On Top Of The World; Majors White S.O.B.A. Champions

August 28, 2005

VAUGHAN – The Majors White made sure they got their storybook ending.

Mustering all of their strength and focus for their third game on Sunday and final of the year, a determined Majors White prevailed over the powerhouse Oakville Oaks 6-2 in the Select Ontario Baseball Association tournament final to earn the right to call themselves the S.O.B.A. Champions.

The glorious victory provided the jewel in the crown of the Majors’ White season. They also became the Mississauga Baseball Association Junior champions with a 8-5 victory over the Mississauga North Bengals on August 23rd, the first step in fulfilling the huge expectations heaped upon the potent squad who appeared to have the makings of a dynasty in the earliest stages of the season.

For the Majors White, one championship ring would simply not do.

Right from the beginning, a collective mind set existed on the Majors’ White team, truly believing that a S.O.B.A. championship was the ultimate goal and anything short would be a great disappointment.

The championship win capped off a strong six-game effort over three days for the Majors White in which they outscored opponents 55-32, losing only once to Oakville in a tense 11-8 decision in the semi-final.

The Majors White kicked off their S.O.B.A. campaign on Friday night, beating North Bay in convincing fashion with a 14-4 victory before walloping Ajax 10-0 the following morning. That afternoon, they edged out West Mountain 2-1, dropping the next game Sunday morning before again defeating West Mountain in a wild 15-14 finish to advance to the championship game against Oakville, who entered the finals undefeated.

The final triumph was the first in three games over Oakville for the Majors White this year, who lost to them in a thrilling 11-9 finish on July 24th in the championship game of the Mississauga Majors Tournament before losing to them in the S.O.B.A. semi-final.

In the most pivotal meeting however, it seemed Oakville’s stellar offense had finally met its’ match.

Threatening hitter after threatening hitter, of whom Oakville possessed an embarrassment of riches, could only produce two runs –one earned– off of Majors’ White starter Josh Pileggi, who threw five solid innings while fanning eight, walking none and limiting the potent offense to four hits to earn his most important win of the year.

Pileggi struck out the final four batters he faced and prompted a much-deserved handshake from the home plate umpire after his outing ended.

Cleanup hitter J.P. Anderson gave the Majors White a 2-0 lead in the first by smoking a 1-1 offering off of Oakville starter Ty Chuddy over the left-centerfield for his team-leading seventh home run of the year.

It was the second bomb against Oakville this year for Anderson, who also hit a grand-slam against them on July 24th. It was also his second home run of the tournament, the first a three-run shot against North Bay in the Majors’ White first game on Friday night.

The Majors White jumped ahead 5-1 with a three-run third when Will Davis brought home Simon Lahay from first with his first triple of the season before coming home on a Josh Pileggi ground out to third. J.P. Anderson later scored from third on a Nathan Burgess fly ball to left.

Burgess led off the sixth with a single to center off reliever Mike Clarke, stealing second and third before dashing home on a Kyle Gerrard ground out to third to make it 6-2 for the Majors White.

Ryan McNeil (9-2) worked scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh to notch his first save of the season, allowing a walk and a hit before inducing a two-out ground ball short in the seventh, picked up by Will Davis and tossed to Paul Roth at second base for the Majors’ White most celebrated out of the year.

Ty Chuddy was tagged with loss in the contest after going five innings while giving up five earned runs, four hits and six walks. He hit a batter and struck out one before being relieved in the sixth by Mike Clarke, who tossed the final inning while giving up an earned run, a hit and a walk before striking out two consecutive batters to end the inning.

John Nicholl drove in Dan Thiessen with a single in the second before Mike Clarke brought in Ian Miersch with a double in the fourth to cut Oakville’s deficit to 5-2.

Majors’ White catcher Andrew Dutra gunned down Oakville lead-off hitter Parker Green in the sixth as he attempted to steal third. Green was one of five Oakville base runners in the last two innings who didn’t score.


NOTES:
The Majors White were presented with championship rings and medallions in post-game ceremonies.....Josh Pileggi was awarded a glove for his defensive contributions and J.P. Anderson was given a wood bat for his offensive contributions.....The Oakville Oaks were presented with finalist trophies.....Adam Sawoszczuk walked three times, tying J.P. Anderson’s team record set on August 5th against the Majors Red.....Matt Maclaren drew a walk in the fourth that tied him for the team lead with 23.....The Majors White scored first in five of their six tournament games.....They batted .384 as a team with a pitching staff E.R.A. of 4.30

Majors White Cruise To S.O.B.A. Semi-Finals

August 27, 2005
The Majors White have encountered little difficulty in advancing at the Select Ontario Baseball Association Tournament thus far.

The city champions have reeled off three straight victories against North Bay, Ajax, and West Mountain to earn themselves a spot in the semi-finals where they will take on an Oakville squad who beat them 11-9 on July 24th in the championship final at the Mississauga Majors Tournament.

Friday, August 26th
Majors White - 14

North Bay - 4

Scoring Summary & Box Score

Saturday, August 27th
Majors White - 10

Ajax - 0

Scoring Summary & Box Score

West Mountain - 1

Majors White - 2

Scoring Summary & Box Score

Majors White Thrust Into Media Spotlight

August 2, 2005
The feats of the Majors White could only evade the public eye for so long.

In a Mississauga News Online story written by Owen Jarus, the team had the details and highlights covered for its championship tournament game against Oakville on July 24th.

The article includes background information on both teams regarding their performances in the tournament leading up to the game, as well as quotes from Majors’ White manager Bruce Cooper and Oakville manager Dan Durrer. Additionally, a strong focus is placed upon the superb play of J.P. Anderson along with background details about the Majors’ White cleanup hitter.

