"It was big boy baseball. If you look at the resume of all of their players with all the D1 (NCAA Division 1) guys and Team Canada guys, while our guys are all local, we're pretty proud for us to take them to extra innings," Tomcats' coach Paul Pettipiece said. "We limited the number of walks and our fielders made the plays. I thought we had a good game."
Mississauga North built a 3-0 lead, scoring two runs in the third inning and one in the fourth inning.
The Tomcats got on the board with Dylan Howard grounding out but scoring Brad Verhoven in their half of the fourth inning.
Riley Garinger made it a one run game with a RBI double, in the fifth inning, followed by the tying run on a wild pitch. Verhoven, who batted two-for-three in the game, gave theTomcats their first lead of the game at 4-3, with a RBI single, scoring Garinger.
The Tigers tied the game in the sixth inning on a sac fly.
In the eighth, with the tie-breaker rule in effect placing runners on first and second to start the inning, a Tigers' sac bunt advanced runners over one base. A wild pitch allowed the go-ahead run to score.
The Tomcats couldn't pull out one more rally, going down one-two-three.
Garinger finished with a RBI double, one walk, and scored a run. Josh Hare had a single and a walk.
Tomcats' starting pitcher 18-year old Jake Haak was forced to leave the game in the third inning after a collision covering first base. A committee of five pitchers completed the game.
"Our guys battled so hard," Pettipiece said. "A couple of guys yesterday had a tough day fielding and they came back today and make outstanding plays. We got a couple of big hits today from those same guys."
Earlier in the day, St. Thomas rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 10-6, to beat the Oshawa Legionaires in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The most dramatic was the seventh inning comeback after Oshawa scored five runs.
St. Thomas was three outs away from a victory after six innings, thanks to Garinger knocking in the go ahead run on a sac fly.
Oshawa quickly made it 7-6 in their favour with a two-run homer, before adding three more runs.
"I don't know if we've scored five runs in an inning all year, so to do that in that situation was a lot of fun to be a part of," said Pettipiece.
The 'Cats responded in their half of the seventh by loading the bases. Nick Brooks beat out a throw to first base, knocking in a run on the play. Garinger followed with a two-run double, making it 10-9. With runners on second and third base, Will Pollard drove the ball up the middle to end the game.
"That's just team work. In that situation they're playing for the boys," said Pettipiece. "You're just battling."
Pollard went three for five versus Oshawa. Howard was two-for-three, including a double, drew a walk and scored twice. Alex Pettipiece was two-for-three, plus a base on balls, while Alex Leim drew passes three times for the 90-foot walk to first base.
The Tomcats finished with a 3-2 record, losing twice to the Tigers, in the final and 8-4 on Saturday.
"It's going to serve all of our guys really well. For some of the guys it's a development year," said Pettipiece, on how the tournament will help the team going forward. "I can't say enough about our pitching. They kept us in every game."
St. Thomas competes the Junior Intercounty league schedule next weekend with games against Kitchener (1-4) and Brantford (5-4).
The Tomcats lead the standings with a 6-2 record, with Welland and Guelph right on their heels
The playoffs will be two one-game semifinals, followed by a best of three game final.
"We're still hoping to win the championship," said coach Pettipiece, about their goal for the league.
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