Bulls drop OSBA Championship series 3 Games to 2

October 17, 2011
The Burlington Bulls' reign as OSBA Champions has come to an end after a 2-1 defeat in the deciding game 5 of the OSBA Finals yesterday in Whitby. It was a fitting end to a hard fought series.

In Game 1, the Bulls sent Cam McKnight to the hill against Lars Clay. This one was a pitcher's duel as McKnight allowed only a solitary unearned run in his complete game effort, giving up only 2 hits along the way. However, that single run was all Clarington would need as Lars Clay stymied the Bulls' bats, allowing only 4 hits himself and the Cubs took game 1 by a score of 1-0.

In Game 2, Jon Leyland took the mound, opposed by Steve Butterworth. The Cubs struck early, scoring 2 runs in the first and 1 in the second to take a 3-0 lead. The Bulls had many baserunners in scoring position but could not push them across with a key hit when they needed it. The Bulls would not score until there were 2 out in the 7th inning, where they hit 4 consecutive singles, scoring 2 runs to make the sore 3-2 with the tying run on third base. Unfortunately, Burlington could not summon a 5th straight hit and dropped the 2nd game 3-2, digging a deep hole for themselves in the series. The Bulls' defense was sloppy, committing 9 errors over the 2 games.

The series returned to Burlington for Game 3, with McKnight again facing Clay in a rematch of game 1. The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the 4th, where the Bulls managed to get two runners aboard and cashed one on a Hogan RBI groundout. The Bulls would add some insurance in the 6th on a mammoth homerun from Mike Mousseau, making the score 2-0. McKnight cruised, going the distance, while giving up only 3 hits and striking out 5.

Game 4 saw another pitching rematch, with Leyland opposing Butterworth again. The Bulls got on the board early with a Nathan Tennant 2 run homer in the first, followed by another run scored on a Cubs' error, giving the Bulls a 3-0 lead after 1. The Cubs would get one back in the second, before scoring 3 more in the 3rd to take a 4-3 lead. The Bulls wasted no time, responding in a big way in the bottom of the third, as Lord cashed Hogan on a fielder's choice, and Wasylyk crushed a 2 run double to right field, giving the Bulls a 6-4 lead that they would never relinquish. Burlington would add 6 more runs over the last 3 innings to cruise to a 12-4 win and to tie the series at two games apiece.

With Game 5 postponed due to rain the following day, the series would take a 2 week break before resuming yesterday in Whitby, with McKnight again facing off against Lars Clay. The Bulls scored in the 1st inning after Mousseau singled and reached third on a Tennant double. Hogan cashed Mousseau with an RBI groundout to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead. McKnight pitched well but ran into some trouble in the third after Vittorio singled and stole reached second on a groundout. He would score on a 2 out single to tie the game. The Cubs would score again in the next inning as they had runners on 1st and 3rd with none out. Mike Welbourne ripped a single up the middle through a drawn in Bulls infield to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead. The Bulls were fortunate to get out of the inning without any further damage. Burlington had a runner on third in the 6th but could not cash him in, and also threatened in the 7th with runners on 1st and 2nd and 1 out, but could not push the tying run across. JP Vittorio made an outstanding diving play in short CF to end the game on what would have been a game tying single for the Bulls. McKnight pitched brilliantly again and deserved a better fate than the 2-1 loss he received.

The loss ends a streak of 3 consecutive championships for the Bulls.

Congratulations to the Clarington Cubs on a well-deserved championship that has been a long time coming.