Labour Day = OBA ball, Ontario champs declared
* Oshawa Legionaires, shown here after winning the Oshawa Dawg Dayz of Summer tournament, won the Ontario Baseball Association minor peewee title , at Jim Lutton Field in Oshawa ….
By Bob Elliott
The mighty Oshawa Legionaires beat the Oakville A’s 11-5 to win the Ontario Baseball Association minor peewee title at Jim Lutton Legion Field in Oshawa on Labour Day weekend.
Derek Steffler and Easton Currie each had three hits, while Brett Dobson, Matthew Robinson and Quin McLane had two apiece.
Legendary arbiter Jim Lutton even called balls and strikes for an early-round game as the holiday weekend crowned championships at every age group across the province.
OBA officials were huddled behind closed doors going over the QuesTec printouts on his calls to see what percentage Lutton strike calls Lutton had made were accurate.
Oakville defeated Waterloo in the semi-final and led 2-1 after two innings and it was 3-3 after three. Back to back RBI singles by Robinson and Dobson in the fourth inning made it a 5-4 game.
Five hits in the sixth — by Braden Babcock, Robinson, Kyle Stevenson, Nathaniel Snider and Currie — made it 11-4 Oshawa. Babcock picked up the win in relief shutting down the A’s bats in the second, third and fourth innings. Snider would come on in relief giving up only one hit and close out the championship game, earning McQuaid Bat Company Player of the Game honours.
Connor Dorey fielded a grounder, stepped on first for the final out and begin the celebrations.
The Ken Babcock coached team out scored their opponents 64-18, playing the Brockville Bunnies way, as Jack Giffin and Brian McRobie taught him.
For Dobson, 12, it was his eighth Ontario title counting lacrosse and baseball.
McLane was 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs in a 12-6 win over the Pickering Red Sox, who defeated Oshawa in the final of the EOBA championship. Steffler and Kyle Butler combined to allow Pickering six hits while striking out six, while McLane was named McQuaid Bat Company Player of the Game after going 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs.
Next Babcock pitched 4 1/3 innings allowing three hits, striking out four in a 14-4 over the Waterloo Tigers. Stevenson closed out the game allowing two hit. Steffler earned Player of the Game honours leading the offense with three hits and two RBIs, while McLane belted a two-run homerun that easily cleared the right field fence. Stevenson continued his hot bat with two hits and 4 RBIs.
The win over Waterloo gave the Legionaires a bye and Oshawa pounded out 15 hits en route to a 15-3 victory over the COBA Champion Oakville A’s. Zachery McQuaid took over for McLane on the mound was credited with the win giving up only two hits in relief. Steffler was 3-for-3 while Babcock, Dobson and McLane all went 2-for-3. Catcher Robinson was named Player of the Game with a three RBIs.
Steffler went five innings on the mound in the next game a 12-4 win over the Hamilton Cardinals and then Stevenson finished up. Currie won the McQuaid Bat Co. Player of the Game going 4-for-4 to move on the final.
Babcock and his assistants John McQuaid, Jamie Baker and Chris Butler coached the team to a 45-9 record.
Registration in Oshawa has increased dramatically during the past four years topping off at slightly over 600 this summer, according to the The Oshawa Express.
When Legion Branch 43 began sponsoring teams in 1949 each team was given $50 and the best arm in the bunch was Ed Broadbent, future leader of the NDP party.
Bantam: The Mississauga North Tigers were edged by the Brampton Royals in the Ontario eliminations and Brampton went on to win the nationals.
This time around the Tigers edged Brampton 6-5 in the sami-final at Bond Park and then bested Riverside 6-3 to win the OBAs at Talbot Park.
Tigers Royce Ando captured MVP honours for the Tigers, while the best pitcher honours went to Riverside’s Riley Enns.
Mississauga North beat the London Badgers 13-7, the Kitchener Panthers 11-9, North Toronto A’s 11-2 and then lost 6-5 to Riverside before eliminating Brampton.
Brampton lost its opener 7-3 to Riverside, then beat the Burlington Bulls 11-0, the Markham Mariners 13-8 and the West Toronto Wildcats 9-1. Riverside edged West Toronto 3-1, lost to Kitchener 8-5 and beat Kitchener 6-2.
Kitchener also knocked off the Chatham Diamonds 11-1, WOBA 4-3 and West Toronto 5-4.
