Another successful year is coming to an end for Brock Badgers’ baseball as the OUA Championship weekend approaches. The Badgers have been extremely successful when it comes to the win-loss column this season and have captured some individual records along the way. Starting pitcher Justin Ayles now holds the Badgers’ all-time wins record, Phil Owen took over the all-time saves list and Justin Gideon, whose bat has been terrific all season for the Badgers, sits second in all-time triples.
It’s been a team effort all season long; whether it’s with small ball, pitching, or the big bat, they’ve found a way to get things done. But this roster is a about more than just winning, the team is one large family. Chemistry has helped lead the Badgers to a 16-1 record, good enough to finish the season as the number one ranked team. With only one game left on the team’s schedule against Queen’s University (rescheduled game), the Badgers are heading into the OUA Championship with a bye in the first round and a ton of momentum.
The season got off to a terrific start as the Badgers outscored McMaster University 30-1 in the first two games. University of Waterloo gave the Badgers some trouble in their next two games, but the Badgers held on for 7-6 and 4-3 wins, followed by 8-0 and 10-5 wins over York University. Then the first loss of the season hit when the Western Mustangs stepped all over the Badgers, 10-0, but the Badgers bounced right back taking the second game 11-2. Since that loss, the Badgers have gone on to win ten straight games.
This past weekend, the Badgers took on the Laurier Golden Hawks in a battle for first place. The Badgers took game one of the double header 6-1, but the second game was not as easy. The Badgers blew a 5-3 lead, but Dan Nicoletta scored on a base hit to center, as the Badgers held on for a 6-5 win, clinching the first seed in OUA standings. Outside of OUA baseball the Badgers have gone 8-2. The losses came against Mercyhurst and GL Canadians. Even after those losses the Badgers have been able to bounce back, putting themselves into the category as OUA championship favourites.
Along with Ayles leading the pitching staff, the Badgers have also got lots of help from Dylan Perago and Daniel Veres, with only a combined two earned runs have been given up between the three of them. With Owen’s being able to come in and close out the games, the pitching staff has really been able to shut other teams down from start to finish. Offensively, Phil Steer and Gideon have been the one-two duo on top of the lineup that gets things going for the Badgers.
Gideon is leading the team in batting average, while Steer is right up there as well. Scoring has not been an issue either, with Chris Andrei and Ricky Ferri batting behind the two, both leading the way in runs batted in. As the season concludes this weekend, the Badgers hope to continue their winning ways heading into the OUA Championship weekend. The team will get a weekend before heading off to McMaster to try to capture the title, but this group really knows how to stay loose while being away from the game. Although the Baseball program may not compete with the Badgers’ 50 year undefeated football record, it has seen success for multiple years, without seeming to slow down anytime soon. The Badgers record has them on top of the standings, but this team hopes to do even more damage where it counts most, the OUA Championship in Hamilton on Oct. 17-19.