LT Major Mosquitos win OBA "AA" Championship, News (London Tecumsehs Baseball)

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17 Minor Mosquito - LT Major Mosquitos win OBA "AA" Championship
Submitted By Major Mosquito on Monday, September 04, 2017
The London Tecumsehs '06 team traveled to Burlington Ontario to compete in the OBA "AA" Championships this past weekend.  The field was stacked with solid teams from around the Province including the 2 Time defending "A" Champion Niagara Falcons. 

The Tecumsehs started the Tournament off on Friday night against Walker Homesites.  This was a well played team game that featured a complete game shut out by pitcher John Gagne.  The bats were loud as well and the Tecumsehs had won the 1st game (win 48 in a row).

Game 2 was played on Saturday at noon against the Whitby Chiefs with the winner receiving a bye through to the fourth round.  The Tecumsehs came out firing putting up 1 in the 1st - 4 in the 2nd and 5 in the 3rd to put this game out of reach.  The pitching Duo of Kayden Dukic and Nathan Benson held Whitby to 2 runs over 5 innings while Aidan Doyle scored 2 runs and drove in 3 runners while going 3 for 3 at the plate.  The team had secured a bye with a big match up looming at 6pm.

The evening match up was against the Niagara Falcons - the battle of the only 2 undefeated teams left.  Niagara jumped out to a quick 2 to 0 lead.  The Tecumsehs answered back in the 2nd inning putting up a 7 spot.  This turned out to be the difference as the final score was 7 - 6 for the Tecumsehs.  This was a great test for the team and showed the mental toughness and focus of the boys.  Big hits were had by Nathan Benson, Aidan Doyle, Cooper Clark, John Gagne and Alex Metron while 4 pitchers combined for the win with Nolan Bettridge earning the save.  

After the dust had settled on Saturday the field was trimmed down to 4 - Niagara / Brampton / Sarnia and London Tecumsehs who were the only undefeated team left.  This win also marked a huge number for the team - 50 - which was the winning streak that the team was on.  

Sunday morning was a battle of teams that knew each other well - Sarnia vs. Tecumsehs.  The big bats for LT were up for the challenge - Doyle / Clark / Bettridge and Froggett all had big games accounting for 7 of the 11 runs.  The defense was outstanding as well with McElroy leading the infield and Brookes diving and flying around the outfield.  The pitching duo of Benson and Dukic got the job done again keeping the hard hitting Braves at bay.  In the end the Tecumsehs won 11 - 5 and had secured a place in the OBA "AA" finals against Niagara.

The Finals showcased the 2 best teams in Ontario and the fans were in for an exciting match up.  The pitching match up was a great one with Connor "Hollywood" Stefan taking the mound for LT.  Both pitchers were throwing gas as the first inning was a quick one for both teams.  In the bottom of the 2nd inning Alex Metron started things off with a single and eventually scored on a John Gagne hit.  LT was on the board first 1 - 0.  

Stefan continued to dominate the opponent and his offence rewarded him again in the 3rd inning with 2 runs.  Doyle scored on a Clark double - and Clark came in to score on a Dukic single.  LT was up 3 - 0.  Pitching and defense dominated the next few innings until Niagara came up to bat in the top of the 6th inning.  Stefan was approaching pitch count and had to leave the game - 5 innings pitched - 3 hits - 0 walks - 3 K's - what a fantastic start in the biggest game of his baseball career.  Bettridge came into the game inheriting 2 base runners and after the dust had settled the Falcons were on the board - LT 3 - Niagara 1.  

LT then responded with 2 runs of their own.  Bettridge helped his own cause by leading off with a double and Froggett followed with a single.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd Metron delivered his second hit of the day and cashed both runners in.  LT 5 - Niagara 1.

The top of the 7th started out with a quick strikeout of the first batter.  With 1 out the Falcons applied the pressure and the pressure was felt by the LT fielders.  A few errors and misplays later the game was tied 5 - 5 with 2 outs and the go ahead runner on 3rd.  Bryson McElroy was handed the ball to come through - and come through he did.  He struck out the next batter and kept the score knotted at 5.

The Falcons brought in another hard throwing pitcher and both teams once again relied on great pitching and defense as the game went into extra innings.  In the bottom of the 9th Alex Metron lead off the inning with his 3rd hit of the game and the stage was set.  McElroy was shocked to see the "bunt for a hit" sign from coach - but nodded and got into the box.  When he squared around to bunt, the Falcons charged hard and tried to get the out at 1st.  During all of this they forgot to cover 3rd base - and Metron took advantage.  He sprinted to 3rd as the SS tried to get back into position for the tag.  The ball was thrown to 3rd - and got past the player covering the bag.  Metron jumped up and sprinted to home - he slid - game over.  The London Tecumsehs Major Mosquito team had completed their magical season by winning the 2017 OBA "AA" Championship.

This was truly a special team and a season these players and coaches will look back at for years to come.  It started out with a loss in the season opener - and finished 52 straight wins later with the OBA "AA" Championship.  A perfect 25 - 0 in OBA Tournament Play (wins in St. Thomas / LaSalle / London / Ajax / Burlington) and 5 - 0 in LDBA Tournament Play.  This was a special group of players who always came to practice ready to learn and improve.  They created a bond and trusted in their teammates to pick them up when necessary.  They formed friendships and made games, practices and tournaments fun to be at for Coaches, Players and Family alike.  They represented themselves with poise, class and sportsmanship at all times and were complimented by many different coaches over the season.  

A huge Thank You goes out to the Parents and Family of each player on this team.  Your time and commitment to the team was a large part of our success and we couldn't have done it without you.  Also a massive Thank You to the (my) Coaches - Mark Clark, Greg McElroy and Kyle Dukic - countless hours - swings - throws - talks and laughs benefited the boys more than we all know - and the results speak for themselves.

I had the most amazing journey with this team during the 2017 season.  Starting back in January I knew we had something special - but I had no idea how it would all turn out.  I still cannot believe what happened - but I could not be more proud of this group of boys - they gave 100% all year long and grew not only as players but also as people / friends / sons / teammates and men. 

What a ride - and with Cooperstown in the works for next year it should be another season of great LT ball.  I look forward to seeing what this team can be next year.  TEAM.WORK.

Coach Ryan



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