Leaside’s Minor Peewee AA team stared down one of the top aces from Cambridge and played upstart at the 2014 provincial championships on Aug. 31 in Windsor.
The troupe, who were mercied by their opponents at a tournament in July, bounced Cambridge 7-3.
But the way they did it, head coach Eric Stickney revealed, could be perceived as slightly unorthodox.
“In the third inning we bunted six times to bring in four runs: we did bunt-steal-bunt-steal-bunt-steal, and it was amazing,” he said, while chatting on the phone at Originals in Leaside. “We actually ended up winning that game 7-3, and they were definitely considered one of the favourites of the tournament.”
The path to provincial gold was not easy-breezy, as the team squeaked a couple of close wins against Brampton (7-5), and Richmond Hill (8-6) and also suffered an 8-7 loss to Barrie.
Then came what Stickney called “a disaster.”
Up 7-1 against Barrie, the team had what he refers to as “a meltdown” in the sixth and lost 8-7.
“It was terrible,” he said. “The team was pretty down.”
But they pulled up their socks for their all-important match against Royal York, the Toronto champions, smoking them 12-1 to knock them out of the tournament.
“We were sort of pumped up for that game because they beat us for the finals in the cities,” he said. “It was sort of like they kind of forgot about the loss in the morning and the bad game we had in the afternoon.”
A 10-0 win over city rivals North Toronto, and a coin-toss win that earned them a bye to the finals against Cambridge transpired next.
As for what helped en route to the upset of their Waterloo-region opponents, Stickney attributed it to strong pitching and consistent hitting.
Chris Bayley, Jr., Max Merovitz, Wil Nenadovic and Ben Khan all came through as starters on the mound.
When it came to the bats, Jack McMillan, Sam Brown and Khan, helping out his own cause, came through.
“The three of them were the quarterbacks of the offence all weekend,” Stickney said.
Remaining members of the championship team include Ethan Harris, Adam Cohan, Dyllan Scot, Erich Kirschner, Noah Limpert and Aidan Shepard.
The bench bosses who helped Stickney were Brad Limpert, Chris Bayley Sr., Mark Nenadovic, Aftab Khan, Alan McMillan, Ron Kirschner and Steve Brown.
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