Majors swinging big sticks!

Majors' 7th Straight Win Falls Maple Leafs

Roger Cumberbatch

Luck and superstition are an integral part of sports.  Players, coaches, and teams as a unit, prepare the same way before games and do the same rituals everyday, all in an effort to preserve a winning streak.  Whatever it takes to bring luck to themselves and the team that they play for, athletes  have done it. The number 7, is considered by many who believe in placing their faith in particular digits, to be one that brings good karma.  Wearing a jersey with the digit, to repeating something 7 times because you won last doing that same thing, are a couple of examples of the lengths athletes will go to in order to keep a winning streak going. For the London Majors, however, the number is simply how many wins that they have totalled in their last seven games, not a mark that they wish to finish at.  London wanted to win Friday night’s game at Labatt Memorial Park against the Toronto Maple Leafs, in an effort to inch a game behind the 1st place Kitchener Panthers. The Majors, and every other team in the IBL, are only concerned with being 1st. Friday night, under the lights, London swung heavy bats, and made stellar defensive plays, to keep Toronto at bay, and hang on for an 11-8 victory.  Byron Reichstein’s 2 HR, 3 RBI, performance, combined with the Majors’ starting pitcher, Starling Peralta’s steady 7 innings pitched, were able to snuff out any potential comeback ideas being entertained by the Maple Leafs.

Both London’s starter, Starling Peralta, and Toronto’s starter, Marek Deska, each coughed up a run early, in the 1st inning.  One Major difference, was that the Majors run came off a moonshot off of the bat of Byron Reichstein. 1 out of 2 monster blasts by Reichstein Friday.  1-1 was the score after an inning of play.

Except for a defensive highlight of the night, courtesy of a putout by London’s Catcher, Mike Ambrose, who threw out the Maple Leafs’ Connor Lewis attempting to steal 2nd base, not much in the way of action in the 2nd and 3rd innings.  

The 4th inning, is when it felt like July 1st with all of the fireworks from the bats of both teams.  9 hits, and 7 runs combined, proved to be the meat and potatoes of the game, as it is where the Majors took the lead for good.  Toronto touched up London’s Peralta with 3 hits, for 2 runs, making the score 3-1 in their favour. Then, the hit parade was underway by the Majors, who put on an exhibition of hitting, and aggressive base-running, that should be mirrored by the Pros.  Byron Reichstein, opened the festivities for the home side with a 2 run HR, his second homer on the night, giving him 3 RBI. London was roughing up the Maple Leafs’ Deska, spraying hits all over the field, and stealing bases. A meeting by Toronto by the infielders at the mound, had little to no effect.  When the dust settled, Deska surrendered 5 runs in the inning. 6-3, London after 4 innings.

The Maple Leafs made 2 pitching changes in the 5th and 6th innings, and they did not have the desired effect.  The Majors scored 2 in each of the innings, while only giving up 2, through 6 innings, and led 10-5. London reliever Braeden Ferrington, came in to close out the game, but had a little hiccup in the 9th, giving up 3 runs to Toronto, before settling in and earning the win for his squad.  

The Majors win over the Maple Leafs, was indeed their 7th consecutive win, and places them in sole possession of 2nd place in the IBL standings, only a single game behind the league-leading Kitchener Panthers.  London goes on the road for a road trip on Sunday, when they will face the Red Sox in Brantford. The Majors will be in search of their 8th win in a row at the hands of Brantford. After their game against the Red Sox, the Majors will not play again until June 15th, when they return home versus the Burlington Herd.