The Major Rookie Peterborough Tigers are AAA Ontario Champions! The Tigers capped off their season by beating the 2017 Champion, North York Blues 7-6 in eight innings on Sunday to capture the title.
The Tigers started the double knock-out Ontario Championship Tournament with a 6-5 win against Hamilton on Friday afternoon. Strong defensive play at second base by Noah Stanley stalled multiple Hamilton rallies. Lucas Cavanagh made consecutive outs at the plate on throws from Brett Crowley and Beau Marshall early in the game, but Cole Cavanagh stole the show laying his body on the line to preserve the victory in the late innings at first base. Cole Cavanagh was named game MVP.
Next up was Riverside, a power hitting ball club who came out flying. Riverside scored 4 runs in the 1st inning, but the Tigers bats came back roaring and took a 9-6 lead to the 6th inning. However, the lead could not be held as Riverside tied the game in the top of the 7th, setting the stage for the Tigers first dramatic win of the weekend. Brett Crowley delivered the game winning hit down the first base line to score Garrett Jones and move the Tigers to 2-0. Crowley was named game MVP.
Peterborough took its 2-0 record into game 3 against Guelph Saturday afternoon. The Tigers played a complete game winning in convincing fashion by a score of 12-0. Lincoln Rose hit a home run, Thomas Dalliday had two hits and made 3 defensive gems in right field. Dalliday was named MVP. This win left Peterborough and North York as the only 3-0 teams remaining in the tournament and setup the first of 3 games between the teams on the weekend.
The Saturday night battle between Peterborough and North York was a heavyweight slug fest. North York threatened in the 1st with 2 on and 1 out, but great defense by Tyler Crawford at third base stopped the threat. In the 2nd, North York loaded the bases with none out. Ayden Turner made a catch in left field and threw hard to the plate to prevent the tag up. Then, Noah Stanley fielded a ground ball at second base, tagged the runner and threw low to first base where Cole Cavanagh scooped the ball for a double play, ending the inning. The energy sparked the bats and pushed the Tigers to a 3-1 lead heading in the 5th. But North York had a push of their own and took a 6-3 lead in the top half of the inning. The Tigers stormed right back to tie the game after 5. Beau Marshall made several diving plays at short stop in one of the most dominating defensive performances of the year and setup Noah Stanley with 2 out and a Marshall at second in the 6th. Stanley delivered a rocket line drive over a leaping short stop to score Marshall and take a lead that would not be relinquished. Marshall was named MVP. The win gave Peterborough a bye to Sunday’s semi-final.
In the semi, Peterborough faced Halton Hills (the 2017 AA Provincial Champions). Halton Hills pressed in the top of the 1st, but Jack Hatton’s over the shoulder catch limited the damage to just one run. In the bottom half, the Tigers exploded for 7 runs. Hits by Crawford, Marshall, Crowley, Stanley, Rose, Jack Philips, Hatton, Lucas Cavanagh, Turner and Dalliday were too much for the defense that inning. The Tigers cruised to an 11-3 victory. Turner was game MVP for his multi-hit effort.
After beating Halton Hills only 2 teams remained. Peterborough would face North York in the Final. Since Peterborough was still undefeated, they had to be beaten twice. In Game 1 of the Final, North York’s defense shut down the Tigers offense and earned a 4-1 victory. Stanley was named game MVP for his overall strong play. The Tigers were now down to a one game showdown with the 2017 AAA Ontario Champions.
The game began with incredible defense by both teams. Hatton made a diving catch in the 2nd inning to save a run, but North York answered with strong outfield play of their own, stopping the Peterborough attack through two innings. In the 3rd, the Tigers broke out, scoring 3 runs. A double by Philips, hits by Lucas Cavanagh, Turner, Dalliday, Jones and Marshall did the damage. However, North York chipped away and shrunk the lead to 3-2 heading to the bottom of the 7th. The first out of the inning was made at third base by Crawford who stabbed a hard line drive. With one out, North York tripled down the right field line and was able to cash the tying run. In the bottom of the 7th, the Tigers threated to win the game. Marshall at second, Cole Cavanagh at first, Stanley at the plate, 2 out. Stanley hit a deep fly over the left fielder’s head, but a diving catch by the left center fielder took the game to extra innings.
In the top of the 8th, North York came out aggressive at the plate and on the bases. They scored 3 runs to take a 6-3 lead to the bottom of the inning. It looked as though scoring 3 to tie would be too much when the first batter of the inning for Peterborough grounded out. But, Hatton and Philips delivered back-to-back doubles, cutting the score to 6-4. Lucas Cavanagh hit an infield single and Turner delivered a hit, moving Philips to third, but Cavanagh was forced out at second base, putting Peterborough down to their final out and Thomas Dalliday at the plate. Dalliday ripped a ball through the infield to score Philips and set the table for Garrett Jones. 2 out, men at first and second, 6-5 North York. Jones took the first pitch he liked and slashed it over the third base bag, down into the corner. Turner scored, Dalliday to third and Jones in to second with a stand up double. The game was tied at 6. The winning run was at third and the hero was standing at the plate in the form of Tyler Crawford. Do you believe in miracles? Crawford smashed a ball by a sprawling third baseman, Dalliday scored, Peterborough are AAA Ontario Champions. Crawford was MVP. They scored 4 in the 8th!
The win meant so much to this group of players, parents and coaches who battled for each other all season long with one goal in mind. The Tigers want to thank Ricky’s All Day Grill, Berardi Brothers Plumbing and Peterborough Kia for their support of Tigers Baseball in the 2018 season.
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