You have heard of game changing plays – and then there’s game ending plays. When they are one in the same — like a dynamic checkmate — you have got some exciting baseball. The Brock Badgers Baseball ended both games of their double header against the Waterloo Warriors on Sept. 14 in the clutch. Once on the defensive side of the ball in Game 1, and once in walk-off fashion to cap off Game 2 as the Badgers improved to 4-0 in the regular season. Including exhibitions, the Badgers are undefeated with a 12 game winning streak.
In Game 1, Brandon Beattie (NOTL, Ont.) took to the hill, with the Warriors’ countering with sophomore hurler Ryne Weppler (Walkerton, Ont.). After the teams traded a run each in the first inning, Beattie settled down to hold the Warriors off the board until his exit after 5.0 innings, scattering three hits with no additional runs against. The Badgers had the sticks working early as they scored a deuce in the second via a Justin Gideon (Pickering, Ont.) two-run double, and they picked up three runs in the third inning.
The early 6-1 lead came under fire late with the Warriors picking up two in the sixth and 3 in the eighth, and came within 270 feet of knotting the game at 7-7 in the ninth. With two outs and the tying run represented at first base, Badgers Catcher Will Nicholson (Burlington, Ont.) called for a pitch- out from closer Phil Owen (Richmond Hill, Ont.). Nicholson read the play perfectly with the Warriors base-runner taking off on a steal attempt, gunning him down to end the game 7-6. Nicholson read this kid’s mind, he probably knew what the guy had for breakfast – he had that big of a jump on the throw to second base.
In Game 2 Badgers veteran side-armer Justin Ayles (Brampton, Ont.) took to the bump, throwing a complete game (7.0 innings) with 7 strike outs while giving up six hits for three runs (none earned). Ayles was able to produce a lot of first pitch strikes to put himself in good position against the batsmen. The Warriors took a 3-1 lead by the end of the third inning, but the Badgers responded with two runs in the fourth to tie the game. The afternoon drew to a close in the bottom of the seventh where Warriors reliever Brandon Semus (Windsor, Ont.) intentionally walked Centre Fielder Ricky Ferri (St. Catharines, Ont.) with runners on second and third to load the bases with no outs. With three ducks on the pond, first baseman Koddi Quick (Leamington, Ont.) slapped a liner over the third baseman’s head for the walk off victory.
Leading the day for the Badgers offense was short stop Phil Steer (Toronto, Ont.), going 4-for-9 with three runs batted in (RBI). Ferri had a solid day at the plate going 3-for-8 with a walk and two RBIs, while Nicholson went 2-for-6 with a walk and three runs scored. The offense spread the love throughout the lineup with only two players not recording a hit on the day. This team looks to stack up very well this year first through ninth in the lineup, with maybe not the power from a few years ago but some very solid fundamental hitting and base- running.
Sept. 13 had the Badgers scheduled for a double-header against the York Lions but was rained with the games to be made up Sept. 16 at 5:00 p.m. at George Taylor Field. The re- scheduling will mean the Badgers will host six games between Sept. 16-21, with additional doubleheaders against contenders Western and Guelph Sept. 20-21 over Homecoming Weekend.