In the Friday night game, the Jays took on their rivals to the north, the Newmarket Hawks in a game that lasted over 3 hours. The Jays were down early, but the offense exploded in the middle innings to secure a 17-11 victory. A tight strike zone caused both teams to throw an unusually high number of pitches and use a lot of pitchers, putting them at a disadvantage for the rest of the tournament.
In the next game on Saturday morning, the Jays preserved arms and couldn’t muster anything up on offense, falling to the formidable Barrie Baycats. With one loss in the books, the Jays had to beat the Orangeville Bengals Saturday afternoon to stay alive.
With little rest between games in the exhausting heat, the Jays and Bengals traded leads, with the home team Bengals clinging to a one run lead heading into the final inning. In their final at bat, the Jays got on base with a hit-by-pitch, sandwiched by two strikeouts. After a steal of second and down to their final out, the Jay’s cashed the tying run with a double to right field to tie the game. The Jay’s ace entered the game to strike out the side in the bottom of the 7th, sending the game into extra innings, where runners were placed on 1st and 2nd to start the inning. Thriving on the pressure, the Jays exploded for the maximum 4 runs in their top half of the 8th without recording an out. After an error loaded the bases for the Bengals in the bottom of the 8th, the Jays’ ace hurler once again struck out the side to secure the hard-fought victory, setting up a matchup with rival Bradford.
Pending the outcome of a concurrent game between 3-0 Barrie and 2-1 Newmarket, the winner of the AKBA-Bradford game would clinch a spot in the OBAs should Barrie prevail. If Newmarket were to win, the winner would be part of a three-way tie at 3-1, with the threat of another game looming.
The Jays once again got off to a slow start against Bradford, mustering only 3 runs through the first 5 innings, while Bradford applied consistent pressure and scored 9 runs. After getting a couple of runs back in the 6th to narrow the lead to 9-5, Bradford scored 3 more to extend the lead to 7 runs heading into the final inning. With the near certainty of elimination staring them in the face, the Jays’ resilience and character shone brightest, with the offense exploding once again to record the maximum 8 runs, while recording just a single out. With a 1-run lead and the adrenaline pumping, the Jays other ace took the mound and retired the side on just 9 pitches to secure the victory for the comeback kids!
All attention now shifted to the Barrie-Newmarket game still in progress. Newmarket had managed an 8-0 lead going into the 5th, but Barrie clawed all the way back and had tied the game in the bottom of the 7th, with bases loaded and 1 out. With all of the Jays watching closely, Barrie scored the winning run to secure a place in the OBAs for themselves and the Jays! A truly unbelievable sequence of events over a 30-minute span!
The boys have had quite a season, with a tournament win, 2 finals and one quarter-final showing in their four tournaments this season. We’re very proud of Alton Amiti, Arlo Angeloni, Liam Brosseau, Riley Charbonneau, Reid Gervais, Mattheus Gurunluoglu, Evan Kapernekas, Jack Kelson, Dominic Orlando, Cameron Russo, Vincent Scarpino and Carson Shum!
Hard work pays off. Keep it up Jays and good luck at OBAs!