Other games saw West Toronto edged Burlington 6-5 and London 6-5, while North Toronto beat the Whitby Chiefs 5-2 and WOBA 16-6, WOBA edged Markham 7-5, London blanked Chatham 4-0 and Markham nipped Whitby 4-3.
Mississauga North teams also knocked off Brampton to win at minor midget, beat Pickering to win peewee, Oakville to take the minor peewee title, the Windsor Stars to win mosquito.
Minor Mosquito: Another year, another title for the Niagara Falls Falcons. They won their third straight OBA with a 4-1 win over London at Oakes Park.
Dennis Lescombe, tourney MVP, picked up the win, and Willy Jackman was superb in relief.
The Falcons swept their first four games with an 8-4 win over Waterloo in which they turned a triple play, defeated Royal York 13-9 and Pickering 20-2.
Lefty Mason McRae was impressive using his best pitch — strike one — to work three scoreless innings, needing 44 pitches to get the job done in an 11-6 win over London. McRae has not yet committed to a school, although Buffalo State, Niagara University and Queen’s University could be possible destinations, along with Canisius College where his father, Mike McRae runs a successful program.
Owen Diodati and Jackman were the leading hitters.
The Falcons were 50-12-1 losing only two games to Ontario-aged mosquito-aged teams — Barrie and the Mississauga Majors — went undefeated in the Niagara District, won the Niagara Falls and Brampton tourneys while competing in the Western New York Boys of Summer league.
Minor mosquito A: The Richmond Hill Phoenix brought home the silver losing 18-13 to Markham in the final. They played seven games in four days at the 20-team tournament becoming only the second Phoenix team ever to capture the York Simcoe championship and reach the provincial finals in the same season.
The highlight was a marathon win over Peterborough, with the game lasting almost 3 1/2 hours. The Phoenix defeated Toronto, Oshawa, Peterborough, Barrie and Oak Ridge before Markham.
Logan Lindo, Jake Brown, Joshua Martins, Carson Sabo, Ryan Hillsdon, Ben Sitarenios, Hayden Heinrich, Joseph Gervasi, Ethan Macartney, Trey Edelstein and Michael Spataro were instrumental in coach John Lindo’s run.
Major mospuito AA: The Cambridge Cubs beat the host Vaughan Vikings 13-8 with Thomas Deeg gaining the win.
Noah Roberts pitched the opener as the Cubs beat Vaughan 12-4. Next was a 13-3 win over Walker Home Sites with Ryan Price on the mound. Then, came a 13-3 victory over Kitchener as Nick Kehler gained the win and to get to the final, the Cubs edged Mississauga North 5-4 with Matthew Schmidt picking up the victory.
Roberts was the Cubs top hitter with 12 hits and 13 RBIs. Deeg was next with nine hits and nine RBIs, while Trent Wheeler had nine hits and seven RBIs.
Spencer Cunningham contributed seven hits and seven RBIs, as Alex Fullerton had nine hits and RBIs while Kyle Whitelaw had eight hits.
In the field the Cubs had outstanding defensive plays turned in by outfielder Billy Attwooll, Price at first, Fullerton at short, Whitelaw in centre and Wheeler at second,
Mosquito AA: Cobourg beat Guelph 16-7 to win the skitter title.
Coburg began with a 23-3 win over Brampton, defeated Mississaugua South West 12-2, defeated Clarington 10-6, lost to Newmarket 5-0, knocked off Clarington 8-4 and beat Newmarket 7-5 to reach the final.
The team consisted of Ryan Crowley, Harry Sutherland, Caleb Rock, Logan Kelly, Connor Vivian, Wyatt Baitley-Groves, Dryden Minifie, Alexi Filion, Mark Clarey, Dayton Crombie and Connor MacGregor.
Kris Kelly, former Northumberland Whiskey Jack and Ottawa-Nepean Canadians hard-throwing coached the team along with Paul Crowley, Paul Anderson, Todd Denault and Doug Rock.
Senior rookie: Charlie Iriotakis was named tournament MVP as he went 4-for-4 helping the North York Blues beat hometown Kitchener Panthers 12-4 in the final. Ethan Gazer and Joshua Schiavone had key hits in the game. The nearly flawless defense was anchored by second baseman Paul Quilty, shortstop Nikko Khananisho and center fielder Oscar Feschuk.
