Smart baserunning provided the foundation for Leaside’s slow and steady win to end the 2011 campaign.
Winning 4–0 against South Region rivals Humberside on May 24, coach Eric Stickney is hoping for more than just a 3–2 record to end the school year.
“We’re hoping for more competitive ball,” he said of their next task of OFSAA qualifiers that started May 26, post Huskies win.
Aside from their OFSAA qualifiers and the Citys thereafter, Stickney was charged by the key performances of Nick Mitchell and pitcher Harris Shenstone.
In the first inning, Mitchell would carve the visiting team’s winning path by scoring off a sacrifice by Stephen Edwards. Two innings later Mitchell would smack a single to right field. Systematically he would steal each base, including home to put his Lancers up by two.
“I came to the game with the mindset to be aggressive,” he said. “I had to really jump at the opportunities that I got, so I feel I did that well today.”
Mitchell would get his third hit in as many tries only to lose a bit of his stride in the top of the fifth. On a call argued by Leaside as a balk, Huskies southpaw Jackson McCabe Gray picked off the baserunner at first.
It wasn’t the first time Humberside coach Bob Walton saw disagreements on the field on that day.
Appearing in the second game of a double header, the Huskies won a wild won against Lawrence Park 4–0. The catcher and coach from the Panthers were thrown out for contesting an umpire’s call.
Kafuffle aside, Walton was surprised his team had the durability to play a jam-packed schedule due to a rainy spring.
“We got through a rainout last week, many games at many times,” he said. “We’re lucky we had enough arms to finish games. We put our sixth and seventh guys in pitching today and one guy never pitched before.”
Unfortunately the Huskies lost their mush against the Lancers. Though they were shut out, Jeremy Newton provided the offensive pop to the line-up, batting 1.000 with two stolen bases.
Though Humberside’s Adam Raithby only allowed three runs in four innings and sat down three, Newton admitted there was plenty of work ahead of the Maroon and Grey for the OFSAA qualifiers and Citys.
“We’re a little shaky in some places,” he said. “We definitely need to work on our hitting, sort of getting consistent.”
Smothering the rest of his teammates was Leaside’s Shenstone who allowed three hits, no runs and sat down three in four innings.
But as is the case with a strong South Region, featuring Northern, Malvern and East York at the top, Mitchell serves himself a healthy slice of humble pie.
“The league’s pretty competitive,” he said. “Any team can beat any team on any given day.”