Minor Peewee A OBA Provincial Champions!, News, Minor PeeWee, Comp, 2017 (Oakridge Baseball)

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Minor Peewee A OBA Provincial Champions!
Submitted By Korey Richardson on Thursday, September 7, 2017
It was a long time in the making, but the talented group of '05 Tincaps finally notched their belt by winning their first OBA provincial championship this past Labour Day weekend.

In their 5th OBA tournament (6th for a couple of smurfs!), the boys were finally able to pull it all together after a year focused on new attitudes and determination.  At the initial team meeting at the start of the season we said we wanted to come out putting the 'team' first, parking selfishness, and focusing on positive team chemistry.  We coined this philosophy the "Tao of the Tincaps".

In a year that saw us lose only 3 games on Canadian soil for the entire season, we could tell we had a chance for something special.  And the boys came to play on Labour Day weekend!

Game #1 had us facing the always-tough Cambridge Cubs team.  Nerves may have been a factor on opening day, as we made an unusually high number of fielding errors for being such a sound defensive team.  But on this day our pitching came through, and we did enough offensively to come away with the 10-3 win.  On to Saturday......

Game #2 saw us match-up against last year's opening round OBA opponent, the Kanata Cubs.  Again we started off slowly, committing three errors in the first inning that led to Kanata being up 2-0 after half an inning.  But our boys showed resolve, and put up a three-spot in the bottom of the first to take a 3-2 lead after one.  The game continued to be a back and forth affair, with Kanata tying things up at 5 in the top of the sixth.  That setup the dramatics for the bottom of the seventh - as Nate led off with a walk after an 8-pitch battle at the plate.  He then stole second, and went to third on passed ball as Richie was at bat.  The Cubs then brought in their outfielders and defense, as they knew they had to cut down the run at the plate with nobody out.  Richie then hit a hot-shot line-drive right at the pitcher that he instinctively caught while in self-preservation mode!  1 out.  Then it was E's turn, and he proceeded to walk on four straight pitches.  On his way to first E caught the defense sleeping, and without hesitation ran immediately to second - negating any opportunity for a double play situation.  This brought up Blueberry.  After taking a first pitch strike, Smurf #2 hit a hot shot off the glove of the drawn in short-stop that got through the 5/6 hole and drove in the game-winning walk-off run to earn the Tincaps the Round #3 bye!  An excellent baseball game!

Game #3 after the bye saw us playing our LDBA counterparts, the London Tecumsehs.  We'd had tough games in the LDBA playoff against these guys, beating them by identical 5-4 scores both times - the last was an extra-inning comeback win for the League Championship.  On this day our boys were in game-mode from the outset, and took advantage of the tired and depleted pitching staff of our opponent.  We played flawless defense, committing no errors on this day.  Our non-stop bench cheering rattled the Tecumsehs, enabling our boys to jump out to a quick lead, rolling to an 8-2 win in the battle of the undefeated teams. On to Sunday morning!

The match-up draw had us playing the Peterborough Tigers in the Game #4 semi-final.  They were a very sound team, who threw two left-handed pitchers at us in an attempt to shake our boys.  This proved to be another tight game, with Peterborough jumping out to a 1-0 lead after 1 inning, and then 2-0 after 2 1/2 innings.  We answered with 1 run in the bottom of the 3rd when Cooper singled, driving in Richie - cutting the deficit to 2-1 after 3.  Then in the bottom of the 5th we tied things up in the most unusual way - a dropped third pitch strikeout where Peterborough couldn't get Sanders at first, and Richie came in all the way from second on the play, narrowly getting under the tag and spiking the catcher in the toe at the same time - but GAME TIED!  

2017_OBA_Richie_Sliding_Home_Spiked_Catcher.JPG

Not lost in all of this was the great game being pitched by our staff of Camden, Donkey, and Hammer - keeping us in this game with solid defense behind them.

Cue the bottom of the 7th inning dramatics once again!  With one out in the bottom of 7, Richie got on with a single to the left side.  This was followed up by a walk to O-Dawg.  With Cooper at bat, Richie and O-Dawg pulled off the double steal, putting Richie at third with only one out - 75 feet away from the win.  Unfortunately Cooper flied out to short right field, and Richie was unable to tag up on the play.  So with 2 outs, Camden came to the plate with his chance to win it.  On the first pitch Camden hit a towering fly ball to left field, and it looked like extra-innings were imminent.  But the ball got caught up in the jet stream, and the swirling winds in the outfield were wreaking havoc on the left fielder.  He looked as though he was still going to make the play, but as the ball came down it clunked off of his glove and hit the grass - NO CATCH!  Richie scored, sending the Tincaps to the finals and Peterborough out of the tournament.  In a classy move, the rest of the Peterborough team ran out to left field in support of their distraught left fielder - who felt terrible for dropping a very difficult catch.  Another dramatic game in the books, and only one win away from the Championship.

The Finals had the Tincaps playing the Sarnia Braves, who had also walked-off the London Tecumsehs in the bottom of the 7th in the other semi-final.  Sarnia would have to knock us off 2 times to get the Championship from our hands.  And on this day the Tincaps would have no part of it.  After jumping out to a 6-0 lead after 1 inning, it was never in doubt.  With more perfect defense in the finals (0 errors), and strong pitching from Nate who had a complete-game 4 hit effort, the Tincaps rolled to a 12-2 victory.  The MPW A OBA Championship was OURS!

It was the perfect end to a perfect season.

Finalist in St Thomas Tournament (12 teams) - lost 7-5 to Cambidge #1 (Won AA OBA's)
Winner of Badgers Tournament (8 teams) - beat Stratford 3-1 in the final (B OBA Finalists)
Cooperstown All Star Village Experience - once in a lifetime!
Winner of LDBA League Playoffs (6 teams) - beat London Tecumsehs 5-4 in 8 innings (A OBA Semi-finalist)
Winner MPW A OBA Provincial Championship (12 teams) - beat Sarnia 12-2 in the final

Time to build another shelf in the garage for all of this hardware.  Congratulations team - you earned this!

2017_OBA_Champs1.JPG
Good looking Coaching staff (except for Steve)
2017_OBA_Coaches_Pic.JPG

Team Pep Talk Prior to Game
Team_Meeting_-_OBAs.JPG
Championship Winning Run!
2017_OBA_Logan_Safe.JPG

OBA Winning Run Video
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