STELLARTON – Last season the Eastern Passage Pirates had the Pictou County Albions’ number.
Twice the Pirates defeated the Albions in finals – first in the Homecoming Tournament and second in the provincial final.
Player-coach Matt Purdy said this weekend they hope to take back their title during the 13th annual Homecoming Tournament. They will open against Eastern Passage at 7:30 p.m.
“Last year it was a little bittersweet,” said Purdy. “They (Eastern Passage) beat us 4-3 in the (Homecoming) final and then we made it to the provincial final and they beat us again.
“I will not be happy if we can’t win the whole thing this weekend.”
The round-robin tournament will feature the Pictou County Cardinals, Halifax Outlaws, Eastern Passage Pirates and the Albions. The two top teams will play in Sunday’s final.
Purdy said this year should be a lot better for a variety of reasons. He said their defence and pitching has improved a significant amount from last season.
“The biggest difference for us this year is our defence,” he said. “We picked up people made for those positions. When we have our top lineup out nobody can touch us defensively. We also have a lot of players that can move around so we can stay fresh.”
Right now the team has a 12-5 record and is two points back of the Noel Road Blue Jays for first place in the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League. Purdy said they’re better off at this point in the season than they were last year, mostly because the young pitchers they have are playing well and they haven’t had the injuries they had last season.
There will be no admission to the tournament, which is the team’s biggest fundraiser of the season. Throughout the weekend they will have volunteers running the canteen as well as a beer tent.
7:30 p.m. Pictou County Albions vs. Eastern Passage
10 a.m. Eastern Passage vs. Pictou County Cardinals
1 p.m. Albions vs. Halifax
3:30 p.m. Albions vs. Cardinals
6 p.m. Eastern Passage vs. Halifax
Noon Cardinals vs. Halifax
3 p.m. Final
*All games played at Albion Field in Stellarton