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Sooners sweep Halifax to advance to NSSBL championship series

Sheldon MacDonald of the Sydney Sooners prepares to deliver a pitch during the second inning of last Friday’s Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League game against the Halifax Pelham Canadians at the Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park in Sydney. MacDonald and the Sooners will host the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry this weekend in Sydney.
Sheldon MacDonald of the Sydney Sooners prepares to deliver a pitch during regular season action in the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League. MacDonald earned the win in the Sooners' 4-2 victory over the Halifax Pelham Canadians at the Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park in Sydney on Saturday. The win gave the Sooners a sweep of the best-of-five series and earned them a place in the league championship series that begins next weekend in Sydney. The Sooners will play either defending-NSSBL champion Dartmouth Moosehead Dry or the Kentville Wildcats. - Jeremy Fraser
SYDNEY, N.S. —

The Sydney Sooners wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Halifax Pelham Canadians to advance to the championship series of the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League.

The Sooners, who sported a league-leading 22-8 record in the regular season, defeated the Canadians 4-2 on Saturday in the friendly home confines of the Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park.

The Sydney-based squad, who lost the 2018 NSSBL championship in seven games to the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry, declared their intentions of returning to the league final early when they pushed across a pair of first inning runs thanks to RBI singles by John Chapman and Jeff Chisholm.

The winning run was scored in the second after the speedy Chris Farrow scampered home from second base on a bobbled infield grounder.

Halifax scored a single run in the third inning but that was negated when a Chisholm sacrifice fly brought home the Sooners’ fourth and final run. The Canadians’ Jake Pelham smacked a solo home run in the eighth inning but that was as close as the visitors would get as Reilly O’Rourke picked up the save by blanking Halifax in the ninth inning.

Starting pitcher Sheldon MacDonald earned the win as he pitched five innings before being relieved by Justin Brewer who tossed three solid innings before he in turn gave way for O’Rourke.

Cam Ritcey, who was relieved by Craig Field in the fifth, was tagged with the loss.

Sydney won the opening two games the previous weekend in Halifax by scores of 14-2 and 8-3.

The Sooners will open the best-of-seven championship series, which will follow a 2-3-2 format, at home next weekend against either defending champion Dartmouth or the Kentville Wildcats. The Dry lead the series 2-1 and can win it tonight (Monday) in Kentville.

Sydney last won the NSBL title in 2017. The Sooners, who have won six league championships, including back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014, will host the 2020 Canadian senior baseball championship tournament.
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