The Cubs hold off the Brampton Royals, 6-5, in the final for the Baseball Ontario
Elimination championship, with both teams advancing to Nationals
Monday, August 5, 2019
ST. THOMAS, ON. - A return trip to city hall will certainly be on the schedule.
The Cambridge Cubs earned another visit with their mayor, by capturing the 13U Baseball Ontario Elimination championship, edging the Brampton Royals, 6-5, in the final, Sunday, at the Tarry Complex.
"This is a huge accomplishment for them," Cubs' manager Chad Dube said. "It's incredible. This is an experience they might not realize the impact until much later. This is special. They are friends who have worked to support each other and accomplished this together."
Both teams move on to the 13U National championship, in Repentigny (Montreal), Québec, August 22-25th.
A year ago, the Cubs won the Ontario Baseball Association minor peewee AAA title and were named the City of Cambridge's team of the year.
The Cubs jumped out to a 6-2 lead three innings in to the 13U final. Brampton scored two runs in the sixth inning, one more in the seventh, but stranded the tying run on second base.
Duarte batted three for four for the Cubs, while Cam Dube and Josh Davis, each had a triple and single. Dube's base clearing three bagger gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Caleb McArthur delivered a two-run single that put the Cubs up 4-2, in the second inning. Alex Baril and Brady Reeve's RBI singles made it 6-2, an inning later.
The Royals tied the game in their half of the first. Brampton's Noah Hipolito had a pair of singles, one that punched in the Royals' fifth run and a base on balls.
"At this point of the tournament in round eight, pitching can be thin at times. It was a battle of two teams who hit really well. I feel our pitching and depth really helped tonight," said manager Dube. "We had to call on a few of the guys we hadn't used too much and they stepped up and helped us. Daniel Lee pitched three fantastic innings and Alex Baril came in for the last two innings. They were spectacular. They did a job for us."
Brampton made a valiant effort to come back, attempting their feat of the semifinal, when they rallied from down four runs to defeat the London Badgers.
"The boys compete, compete and compete, dig deep and found a way to win the ball game. It's a character of the entire squad. This group of kids don't give up. They got it in them," Brampton manager Stan Wilson said. "The cards didn't go our way (in the final), but we'll be back strong at Nationals."
Cambridge edged Whitby, 5-4, in the other semifinal, both having a three hour break mid game, due to a passing storm.
Brampton had beat Cambridge, 12-2, in round two on Saturday. Markham gave the Royals their first loss two games later.
"It's been a complete team effort. At some point over this weekend, all the boys have done something to help us win. I'm very proud of the boys" said Wilson, who will make his fourth appearance as a coach at Nationals.
Cambridge recovered from their loss to Brampton, by winning their next five games, including handing the Badgers their first loss.
"That's the character of our team. We're not the biggest team. We're not the most athletic team, but this team really cares about each other. We're been together for a number of years, so they play for each other," Cubs' manager Dube said. "We played Milton (opening game) and we fell behind 8-0 in the second inning. We were able to keep it positive and battle back (for a 13-10 win). From that, we realized even if we fall behind at certain points, we'll just keep ourselves together. We did all weekend and were able to battle back from a couple tough spots."
Dube added every player contributed, "You can't do it without everyone," but highlighted infielder Ryan Brenton, known to teammates as Clutchy, who recently was moved to lead-off their line-up.
"He had the tournament of his life. Five triples, a number of doubles and he certainly hit well over .700 for the tournament and had errorless baseball in the field. Against this calibre of teams that's incredible," said Dube. "He had a breakout year. He was a bubble kid two years ago, but showed his perseverance and dedication to the game and to the team. He worked so hard in the off season and it's really come to fruition this year."
Brampton and Cambridge are very familiar with each other. The teams met twice during the Brampton tournament earlier this year. The Cubs won in pool play, but the Royals took the final. There will be no surprise if the teams meet again at Nationals.