The Brock baseball team advanced to the Ontario University Athletic (OUA) final after sweeping the Western Mustangs on Sunday.After three days of rain delays the Badgers finally hosted the Mustangs on Sunday and left Western staggering back to London after beating them 7-1 and 11-7 in a double-header.
The series began with strong pitching from Mustangs starter Ben Regan and Brock’s Stefan Strecker. The pitching duel continued into the fourth where Brock’s Matt Pickett doubled off the left field fence. Andrew Sorochan advanced Pickett to third and Ryan Kerins brought Pickett home on an RBI sacrifice fly.
In the fifth inning, Brock added two more runs putting them up 3-0 as Pickett came up with a clutch single with the bases loaded. Jared McCord and Raul Borjas registered runs for the Badgers off of Pickett’s single.
In the sixth, the Badgers added four more runs, giving them a 7-0 lead. The offensive outburst was made possible by Aaron Pitts’ double, Matt Barrett’s RBI single and Dan Baribeau was walked with the bases loaded. Pickett stepped to the plate and drove in Borjas with an RBI single.
McCord finished the game by going 3-4 with three stolen bases and two runs, Pickett continued to be an offensive threat as he went 2-3 with 3 RBI.
Strecker was outstanding on the mound for the Badgers as he kept the Mustangs off balance the entire game and only gave up four hits. The win improves Strecker’s record to 4-0 in OUA play.
The Badgers looked to continue their strong play in the second game but fell behind 5-0 after three innings of play. With a birth in the OUA final on the line the Badgers showed why they may have the most devastating offense in the OUA by getting five runs in the fourth inning, two in the fifth and four in the eighth on the way to a come-from-behind 11-7 victory over the Mustangs.
Devin Cooper started the game for the Badgers and was hit hard for the third game in a row. Copper was 0-2 in OUA play this year and gave up five runs on eight hits in just four innings of play.
Similar to game one, the Badgers’ offense came alive in the middle innings. In game two, it was in the fourth inning that Brock put five runs on the board with two out. With clutch hitting from Pickett, Matt Stezycki and Pitts and Badgers’ five runs tied the game in the fifth inning.
Western quickly regained the lead in the fifth as Badger relief pitcher Derek King was roughed up for two runs on three hits. In the home half of the fifth Brock responded with two more runs of their own as Borjas’ RBI single to bring in McCord brought the Badgers within one. With Brock trailing 7-6 Chris Coughlin stepped to the plate and hit an RBI single to right field. Borjas scored on the play and the game was tied at seven.
In the bottom of the eighth Stezycki came to the plate in a scenario that dreams are made of. With two out and the bases loaded Stezycki hit a grand slam to seal an 11-7 victory for Brock and a trip to the OUA finals.
Brock will now play either York or Toronto in the OUA final this weekend. If York defeats Toronto the Badgers will host the OUA final if Toronto wins they will take to the road in search for a birth in their third consecutive national championship tournament.