth, DuPage put men in the corners with one out. A pitch hitter was brought in, and he hit a hard one straight to the pitcher who, turning, got the ball to second base. The toss to first was good for the third out of the inning.
“I’m pretty sure it was Leslie on short stop for that double play,” Digout said.
Boudreau said the facilities were unbelievable. The championship was played at JetBlue Park Stadium, the same field where the Red Sox host their spring training. Some of the other fields were also known for hosting MLB teams during spring training.
“All the fields were immaculate – major league quality,” Boudreau said, noting that having the opportunity to play several games in that environment was very nice.
“If you’re going to win, you’re going to play nine games.”
Digout, who helped the Monarchs to bronze medals last year and the year before, was also very complementary about the organization of the event, which ran from November 10-16.