KENTVILLE, NS - The Kentville senior Wildcat’s home opener was the team’s first loss of the season.
The Wildcats were bested 8-4 by Dartmouth May 30, but after taking wins in the first two away games of the season, this first loss at home is nothing but a small bump in the road to victory for the 2018 season, says the team’s new coach Chris Salsman.
Kentville scored two early runs on separate throwing errors by the Dartmouth catcher - one on a dropped third strike when his throw pulled the first baseman off the bag and the other on a steal of second, when the throw bounced past the bag and went into center field, allowing Kentville to go up 2-0.
Dartmouth responded with a two-run homerun to the left field power alley, and from that point on, it became Dartmouth’s game.
Wesley Harding, a pitcher in his second season with the Wildcats, isn’t too beat up about the loss, considering how good the Dartmouth team is known to be.
“This is definitely one of the top teams in the league,” said Harding.
Harding feels positive about the team for this season compared to last.
“Last season was rough, but it’s a big difference this year though,” said Harding. “The difference in the dynamic this year, compared to last year. There is a lot more confidence, we’re coming to the field now expecting to win, we aren’t surprised if we win. The rosters haven’t really changed significantly, but it’s the confidence level and the whole dynamic this year.”
‘Off to a great start’
Wildcats fan and baseball enthusiast Matt Clairmont has the same sense of positivity for the Wildcats this season.
“The Wildcats have an exciting team this year. They didn’t pull off the win in their opener, but they played a good game. They were strong fundamentally and capitalized on Dartmouth’s mistakes,” said Clairmont.
“I like what I’ve seen so far from the Wildcats. They’ve been playing well for their new head coach and it’s so important to get off to a great start.”
Clairmont feels strongly that the Wildcats will have a good season.
“When I recall some of the best Wildcats teams of recent years, I think of that magic mix of youth and experience, and I think this team has that,” said Clairmont. “They seem to be a bit more aggressive and focused this year. I think that’s a consequence of missing the playoffs the last few seasons, and it’s clear they want to change that. I think they will.”
Salsman, the new head coach for the team, is also feeling positive about the 2018 season.
“It’s going to be a good season,” said Salsman. “We have a good mix of young and returning players and I’m really excited with the dedication we’ve seen so far. It’ll definitely be an exciting new chapter for the franchise.”
If you go: The Wildcats’ next home game is June 6 at 7:30 p.m. against Halifax.