The Majors White intend to make sure it is not the last time they catch the attention of the press with their achievements. The team is currently preparing to head full force into the city playoffs that begin on August 13th, following which they will undoubtedly appear in the provincial championships on August 26th with no intention of falling short.

Majors White Impressive In Home Tournament

July 24, 2005
In their home tournament held on July 23rd and 24th, the Majors White finally had a chance to showcase their abilities to teams outside of Mississauga and made sure not to disappoint.

The potent squad reeled off four straight victories to start the tournament, defeating the Twins 8-4, Brampton 4-0, Hamilton 5-1 and Ajax 8-2 before dropping an 11-9 decision to a strong Oakville team in a thrilling championship game.

The tournament saw many spectacular personal performances, as well as several uplifting team achievements from the Majors White, a reflection of their great success in the regular season.

Despite the failure to capture the championship, the showing was impressive nonetheless and a strong indicator of the Majors’ White ability to shine in crucial games, a significant detail as the team looks towards the city playoffs on August 13th and quite possibly the provincial championships (S.O.B.A.’s) afterwards.



Majors’ White Tournament Stats:
J.P. Anderson - 6/14, 4 R, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SB

Nathan Burgess - 9/14, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SB

Will Davis - 3/12, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SB, SF

Andrew Dutra - 5/11, 3 R, HR, 5 RBI, SB, 2 HBP, SF, SH

Kyle Gerrard - 5/12, 3 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SB

Will Inkley - 1/4, RBI, BB

Simon Lahay - 9/16, 7 R, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 4 SB, HBP

Matt Maclaren - 1/8, 2 R, 5 BB

Ryan McNeil - 3/13, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB

Josh Pileggi - 6/14, 4 R, 2B, RBI, SB

Paul Roth - 2/9, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 BB, HBP

Adam Sawoszczuk - 7/15, 4 R, 4 2B, 4 RBI, BB, SB

Majors White Implement "Minimum Innings Pitched" Rule

May 28, 2005
In a shocking new development Saturday, a small panel of Majors White committee members, led by Matt Maclaren, voted in favour of the "Minimum Innings Piched" rule, which requires a starting pitcher to pitch at least three innngs in order to be eligible for a win.

The new rule was immediately put into effect, and consequently stripped Majors White pitcher Ryan McNeil of his second win of the season, which he originally obtained against the Majors Red on May 23rd. Adam Sawoszczuk has had his save for that game taken away, but has been awarded the win.

McNeil has reportedly announced his intention to appeal the decision to the highest courts.

Majors (White) In Fine Form For 2005 Season After 2nd Exhibition Game

May 4, 2005
The Majors (White) weren't about to let a last minute change of venue spoil their opportunity to display their readiness for the 2005 season.

With a near full roster warming up at Mississauga Valleys, the Majors (White) appeared to have everything they needed to begin developing full team chemistry with their final tune-up for the start of the 2005 season. Everything that is, except an opposing team to play against. A late call to manager Bruce Cooper from a Mississauga Majors (Red) coach informing him that his team was ready to play at "Martin Dobkin" had the Majors (White) hopping into their various automobiles and driving towards the new venue.

Once the game got underway, the Majors (White) would quickly establish a strong offense, stringing together several singles and scoring a few runs in the process. The Majors' (White) offense would be consistent throughout the game, as patience at the plate and steady hits gradually built up runs for the team. The offense would be highlighted by an Adam Sawoszczuk bases loaded, two-run double to deep left-center that nearly left the park for a grandslam.

After a shaky defensive performance in their first exhibition game, the Majors (White) committed almost no errors and allowed only one run to cross the plate. Bobby Chapman, Willy Davis, and Nathan Burgess would combine to pitch three innings of near shutout baseball. The game would end on a defensive highlight for the Majors (White) when Kyle Gerrard would make a catch in left field and then gun the ball to second base to double-up a runner.

The Majors (White) now move on to start the 2005 season with their home opener on Sunday, May 8th at 8:30 PM at the Mississauga Valleys. The team hopes to start the season strong with a win against Mississauga North #2 and avoid beginning as they did in 2004 as Cawthra with a 15-9 loss to the Mississauga North Tigers.

Majors (White) Play First Exhibition Game

April 30, 2005
With half their roster present, the Majors (White) got off to quite an offensive start in an exhibition game against the AAA Majors team on Saturday, April 30th at the Mississauga Valleys.

In the 1st inning, Simon Lahay would get things started with a solid single up the middle. He would then be driven home on a Nathan Burgess double to deep left-center. Two batters later, J.P. Anderson would make the score 3-0 by belting a two-run homerun to left field. Ryan McNeil would crush one over the left-center field fence two batters later to make the score 4-0. Although the Majors (White) wouldn't score anymore runs, the fantastic start had the entire team feeling good and even further brightened everybodies outlook on the 2005 season. Another noteworthy offensive contribution would come much later in the game from Kyle Gerrard, who would take a pitch off the knee for the love of his team.

Defensive highlights for the Majors (White) included Ryan McNeil and Andrew Dutra, who each pitched a scoreless inning. Highlights also included some superb catches at 1st base by Matt Maclaren and a sliding catch in right field by Simon Lahay, robbing AAA Major Johnny DeWolfe of a base hit.

Although there were many positives for the Majors (White) to take from the exhibition game, it also highlighted some areas of defence in which the team could improve upon. The Majors (White) hope to do this in their next exhibition game against the Majors (Red) at the Mississauga Valleys on Wednesday, May 4th.