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Midget AA provincial champs off to Atlantics


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By Tina Comeau

THE VANGUARD

www.thevanguard

 

Local baseball coach Aaron Sweeney can’t recall the last time there was a midget AA team playing in the Yarmouth and Area Minor Baseball Association. But given the success of this year’s team he certainly hopes to see a team at this level for years to come.

The Yarmouth Midget AA Gateways won the provincial championship in Amherst over the Aug. 24-25 weekend.

Over the Labour Day weekend the team will be competing at Atlantics in Napan, New Brunswick, near Miramichi.

The Gateways are being joined at Atlantics by the provincial champions from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoudland and Labrador, along with the host team.

The midget AA team advanced to Atlantics after winning four of its five games at provincials last weekend.

The team defeated the Dartmouth Arrows 7-6 in its first game. Yarmouth’s Ty Duffus was game MVP. The team’s next game was a 9-2 victory over the Humber Park Hawks. That team is from the Cole Harbour area. Brad Berry was game MVP for the Gateways.

The Gateways then played the Amherst Athletics but lost 7-4. Amherst was the only team of the five others at provincials that the Gateways had not played during the summer league season.

“We ended up, after the round-robin, with a 2-1 record. There was a four-way tie with a 2-1 record and we ended up in second place out of that,” says Sweeney. “So from there we ended up playing Shelburne in the semifinal, which was a really good game.”

He says it was a tight match-up.

“For the longest time it was back and forth, then we took a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning and ended up getting two more runs in the top of the seventh before they came back with two of their own in the bottom of the seventh,” Sweeney says.

Yarmouth was able to hang on for the 5-4 win and Berry was again named game MVP. With the victory, the Gateways advanced to the provincial championship game, where they once again faced Dartmouth.

“We got off to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back, winning 7-2 to become the provincial champion,” says Sweeney.

The Gateways’ Byron Mullen was named the top pitcher of provincials and Brad Berry was named the top hitter of the tournament.

The midget AA Gateways team has 12 players on the roster, and draws its players from Yarmouth and Shelburne counties, and also Weymouth. While the age level of midget AA is 16 to 18, Sweeney says much of the team is 16 years old. But while a young team, he says, much of the team has played together through the years.

From the start of the league season, the team had its sights set on provincials. While you play your league games, Sweeney says, the major focus was always on what the team’s performance would be at provincials.

“We had a plan in force and knew what we had to work on. We even had a couple of practices with some of the (intermediate AAA) Gateway players. We had played the Tusket Oldtimers in exhibition games and we played about 18 games throughout the summer across the province,” he says. “We also played in a tournament in Dartmouth, where we finished second behind a team that ended up getting bumped up to AAA and we had actually beaten them once in that tournament.”

Still, the Gateways knew there were things they needed to work on if they were going to be successful at provincials.

“I’m really proud of the kids because they did extremely well. We told them what they needed to improve on in order to win and they went out and did it. You don’t always see that, sometimes it is just lip service, but they took to heart what they needed to work on and they did it and they impressed everybody there,” Sweeney says. “They didn’t take the easy route and because of that they would have had everyone saying at provincials, ‘You know what, that’s the best team that’s here this weekend.’”

 

 

 

By Tina Comeau

THE VANGUARD

www.thevanguard

 

Local baseball coach Aaron Sweeney can’t recall the last time there was a midget AA team playing in the Yarmouth and Area Minor Baseball Association. But given the success of this year’s team he certainly hopes to see a team at this level for years to come.

The Yarmouth Midget AA Gateways won the provincial championship in Amherst over the Aug. 24-25 weekend.

Over the Labour Day weekend the team will be competing at Atlantics in Napan, New Brunswick, near Miramichi.

The Gateways are being joined at Atlantics by the provincial champions from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoudland and Labrador, along with the host team.

The midget AA team advanced to Atlantics after winning four of its five games at provincials last weekend.

The team defeated the Dartmouth Arrows 7-6 in its first game. Yarmouth’s Ty Duffus was game MVP. The team’s next game was a 9-2 victory over the Humber Park Hawks. That team is from the Cole Harbour area. Brad Berry was game MVP for the Gateways.

The Gateways then played the Amherst Athletics but lost 7-4. Amherst was the only team of the five others at provincials that the Gateways had not played during the summer league season.

“We ended up, after the round-robin, with a 2-1 record. There was a four-way tie with a 2-1 record and we ended up in second place out of that,” says Sweeney. “So from there we ended up playing Shelburne in the semifinal, which was a really good game.”

He says it was a tight match-up.

“For the longest time it was back and forth, then we took a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning and ended up getting two more runs in the top of the seventh before they came back with two of their own in the bottom of the seventh,” Sweeney says.

Yarmouth was able to hang on for the 5-4 win and Berry was again named game MVP. With the victory, the Gateways advanced to the provincial championship game, where they once again faced Dartmouth.

“We got off to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never looked back, winning 7-2 to become the provincial champion,” says Sweeney.

The Gateways’ Byron Mullen was named the top pitcher of provincials and Brad Berry was named the top hitter of the tournament.

The midget AA Gateways team has 12 players on the roster, and draws its players from Yarmouth and Shelburne counties, and also Weymouth. While the age level of midget AA is 16 to 18, Sweeney says much of the team is 16 years old. But while a young team, he says, much of the team has played together through the years.

From the start of the league season, the team had its sights set on provincials. While you play your league games, Sweeney says, the major focus was always on what the team’s performance would be at provincials.

“We had a plan in force and knew what we had to work on. We even had a couple of practices with some of the (intermediate AAA) Gateway players. We had played the Tusket Oldtimers in exhibition games and we played about 18 games throughout the summer across the province,” he says. “We also played in a tournament in Dartmouth, where we finished second behind a team that ended up getting bumped up to AAA and we had actually beaten them once in that tournament.”

Still, the Gateways knew there were things they needed to work on if they were going to be successful at provincials.

“I’m really proud of the kids because they did extremely well. We told them what they needed to improve on in order to win and they went out and did it. You don’t always see that, sometimes it is just lip service, but they took to heart what they needed to work on and they did it and they impressed everybody there,” Sweeney says. “They didn’t take the easy route and because of that they would have had everyone saying at provincials, ‘You know what, that’s the best team that’s here this weekend.’”

 

 

 

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