By Josh Howald
Give the Listowel Legionnaires credit for making things interesting.
But even with five straight wins in a six-day span, the Kincardine Cubs could not be caught.
Kincardine looked like they had all but sealed a Thames Valley Senior Baseball League regular season championship. A win over Listowel last Sunday night would have done it. But the Legionnaires stayed alive with a win over the Cubs, and followed that up with a mini-streak that saw them keep the dream alive with wins over Mitchell, Byron,South London and Oakridge. Oakridge finally halted that run, and saved the Cubs’ grip on first overall.
Listowel and Kincardine finished with identical 12-6 records. However, Kincardine won the season series between the teams 3-1, and therefore win the tiebreaker for first place overall. That means the Cubbies have a date with the South London Giants in the opening round of the playoffs. While the schedule had not been confirmed as of press time, Game 1 of the best-of-three series is likely to be played tonight (Wednesday) at Connaught Park in Kincardine.
Game 2 will probably be tomorrow night (Thursday) in London. If a third game is necessary, it will be played in Kincardine.
Other first round match-ups in the TVSBL see Listowel taking on seventh place St. Thomas, and the 10-8 Astros against the 8-10 London Area Angels. Fourth place Oakridge will be in tough against the fifth place Byron Bulldogs in what should be an entertaining series. All opening round series are to be played this week. The four series winners will move on to the TVSBL A Tournament that begins Sept. 6. Losers will head to the B Tournament, to be played on the same weekend.
But several TVSBL teams, the Cubs included, have bigger fish to fry before getting on that boat.
The Cubs have taken aim at the OBA C Championship tournament on Labour Day weekend in Wyoming. Interestingly enough, the Cubs will open the tourney against their league rivals from Mitchell. Both Kincardine and Mitchell have been close to OBA titles in the past two years, but neither team has one to their name. They will be joined at the OBAs by three Niagara District Baseball League teams – St. Catharines and two clubs from Thorold, as well as Riverside from the Essex County League, Petrolia and Wyoming from the Western Counties League and North Dufferin League’s Midland and Bolton.
Oakridge will make an appearance at the OBA tournament for the first time, ever. The Reds, much improved from last season, will play for an OBA B title in Port Lambton. Listowel, the 2012 B champions, will compete in the OBA A tournament. That tourney includes t h e host Kendal Eagles and Port Hope from the Ontario Senior Baseball Association’s Eastern Division, Welland and Meritton from the Niagara District and the Forest Dragons from the Western Counties League. Other teams include the London Bulls, the Ivy Leafs and Amherstberg. All OBA tournaments are played Labour Day weekend.
In the meantime, The Kincardine Independent will try to confirm dates and times of the Cubs’ opening round set. When we do, it will be posted on our site, www.independent.on.ca