Truro Bearcats open 2017 season Friday night against Dartmouth Moosehead Dry

Billy MacKenzie returns to Bearcats’ lineup, expected to wield a big bat


Published on May 18, 2017

From left, pitcher John Chapman, outfielder Jeff Chisholm and pitcher Matt Mingo are back with the Truro Bearcats as they open their 2017 NSSBL season at home to the defending champion Dartmouth Moosehead Dry Friday night at the TAAC Grounds. Chapman and Mingo will also handle catching duties for the squad.

©TRURO DAILY NEWS

TRURO, N.S. – The Truro Bearcats are starting off the season Friday night against the toughest team in the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball league.

The Bearcats host Dartmouth Moosehead Dry, defending NSSBL champions, who took the title against Truro in the best-of-seven championship last fall.
“They’re a tough opponent but that makes for a good home opener for us; it’s a great way to kick off the season,” said Bearcats outfielder Jeff Chisholm.
Game time Friday night at the TAAC Grounds is 7:30 p.m.
Chisholm says fans will enjoy the chance to watch Dartmouth outfielder Chris Head.
“He’s the best player this league has ever seen,” he said. “He’s quite an outfielder, turned into a great hitter and the fastest man this league has ever seen – although he’s getting to be 30 and I like to tease him he’s lost a step over the years.”
The Bearcats’ lineup is relatively unchanged from last year’s, including the pitching staff.
“We have a lot of depth in the pitching department,” says Chisholm. “We have six or seven pitchers and have confidence they’ll give us quality games. Our ace will be John Chapman, we’ll lean on him a lot.”
Chisholm says recent rainy weather has made it hard to get on the field for outdoor practice.
“It’s been kind of tough, I feel like we’re starting behind the eight ball when it comes to that but John is John – he’ll be ready to go,” said Chisholm.
Nick Best, catcher with the Bearcats last year, isn’t returning. Chisholm says Chapman and Matt Mingo will share the catching duties.
One of the Bearcats’ top hitters last year, Guy Pellerine, has decided to retire. He was third in the league last year with a .349 batting average and was second in RBIs, driving in 28 runs.
“But it looks like we added a pretty big bat,” says Chisholm. “Billy MacKenzie is back – he is an all around good hitter. He was hitting .400 most of the time in this league. Back in the early 2000s, he was the most feared and best hitter in the league. He’s still in good shape, still swings the bat well. He has a lot of pop.”
Chisholm says a few of the younger Bearcats have moved on but the Truro team has a line on a few prospects.
Right now though the team’s focus is on Friday night.
“It’s an exciting time of the year,” Chisholm said. “The sun came out the last couple of days and we’re looking forward to getting back on the field against a good opponent and getting the season kicked off right.”