ANTIGONISH, N.S. - The Antigonish A’s advanced to the playoff round of the Eastern Canadian U-16 Championships, they hosted Aug. 16 to 19, before dropping a 9-3 decision to Memramcook, N.B.
Wellesley, Ontario, led by tournament most valuable player Dylan Hehn, would go on to beat Memramcook in the final, 7-1, to claim the championship, which was played at the ball field adjacent to Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional School, off of Braemore Drive in Antigonish.
Memramcook’s Simon Melanson was named top pitcher for the tournament while two A’s received all-star status; Dan Pettipas and Luke Gould.
On their way to the playoff round, Antigonish compiled a two-win and three-loss record.
The A’s’ wins came against the Newfoundland entry by the score of 8-2 and the second Nova Scotia team in the event, Eskasoni, by a 13-0 count.
Pettipas was the player of the game (POG) for the A’s versus Newfoundland while Lowell MacDonald picked up the pitching win.
In the Eskasoni game, Gould was the winning pitcher and Graham Delorey was named POG.
The A’s round-robin losses came against Memramcook (4-3), Wellesley (10-8) and a second Ontario entry, Dutton; a 9-0 final.
Gould took the loss versus Dutton with relief from MacDonald, and Donovan Walker, who produced Antigonish’s only hit, was named A’s’ POG.
Pettipas took the loss and was named POG in the close defeat to Memramcook and was also POG and pitcher-of-record in the two-run defeat versus Wellesley where he came in to pitch in relief after starter Brandon Connors was forced from the game, in the third inning, after being hit by a line-drive.
Pettipas and MacDonald pitched in the playoff loss to Memramcook where Pettipas picked up his fourth POG in six games.
“I thought we improved as the weekend went on,” A’s’ head coach Richie Connors said.
“As we talked about pre-tournament, we needed to play error-free ball and the games we did, we were in. We were certainly right in the mix, right up until today, when we played error free ball; we just didn’t today. The 9-3 score is indicative of that.”
Connors said he was very pleased with the event overall and made note of the number of teams in the championship.
“It was great to see six teams here, that’s one of the bigger numbers we’ve had for this U-16 Eastern Canadians in the last eight years,” he said.
“The fact we had six teams playing was awesome, and the quality of competition here was very good.”
With heavy rain washing out Saturday’s schedule, organizers scrambled to get a couple of unscheduled games in late Friday night and were hard at work early Sunday morning to make sure the field was ready and the rest of the games could be played.
“Our parent group was great,” Connors said. “I told them they had to be here for 5 a.m. this morning to get the field ready and there were all kinds of vehicles here before I landed even, so that was great.
“I really want to thank our parents for running a canteen, being the field crew, looking after sponsorship, we had a banquet we’re getting great reviews on … it was a great effort by everyone.”