By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
As Garth Brooks used to sing in The Thunder Rolls
Three thirty in the morning
Not a soul insight
The city’s lookin’ like a ghost town
On a moonless summer night
Raindrops on the windshield
There’s a storm moving in
He’s headin’ back from somewhere
That he never should have been
And the thunder rolls
And the thunder rolls
There was plenty of thunder on the August holiday weekend in the province of Ontario.
And a lot of it was provided by the Tecumseh Thunder.
The Thunder, coached by Jamie Kell, repeated as Ontario senior eliminations champions, beating the Mississauga Southwest Twins 4-0 in the final as the two teams met for a third straight season. The Twin won in 2013, and the Thunder have won the last two years. Only the winning team moved on to this year’s nationals in Chatham, N. B.
In Oshawa at the Ontario junior elimination tournament at historic Kinsmen Stadium ... the Tecumseh Thunder, coached by Dave Cooper, beat St. Thomas 4-3 in the final on a walk-off double by Ross Barker. The Juniors now advance to the national tournament, which is set for Aug. 13-17 in Regina, Sask.
At Father Cullen Field, Tecumseh trailed the Windsor Stars 3-0 in the semi-final, scored one in the sixth and three runs in the seventh before beating Mississauga Southwest 4-0 to clinch the title.
Brandon Lindquist took over in relief of starter Taylor Pappin in the third inning and the two combined on a 10-hit shutout.
They pitched out of bases loaded jam in the first inning, left two Twins stranded in the second and there were two aboard in the third when Lindquist fanned out the final two men ending the third-inning threat. Although he had already pitched the day before, Lindquist worked 4 2/3 scoreless.
Of course, it helped that the Thunder made all the plays including third baseman Kevin Mailloux throwing out Troy Black at the plate in the fourth and shortstop Brandon Gignac taking centre fielder Curtis Lambkin relay on a double and throwing a strike to the plate for the final out of the same inning.
Ground balls by Ryan Kerstens scored Dale Kryway twice as the Thunder went up 2-0. Kryway hit a two out, run-scoring single in the fifth and Paul Lamantia a fly ball in the top of the seventh bringing home Mitch Delaney completing the scoring.
The Thunder beat Sarnia 6-0 behind the pitching of Tyler Gauthier in the opener.
Tecumseh beat Pickering 4-0 in round two as Tylr Lawrence picked up the game to move to 2-0.
In round three, the Thunder blew a late lead and lost 7-6 to Mississauga Southwest in the final inning as Jesse Carriere took the loss.
Next in a must-win situation, Tecumseh beat Strathroy 4-1 as Lindquist pitched the win.
Joel Pierce, the ex-pro, then beat the Etobicoke Rangers 6-3 to put Tecumseh into the semi-final.
Mississauga Southwest beat Bolton 5-2, Erindale Cardinals 6-0, Tecumseh, lost 7-2 to the Etobicoke Rangers, beat St. Catharines 10-7 and Etobicoke 6-0 in the semi-final.
Etobicoke went on its run beating Martingrove 9-0, Brampton 13-10 and Strathroy 5-3.
St. Catharines also faced Ilderton with a 17-2 win, beat Windsor Stars 1-0, lost to Strathroy 12-5, beat Brampton 9-0 and Pickering 6-3.
The Windsor Stars beat Burlington 8-0, lost 1-0 to St Catharines, beat East York 1-0, Oakville 10-0, Milton 14-9 and lost to Tecumseh.
East York beat Milton 16-3, lost to Brampton 8-7 and the Stars.
Pickering beat Oakville 5-1 and Newmarket 9-6 before losing to Tecumseh and St. Catharines.
Milton beat the Kingston Ponies 2-0, Martingrove 3-2 and Burlington 11-4 before losing to East York and the Stars.
Newmarket edged Thornhill 2-1, lost 5-2 to Strathroy, beat Erindale 12-0 and lost to Pickering.
Oakville beat Bolton 4-1, Sarnia 5-3, lost to Pickering and the Stars.
Other first round scores saw Brampton beat Kingston 7-2, Strathroy knock off Leaside 14-3 and Erindale edged Windsor AA 5-4, while second-round scores saw Burlington beat Ilderton 7-5, Thornhill eliminate Leaside 5-1, Bolton edged Windsor AA 4-3 and Burlington knock off Thornhill 8-7.
* * *
Tecumseh opened with a 9-2 win over Kitchener as Jeff Watkin, Chris Horwood and Casey Boutette homered.
In game two Matt Van Buskirk pitching a complete game allowing only allowing two runs in a 5-2 win over East York.
Kiefer Quick and Horwood each hitting two homes as Noah Pickering earned the win in a 12-2 over Whitby to put the Thunder at 3-0 the Juniors received a Sunday morning bye.
Johnny Roehler earned the win with a complete game in a 9-1 win over undefeated Vaughan as the field shrunk to five with the Thunder at 4-0.
Tecumseh fell next to the St.Thomas Tomcats 3-2.
Ben Baltrusiunas earned the win in the 11-2 semi-final win against Brampton as Horwood hit his fifth home run of the tourney.
Quick led off the seventh with the score tied 3-3 singling up the middle. Barker then hit a liner to left, the fielder dove and the ball got by Quick scored all the way from first. Shane Courtney earned the win.
The Thunder had 10 home runs, while the pitching staff allowed no more than three runs in a game of the tournament. Now, Tecumseh heads its second Canadian championships in three years. It won gold in 2013.
St. Thomas beat Brampton 8-0, Newmarket 9-4, Oakville 5-3, lost 5-2 to Vaughn, beat Oakville 1-0, edged Tecumseh and beat East York 12-5 before losing to the Thunder.
East York beat Oshawa 11-1, lost to Tecumseh, beat the High Park Braves 10-9, edged Mississauga North 3-2, Vaughan 2-1 and lost to St. Thomas.
Brampton lost to St. Thomas, knocked off North York 3-1, Hamilton 2-0, beat Leaside 7-5, Greater Windsor 1-0 and then lost to Tecumseh.
Greater Windsor lost 9-0 to High Park, beat Pickering 5-0, Kitchener 9-8 and lost 1-0 to Brampton.
Oakville beat Hamilton 12-6, lost to St. Thomas, beat Whitby 7-4 and lost to St. Thomas.
In other games Mississauga North blanked Leaside 4-0, Vaughan edged Burlington 3-2, Newmarket defeated North York, Whitby edged Pickering 5-4, Leaside beat Burlington 8-5, Kitchener edged Oshawa 8-5, Vaughan defeated Mississauga North 6-1, Whitby edged High Park 7-6 and Mississauga North beat Newmarket 3-1.