Finding a dynasty in CIS sports isn’t easy, as teams will often have their great years and then their down years. But, the Brock baseball team is as close as you’re likely to get. Year after year, this team finds ways to be one of the best in OUA baseball.
It starts with head coach Jeff Lounsbury and his coaching staff doing a wonderful job finding the best recruits to fill their holes every year and bringing the best out of their players. This year, the baseball team got off to a 0-2 start after a couple error-filled games versus Guelph. Since then the team has gone on an 11 game win streak, and every game a different player have stepped up. Pitching has really found its groove, the hitting has scored in bunches and the defence has really cleaned things up.
The Badgers are now tied with Guelph for the best record in the league (tiebreaker going to Guelph). They have become the second best offense in the league and have the best earned run average and fielding percentage in the league.
It’s guaranteed the Badgers will make the playoffs again this year, as they have mathematically clinched. Last year, they went all the way and became OUA Champions. Justin Gideon was named OUA player of the year, and as a team the Badgers proved for the second time in five years that they were on top.
It’s tough to find a team that “comes together” (yes, I stole that from the Blue Jays) as much as the Badgers do. The team is constantly on their feet when teammates are up for bats and their constant talk throughout the game from the bench is always a strong suit for good teams.
This past weekend, the Badgers beat Waterloo 9-4 before being rained out in the second game. Rookie Justin Byckowski hit a grand-slam to open the game wide open for the Badgers as he picked up Dylan Perego, who gave up three runs over five innings.
On Sunday the Badgers welcomed McMaster to George Taylor Field. They would win game one in convincing fashion with a final score of 12-4. Starter Ryan Beckett would lead the way with a strong six innings, allowing only one run and striking out seven.
In game two, the Badgers would see McMaster take a 1-0 lead. It was minimum damage as the first four hitters in the fourth inning reached. The first two reached on poor defensive plays by the Badgers, then a tough call loaded the bases before Jeff Baggaley hit the fourth batter. The Badgers then got a groundball to second and got the runners out at home and helping themselves get out of the jam.
This would fire up the Badger team as they came back in the bottom half loading the bases themselves. They scored one, while a tough call to send the second runner ended the Badger threat. Then in the seventh, Brock made another tough call sending a runner on a short fly ball, leading to an inning ending double-play.
In the eighth, number nine hitter Quinton Twohey would lead off with his third hit of the day. Ricky Ferri would later drive him in for a walk-off 2-1 win for the Badgers.
In the upcoming week, the Badgers will play their two make-up games versus York University and their one make-up game versus Waterloo. They’ll finish the season on October 9 at home versus Toronto with games beginning at 3:00 p.m., as they prepare for another strong playoff push.