The Tillsonburg Otters Underhill bantam rep baseball team travelled to Leamington on Labour Day weekend. Underhill's started their OBA quest off with a loss to the Wyoming Wranglers. It was a close ball game that was tied in the sixth inning but a late three-run rally gave Wyoming the lead.
Tillsonburg managed to get back to within one run and had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, but a failed squeeze bunt and a ground out dashed their hopes for a comeback.
Landon Partlo led the way offensively going 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBIs.
Now needing to win the rest of their remaining games, Tillsonburg came out firing on all cylinders versus a big team from Waterdown. Tillsonburg won the game 11- 2 behind five innings of no hit pitching from Riley Balazs and some mop up work by Jayden King. Leading offensively were Derek Toth and Dylan Holman.
In Tillsonburg’s next game Jayden King remained on the mound and threw a gem. Holding off Delaware’s big hitters. Tillsonburg beat Deleware 9-2. Leading the offensive charge was Kenny Coyle, Josiah Van Gurp and Mathew Smithson.
There were three teams remaining, so Tillsonburg had to flip to see who would play the undefeated Listowel in the Saturday night game. Tillsonburg called on Nathan Holman, Dylan’s younger brother, to do the honours and Nathan didn’t disappoint. Nate called heads, and heads it was, giving Tillsonburg a bye into the finals and some much needed rest.
Listowel defeated Wyoming on Saturday night so Tillsonburg would face off with Listowel in the finals, facing the challenge of defeating Listowel twice, since they were undefeated.
In Game 1, Tillsonburg won a very competitive defensive beauty. First basemen Jayden King threw out the potential tying run at home plate to catcher Logan Partlo to end the game. Derek Toth pitched six innings of shutout baseball. Riley Balazs came in for the save in an nerve racking final inning.
Ethyn Brown picked up a huge RBI on a squeeze bunt for the Otters. Logan Savoy led the way going 3 for 3 at the plate.
In Game 2 Tillsonburg stormed out to a 4-0 lead within the first three innings and never looked back, finishing the OBA championships with a convincing 6-2 victory.
Centre fielder Derek Toth had the defensive play of the game killing a Listowel rally when he threw out the Listowel runner trying to score at home plate. Logan Partlo held on to the ball, and doing so the momentum quickly turned back to the Otters.
Bynden Lenehan pitched six innings allowing only one run and keeping Listowel off balance the whole game. Dylan Holman came in to close the door in the final inning getting a pop up to second baseman Landon Partlo for the final out.
Leading hitters in the finals were Landon and Logan Partlo going 4 for 5 with three walks between them and Riley Balazs 2 for 3 with a base on balls.
Coach Derek Partlo was very proud of this group, who finally won the “big game” after two previous finalist and three semifinals in previous OBA tournaments in their young careers.
Coach Partlo acknowledged Pitching and Third Base coach Ryan Balazs and First Base coach Pat Lenehan for their instrumental part in the success of the team, "not just this year, but over multiple seasons."