End of season OBA wrap up with Senior Pirates Coach Al BezaireANOTHER OBA SILVER FOR SENIOR PIRATES
The Port Lambton Pirates Senior baseball team’s quest for that elusive provincial title came up just short again this past Labour Day weekend at the OBA Senior B Provincial Championships held in Port Lambton. The Pirates battled all weekend against a very deep 12 team tournament field, eventually falling 9-2 in the championship game to a very strong, well rounded Woodslee Orioles team.
The Pirates opened the weekend on Friday afternoon with a 5-2 win against the Midland Indians. Pirates veteran Brian Reid threw a complete game 5 hitter, allowing 1 earned run, while striking out 8. Brett Miskokomon and Dustin Howlett led the offence with a single and 2 RBIs each. Chris Cowden also tacked on a single and a RBI for the Pirates.
Matt Liberty took the mound for the Pirates in the next game against an always solid Clearview Orioles team. The back and forth affair saw the Pirates down 4-1 heading into the bottom of the 5th until a single by Dustin Howlett, a walk to Kyle Bushey, and a Rich Leach single loaded the bases. Clearview walked Travis Bennett leading to a run to make it a 4-2 ballgame. After a pitching change, Brett Miskokomon welcomed the new pitcher by hitting a monster, no doubt grand slam home run on the first pitch to put the Pirates up 5-4. Clearview was able to scratch a run together a run and tie the game up in the top of the 7th. Travis Bennett led off the bottom half of the inning with a single, advanced to second and was able to score on a pinch-hit single to right field by Dave Smith for the walk off win. Brett Miskokomon starred at the plate with 4 hits and 4 RBIs and Dustin Howlett added 2 hits. Matt Liberty got the win throwing a complete game allowing 2 earned runs while striking out 5.
The 2-0 Pirates moved on to face the 2-0 Harrow Blues. The Pirates offense could not get going while Harrow had no issues, putting the Pirates in a 11-3 hole after 5 innings. The never quit Pirates were able to muster 5 runs in the 7th and get the tying run to the plate where a deep fly ball with 2 out came up just short, saddling the Pirates with 11-8 loss. Yet again on offence the Pirates were led by Brett Miskokomon with 2 mamoth home runs and 4 RBIs,and Dustin Howlett with a single, triple, and an RBI.
The loss set the Pirates up for a rematch with the Clearview Orioles in a win or go home situation on a rainy late Saturday night in Wyoming. This time the Pirates’ offence clicked early as they jumped out to a 5-2 lead after 2 innings. They were able to add runs throughout the game taking a 11-6 lead into the bottom of the 7th. This time it was Clearview’s turn to play come back as they were able to chip away and score 4 times but Pirate’s closer Rich Leach was able to slam the door with a strikeout to strand the tying and winning runs at 3rd and 2nd and hold on for the 11-10 victory. Cory Toms pitched a masterful 6 innings for the Pirates, allowing 3 earned runs while striking out 8. Spencer Dalgety led the Pirates with 2 singles, a double, and 4 RBIs. Mitch Donahue chipped in with a single a 2 RBIs, while Dylan Webster had a double and scored 3 times, and Dave Smith had a single and an RBI.
The win put the Pirates in the semi-finals Sunday against an undefeated Woodslee Orioles coming off a 19-1, 3 inning mercy of the previously undefeated Harrow Blues. In a game which developed into a pitcher’s duel the Pirates were able to scratch a single run across on a Dylan Webster squeeze in the 4th and added another in the 6th on a single by Kyle Bushey to take a 2-0 lead. Woodslee scored one in the 6th and with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th were able score another to tie the game 2-2. The score remained tied all the way until the 13th inning with Kyle Bushey reaching on an error and advancing to second on a Rich leach single, Paul Bezaire singled to left field but Bushey was thrown out at home on a perfect throw trying to score. Adam Rose followed that up with a single center where Rich Leach just beat the throw home to score to up the Pirates up 3-2. Matt Liberty would slam the door shut for the Pirates for the 3-2 win in a 5 hour, 13 inning marathon featuring both teams having runners out at the plate in extra innings. Matt Liberty starred for the Pirates with a pitching performance for the ages, pitching 11 innings in relief, allowing 2 earned runs, while striking out 12 Orioles batters. Dylan Webster led the way for the Pirates with 3 hits, Brett Miskokomon and Kyle Bushey each chipped in two hits each.
With three one loss teams remaining, the Pirates had lady luck on their side as they won the draw with the Welland Chiefs, who had mercied Harrow in the other semi-final, for a bye to the championship game (Woodslee had already received a bye). Welland had to face Woodslee in another semi-final game, in which the Orioles won 12-4.
The championship game was played Monday at VanDamme Park in front of a crowd of approximately 400 people. The Pirates fell behind early 3-0, eventually dropping the final 9-2. Brett Miskokomon once again led the offence with 2 hits and a RBI, and Spencer Dalgety chipping in the other run. The Pirates could not get their offence going stranding 10 runners including the bases loaded twice, nor overcome the clutch hitting and jaw dropping outfield defense of Woodslee.
The Pirates won silver for the 2nd year in a row and for the 4th time since 2009. However, this was the first silver for the Pirates at the OBA Senior B Championships during that run, with the previous medals being won at the OBA C Championships.