Sports Other Sports

Micksburg Twins down Kars Aces to claim Greater Ottawa Men’s Fastball League championship

Jamie Bramburger

By Jamie Bramburger, Special to The Daily Observer

MICKSBURG – The Micksburg Twins are back on top of the Greater Ottawa Men’s Fastball League. The Twins won their first championship in three years, by edging the Kars Aces 3-2 on Thursday night in front of a large hometown crowd at the Micksburg Ball Park.

Twins captain Jamey Mick called it a great feeling to be champions again after losing in the league final the past two seasons.

“We have a good mix of young and older players and everybody came to play tonight,” said Mick as he was doused in Gatorade in a post-game celebration with his teammates.

It was Kars that opened the scoring in the game in their first at bat of the evening. Brad Pender reached on an infield single, stole second and advanced to third base when the catcher’s throw sailed into centre field. Pender crossed the plate when Cory Morrison hit a rope to centre field for a double, giving the Aces a 1-0 lead after a half inning.

The Twins answered back in the bottom of the first with a two-out rally. Joran Graham walked and was driven home on a moon shot home run by Cory Costello who smacked a high fastball, driving it over the left centre-field fence to give the Twins a 2-1 advantage.

The Aces tied the game at 2 in the top of the third, but it could have been a much bigger inning for Kars. Ian King led off the inning with a walk, but he was cut down at home plate when he tried to score on a triple by Kristian Knapp. Knapp scored a batter later on a sacrifice fly to centre field by Pender.

In the fifth inning, Twins shortstop Andrew McIntyre took control of the game in both the field and at the plate. In the top of the inning he made a sterling defensive play when he snared a ground ball deep in the hole and fired a strike to first base to get an out. He then sparked the Micksburg offence with an RBI single, scoring Quinton Rook who had walked and stole second to get into scoring position. That run proved to be all that Micksburg would need.

With Joran Graham tiring on the mound, the Twins turned to veteran pitcher Cory Costello in the sixth inning. Costello shut the door, sitting down all six batters he faced in the final two innings of the game which ended on a fly ball by Will Dunk to centre-fielder Rook.

Graham picked up the win, striking out 10 batters in his five innings of work. Brad Porter suffered the loss, despite a strong performance that included 12 strikeouts. Costello was credited with a save.

Micksburg was a perfect 4 and 0 in the double knockout round-robin championship tournament. Kars advanced to the final by beating Quyon last weekend, but needed to defeat Micksburg twice to win the championship.

The Twins had home field advantage throughout the entire playoff tournament as a result of finishing first in the regular season standings.