Majors Wrap Up Regular Season with a Win
The last game of the regular season for the Majors was a rematch of the July 19th rainout against Brantford Red Sox. On Saturday night, Majors walked away with a shutout 6-0 victory to enter the playoffs in style.
It was the second game in 48 hours for the Majors but the outcome was different.
"Last time we hit really well but, we didn’t get pitching. Same two guys pitching today, Balkwill and Valentine came in and, what they did better was throw strikes and let the defence take care of it," said manager Roop Chanderdat.
Brandon Valentin subbed in for Miguel Burgos after he downed six batsmen with one strikeout. A hitless game for the Red Sox up until that point, Valentine got hit on his first pitch to Doug Parks but, that did not faze him as he went on to collect 5 strikeouts in two innings.
"Valentine needed two innings and Balkwill needed three innings to qualify for the playoffs," said Chanderdat.
Matt Balkwill went on to earn his first win after three scoreless innings and three strikeouts. His one hit came off Doug Parks in the sixth innings. With that being the last hit from Brantford for the rest of the game, Ismael Penna and John Fitzsimmons clocked an inning each in the 8th and 9th, while Jonathan Thibodeau suited up as catcher. A foul tip would see Doug Parks struck out this time by Pena, who would also go onto collect three RBIs.
The Majors offence did not pick up until the sixth innings. Edison Frias had kept the Majors at bay giving away only the double of Mike Ambrose to the left field. Frias subbed out for Nick Davies who would go onto take the loss. Davies got hit by Myles Miller, Yuki Yasuda, and Carlos Arteaga. A couple of wild pitches and a sacrifice fly off of Ismael Pena would see all three of them score. Cleveland Brownlee and Josh Williams would keep the Major’s foot on the pedal as to wrap up the innings on a high note.
"Since the last Welland game I’ve been feeling like more relaxed," said Williams on how he’s been wrapping up his regular season. "I’ve been doing these drills at the plate with Markus Knecht that help me stay in a flowy motion,’ he said, referring to the Leafs batsman as his mentor.
Yuki Yasuda would go onto score once more in the 8th innings after Eric Lindsay subbed in for Nick Davies.
With only three days left before the playoffs, the Major’s preparation was simple: "Right now it’s just rest and just being ready. Us and Welland, the distance is far, it’s a mid-week game and you know guys have work," said manager Chanderdat.
With the win, the Majors finish their regular season at 6th standings with a perfect 0.500 while the Red Sox are last with 5-31. The Majors first playoffs game will be on Tuesday at Welland.