After losing earlier in the tournament, the Blues and Panthers met again in the finals. The Panthers had dominated the tournament, winning all five of their games by a combined score of 59-13 and since Kitchener had not lost a game, the Blues had to win twice over Kitchener to capture the OBA title while the Panthers only had to win once.
In what would turn out to be the first of two final games, the Panthers went out in front 3-1 in the second inning but the Blues came back and won the game 10-5, setting up a one-game showdown on Labor Day for the title.
Once again, the Panthers took the lead, going out in front 3-0 through two innings but the Blues got an RBI single from Shaylen Jayasekera in the third inning to get on the board and the inning ended with the Panthers up 3-2. The Blues shutdown defense would go on to hold Kitchener to only one run the rest of the way while the Blues put up three runs in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take an 11-4 lead into the seventh. When Kellen singled in a run with two outs and the bases loaded, the Blues clinched the victory by going up by eight runs (rookie ball teams are limited to a maximum of seven runs in an inning), setting off a wild celebration when the winning run crossed home plate.
Getting to the final was a tremendous accomplishment after the Blues lost their third game of the tournament, 16-8 to the Panthers, and then faced elimination games against tough teams from Brampton and Mississauga North. The Blues were tested by teams from Hamilton and Waterloo, who the Blues defeated 11-10 in extra innings.
In winning their second consecutive OBA title, the Blues received valuable contributions from all 13 players on the team, 11 of whom were also on the team that won in 2011.
The Major Rookie OBA championship capped off a great day for North York baseball as the Minor Rookie Blues also won the 2012 OBA on the same diamond in Kitchener hours earlier in an 8-7 win over Riverside (Windsor).
In 2011, the North York Blues AAA Minor Rookie team won the Ontario Baseball Association championship with a dominant performance, going undefeated in six games in the tournament, including an 11-1 win the final over the Wyoming Wranglers.
2012 Provincial Champions and Finalists:
(More details? Email email@example.com .. make sure you slug the category, example: minor bantam B)
Series Champion Finalist
Minor Rookie AAA North York Riverside (Windsor)
Rookie Ball AAA North York Kitchener
Rookie Ball AA St. Catharines Milton
Rookie Ball A Wyoming Guelph
Rookie Ball B Chatham Welland
Rookie Ball C Dorchester Leamington
Rookie Ball D Kingsville Woodslee
Minor Mosquito AAA Brampton North York
Minor Mosquito AA Cobourg Guelph
Minor Mosquito A Markham Richmond Hill
Minor Mosquito B St. Thomas Chatham
Mosquito AAA Mississauga North Windsor Stars
Mosquito AA Cambridge Vaughan
Mosquito A Niagara Falls Eager Beaver (London)
Mosquito B Chatham Cobourg
Mosquito D Corunna St. Marys
Minor Peewee AAA Mississauga North Oakville
Minor Peewee AA Newmarket Chatham
Minor Peewee A Oshawa Oakville
Minor Peewee B Simcoe Dorchester
Peewee AAA Mississauga North Pickering/Ajax
Peewee AA Barrie Simcoe
Peewee A Stratford Hamilton
Peewee B LaSalle Aurora
Peewee C Belle River Leamington
Peewee D Listowel Corunna
Minor Bantam AAA North York Mississauga North
Minor Bantam AA Guelph Burlington
Minor Bantam A Peterborough Hamilton
Minor Bantam B Stratford Chatham
Bantam AAA Mississauga North Riverside (Windsor)
Bantam AA LaSalle Niagara Falls
Bantam A Tecumseh Sudbury
Bantam B Simcoe Port Hope
Bantam C Amherstburg Corunna
Bantam D Listowel Port Dover
Minor Midget AAA Mississauga North Brampton
Minor Midget AA Barrie Walker Homesites
Minor Midget A Ancaster Aurora
Midget AAA West Toronto London Badgers
Midget AA Guelph LaSalle
Midget A Stratford Eager Beaver (London)
Midget B Waterdown St. Thomas
Midget C Belle River Port Dover
Junior A Windsor Selects Tecumseh
Junior B Georgetown Walker Homesites
Junior C Creemore Tillsonburg
Senior AAA Windsor Stars Strathroy
Senior AA Rose City Thorns New Lowell
Senior A Aurora Port Hope
Senior B Listowel Fort Erie
Senior C Harrow Barrie