The Tillsonburg Otters Rookie Rep team completed their dream
season by winning the OBA ‘C’ championship in Kingsville over Labour Day
The Rookies started their run to the title with a 14-2 mercy win over Dorchester on Friday. On Saturday, they defeated a strong Belle River team 10-3 and a good squad from Uxbrigdge 14-6. The Rookies were supposed to play undefeated Essex Saturday night, however this game was rained out and moved to Sunday morning.
On Sunday morning, the ‘Little Otters’ showed up to play but left their bats in the hotel. Essex snuck out a 4-3 win, forcing Tillsonburg to win the remainder of their games in the double knock-out tournament. In the semi-finals, the little Otters faced a rested Port Lambton team and gritted out a 11-9 win setting up a rematch with undefeated Essex in the final. Being undefeated gave Essex the edge as it meant Tillsonburg would have to defeat Essex twice to win the championship. In the first game, Tillsonburg won 10-7, pulling away for good later in the game after being down early. This win resulted in both teams playing again…the 4th game of the day for both teams. In the deciding game, Tillsonburg started slowly before erupting for 7 runs in the third inning, 3 more in the fourth and 2 more in the fifth. Essex gave their best….but the Otters finished off the game in five innings, winning 13-1.
Although the Rookies managed to score 75 runs over the 7 games, it was the defensive play of the team that stole the show. Diving stabs, barehanded catch and throws, 10 double plays and nearly a 6-4-3 triple play highlighted the weekend. The coaching staff received many compliments from parents and coaches of the other teams regarding the high level of play from the Little Otters defense. It’s true what they say….defense wins championships!
Players on the championship team were Noa Black, Brendan Vandenneucker, Liam Nunn, Nathan Gaitens, Mason Potts, Clarke Lessif, Aiden Klassen, Gavin O’Donnell, Brodie Seitz, Drew Hunter, Kypton Lofthouse and Maddox Lee!
Thanks go out to our sponsor, the Knights of Columbus, for their support…..the parents for their dedication to bringing the boys to their games and practices all season…..the coaching/managerial staff for their time and effort working towards a great season….and most importantly to the players, a truly gifted group of ball players. Congratulations on an amazing season…Southern Counties and OBA champs!!!