WATERLOO, Ont.- The Golden Hawks felt a heart felt loss as they witnessed the Western Mustangs walk away as the OUA Champions at their Bechtel Park home diamond in Waterloo. The Mustangs beat the Golden Hawks in game one of the series by a final score of 6-0, and went on to win game two 3-1 taking the series and the championship.
“I thought we had a really good shot coming into this game,” said third year Mike Kennedy (Harrow, Ont.). “Especially coming back to our home park; we’ve had a pretty good run here this season.”
Mustang starting pitcher and MVP of the game, Andrew Bergman led his team to the victory, while Rookie of the Year Andrew Greenberg (Richmond Hill, Ont.) held his own on the mound for Laurier.
Western earned their first run of the game early in the first inning as a result of a wild pitch. The run would come back to haunt them going 1-0 into the bottom of the ninth inning.
A rally was started when Ryan Panas (Etobicoke, Ont.) reached base on an error by Western’s first baseman. Brian MacDonald (Markham, Ont.) was then walked, and both runners went on to advance on a passed ball. Another walk saw Chris Pittaway (Paris, Ont.) load the bases.
Carlos Cabrero was soon brought in for the Mustangs to close the game with one out. In a pivotal play, Panas was picked off third base for the second out.
“To identify that he was a little bit too far off was a pretty smart play by their captain and third base man,” said Ballantyne. “It was our mistake and they capitalized on it.”
The Mustangs did capitalize on it, but not before the Golden Hawks gave them a good showing.
Scott Mahn (Kitchener, Ont.) walked to first base to yet again load the bases. Kennedy was brought in as a pinch hitter and did exactly that, earning an RBI single.
“I thought it gave us pretty good momentum tying the game up,” said Kennedy. “I thought we could’ve ended it that inning.” The Hawks couldn’t manage to bring in any more runs though, and the game went into extra innings tied at one.
The tenth inning saw Grame Price score the game winning RBIs, bringing in Kyle Harris and Bruce Craine to score for a 3-1 final.
“I’m obviously disappointed,” said head coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE. “But I think we have a lot to be proud of; we’ve made it further than any other team we’ve ever had.”
“The crowd support and school spirit that we saw today was phenomenal,” he added. “We have to show our thanks and appreciation for that.”