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Cougars lose a nail-biter in provincial semifinal

TRURO – The host Cobequid Cougars dropped a heart-breaking 4-3 decision in NSSAF High School Baseball Provincial semifinals Saturday to the Central Kings High Gators.

The contest took 10 innings to decide and kept a large partisan crowd on the edge of their seats throughout.

The Cougars were down 3-0 after the third inning, but battled and clawed their back to make it 3-1 after six.

In the bottom of the seventh, they pushed across two runs to tie it. They then loaded the bases, but with the winning run at third and just one out, the Gators pulled off a spectacular double play to get out of the inning.

The two teams battled for three tense extra innings with the Gators scoring the winning run in the top of the 10th. CEC had the tying run aboard in the 10th but could not bring him home.

At the plate, Dawson Briggs had a double and a single for CEC while Justin Ferguson added two singles, and Alessio Eritale contributed a double.

The Cougars had seven hits while their pitching staff held the Gators to just three. Fillippo Labanti started on the mound, with Connor Irwin coming on in the third, Ferguson in the seventh and Briggs called upon in the 10th.

Despite the loss – their only one of the 2016 season – the Cougars finished with an overall record of 14-1 and captured their second consecutive Northumberland Regional title.

The Gators went on to play Glace Bay High Panthers in the championship game Saturday with the Panthers claiming their second straight provincial title, posting a 12-5 win over the Gators.

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