Shelburne Free Press
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Export date: Sat Sep 22 4:16:13 2018 / +0000 GMT

Mansfield Cubs claim maiden 2018 NDBL Junior title




Written By BRIAN LOCKHART


After a stellar season that saw them lose only two games, the Mansfield Junior Cubs claimed the 2018 North Dufferin Baseball League championship title with an 8-4 win over the Ivy Blues in game three of the final series.


The final game got underway on Thursday, August 23, in Lisle, after game three of the series was postponed due to rain and unplayable conditions on the Ivy home diamond.


The Cubs were leading the series 2-0 after taking an 11-3 win in game one in Mansfield then following up with an 11-0 win in the second game of the best-of-five event.


Game three saw the Cubs take an early 2-0 lead in the second inning.


That lead evaporated in the third inning when the Ivy team tied it up then went ahead for a 4-2 lead.


Things turned around for the Cubs in the six inning when they tied it up on an errant pitch and running took advantage and crossed home plate.


Three more runs placed the Cubs in the lead.


With the sun starting to get low in the horizon the game ended on a fly ball and the umpires called the game when a Mansfield fielder couldn't see the ball due to the fading light.


The final series was a good battle between the two top teams in the League.


The Cubs finished the regular season in first place with a 22-2 record.


The Blues were right behind with a 20-4 record.


“It was fun, it was exciting, it was a good time,” said Cubs catcher Ryan McLean of playing in the final series. “We had to approach the series as if we were down by two. That way we don't let up on the gas pedal. We want to keep accelerating and drive through so we can catch another win. We had the momentum. It's like a train, you've got to keep going and keep fighting,” he said of the turnaround in the final game.


This is the third year in a row the Cubs have gone to the championship final and the second consecutive season the have come out on top. They also won the championship in 2017.


“I think the biggest highlight of our season was getting to the final at the provincials,” said Coach Dave Metz after Thursday's win. “The competition was so good, so many close games, so many comebacks. We have a lot of third year players that are really good. We're at this stage were everybody is going to move on but it gives you a chance were everybody is really at their best. Tonight, the five runs in the sixth inning – all of that was with two outs. That's baseball.”


This was the 37th time the NDBL had a junior championship. The juniors started playing in 1983, with a five year gap from 2000 to 2005 were there was no junior division.

Post date: 2018-08-30 13:46:18
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