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Bearcats remain confident in senior baseball series against Sooners

Truro ace John Chapman will get the ball on Friday in Game 3 of the Bearcats NSSBL semifinal series against the Sydney Sooners.
Truro ace John Chapman will get the ball on Friday in Game 3 of the Bearcats NSSBL semifinal series against the Sydney Sooners.

TRURO, N.S. – When asked if the Truro Bearcats believe they can still win their Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League playoff series against the Sydney Sooners, John Chapman doesn’t hesitate.

“Oh yeah, 100 per cent,” the veteran player-coach replies in a calm, yet confident, tone. “We’ve played close games with them all year. We’re right there; we just need that one key play or one key hit.”

The Bearcats face an uphill climb in the best-of-five series and need to win three games in Sydney this weekend to advance to their third straight NSSBL championship series.

Game 3 in the best-of-five affair is Friday at Susan McEachern Memorial Ball Park, while Games 4 and 5 – if necessary – are Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m.

“Take it inning by inning, play by play and pick away,” Chapman said of his team’s approach. “Look at what’s in front of us instead of the big picture.”

The Bearcats dug themselves a hole by losing the first two games last weekend in Truro. Sydney won the opener 8-5 and rolled to a 13-2 triumph in Game 2.

Chapman and a few of his teammates got some mid-week hacks in at the TAAC Grounds batting cage on Wednesday, and said the mood among players remains positive.

“Everybody’s ready for Friday to make this happen.

“We’ve seen teams come back from that before and it’s happened to us; it’s part of the game. The last win is always the hardest and we’re going to make it tough on them.

“Baseball’s a funny game, anything can happen.”

During Game 2, bad blood boiled between the clubs, resulting in ejections for Truro’s Jeff Chisholm and Sydney’s Mike Tobin. The Bearcats had announced they were playing the game under protest, however, they opted not to pursue it.

“We’ve been heated with them most of the year,” Chapman said. “It’s just a good battle between the two of us. We both want to win and you get heated in the moment and stuff happens.”

Chapman will start on the hill for the Bearcats tonight and is pumped for the opportunity to help get his team back in the series.

“I’ve been in this situation before, it’s nothing new, there’s no nerves, it’s about getting out there and doing my job.”

In the other semifinal, the Halifax Pelham Canadians edged the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry 3-2 on Wednesday to tie that series at one game apiece. Dartmouth won the opener 10-0 last Sunday. Game 3 was played Thursday night at Beazley Field.

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