Crushers lose 5-3, need a Saturday win to keep season alive
ANTIGONISH – The Amherst Ramblers will head home with a chance to put the Pictou County Crushers out of the Maritime Hockey League playoffs.
STELLARTON – After losing last year’s provincial semifinal the fire was lit – the Pictou County Albions knew they wanted to reclaim their championship title.
Prior to last season the group won three consecutive intermediate AAA baseball championships. They’ve also won five of the last seven provincial titles.
“This year we’re going back with a vengeance to take our title back,” said player-coach Matt Purdy. “I was a bitter loss because it was so close and could’ve gone either way. We liked the team that beat us, but it was the first time someone outside of our league won provincials (Eastern Passage), so we want to take that back.”
So far this season the Albions are off to a rough start, losing both games of their doubleheader with the Noel Road Blue Jays, 8-2 and 1-0. Purdy said with field conditions at Albion Field in Stellarton they were only out once before last weekend, so their focus was just to get out playing.
“We really weren’t expecting much or worrying too much about the results,” he said. “It was just good to get out there and get some hacks in. Towards the middle of June is when we start to play to our potential.”
This week the team was able to get out on the field for practice, where their focus was on fundamentals.
“It was just good to finally be out on the field,” said Purdy. “That’s the big thing. We were able to take some fly balls and get some swings in.”
This weekend the team is home for their first doubleheader of the season. The Hantsport Shamrocks and Albions will play at 1 and 3 p.m. at Albion Field on Sunday afternoon. Although it’s early Purdy expects it to be a good head-to-head matchup as Hantsport has historically been their biggest rival.
“We always have great games against Hantsport and are always fighting it out at provincials, so we expect to have some good games this weekend.”