By Tyler Milton
ETOBICOKE, Ont: On an overcast afternoon, Humber (15-5, 1st OCAA) was at home Saturday to take on the visiting Durham Lords.
Durham (11-7, 3rd OCAA) came into the matchup looking to win the season series with Humber and secure at least third place in the OCAA. Two close contests, both under two hours in length, would see Humber split the doubleheader with Durham, dropping game one 2-1 but bouncing back to win a thriller 4-3 in walk-off fashion.
Durham 2 Humber 1
Looking to extend their season-high win streak of eight games, head coach Denny Berni turned to his ace Steven Hough. Hough was looking to bounce back from a subpar performance against Seneca a week ago, and that he did.
From first pitch, to last pitch, Hough battled and worked quickly on the mound to keep his defence engaged behind him. In this outing, Hough would only allow two runs (one earned) on two hits, two walks, and punching out four in his seven innings of work. Unfortunately, a costly error in the seventh would plate the go-ahead run, and ultimately saddle Hough with his first loss of the 2017 campaign.
Offensively, Humber was relatively quiet as they scattered seven hits over the seven innings of play. Ty Martin would be the only Hawk to pick up multiple hits in the game. He also registered the only RBI for Humber. Left-hander Brodie Harkness from Durham kept the Hawks' offence on their toes, striking out eight Hawks in his complete game effort.
Humber 4 Durham 3
After another solid performance on the bump by Steven Hough in game one, Humber was looking to bounce back to split the season series with Durham, entrusted with those duties was Dylan Perego.
Perego was looking to improve on his previous performance against George Brown where he went four innings, allowing nine hits and two runs. In this outing, Pereo would work quickly, scattering seven hits over his six innings of work and limiting the Lords' offence to two runs, while picking up the no-decision.
In the seventh, the Hawks passed the ball onto right-hander Matt Stoddart looking to lock down his second save of the season. Stoddart would strikeout the first batter he faced before a single by Lords shortstop Brian Wowk would net Durham the baserunner they were looking for. After a fielder's choice pushed Wowk to second base, slugger Logan Stewart stepped up to the dish and promptly doubled down the right field line, past first baseman Max Elofson to knot the game up at three. Stoddart would pick up the win in the bottom half of the seventh, his third of the season.
After putting up one run in game one, the Hawks' bats needed a better effort in game two. The first four innings were quiet offensively as Humber could only accumulate one hit and three walks off Durham starter Logan Stewart.
In the fifth and sixth innings Humber would plate three runs to take a 3-2 lead into the seventh. After Durham plated the tying run, it was up to the Hawks to put together a plan offensively to walk-off the Lords. Leadoff man Liam Sutherland would get the Hawks started in a hurry, lining a double that one hopped the 375-ft sign in left centre. Andrew Thomson would single, to put runners at the corners for Humber's big bat Justin Marra to play hero and send the Hawks and their fans home happy. Marra would hit the ball back up the middle and plate Sutherland to ensure the Hawks 4-3 victory over the Lords.
- 15 wins in the regular season is a program record for the Hawks.
- Keegan Murphy finishes the regular season with 24 RBIs
- Hawks finish 8-2 at home this season
- Humber pitchers finish the season with an ERA sub three, at 2.97.
Starting next Friday, Humber is in Tecumseh, Ont., to play in the OCAA Championships hosted by St. Clair College. The games are being played at Bert Lacasse Park, and the championship will occur on Friday October 20 and Saturday October 21 with the Sunday being reserved as a rain day. For tournament details and schedule, visit the OCAA website http://ocaa.com/championships/base/2017-18/index