The dream summer continued for the 11U Cardinals with their fourth tournament championship, this time at Peake Fields in Bracebridge. The 14th Annual Muskoka Cup was won by Creemore last weekend; the smallest town, or city, to ever win this tournament.Creemore made a statement with a big win on Friday night under the lights against the Oshawa Legionaires.
Four Creemore pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts and no hits, while the offence scored 11 runs with Hayden Goodfellow-Oster scoring three times and Thomas Weldon driving in three runs. This would be Oshawa’s only loss for the tournament as they would go on to win the consolation final over the Burlington Bulls in extra innings.
Two games were on the schedule Saturday for Creemore. At 9 a.m. the Cardinals faced off with the Beamsville Stingers and came out on top 15-1. Paul Twiss had a two-RBI double, and Dylan Rayburn started rallies in the second and fourth innings with lead-off singles and provided sterling defence in left field with an inning ending catch in the first inning with the bases loaded. Jack Hutchison pitched a shutout inning with two strikeouts to finish the game.
At 2 p.m. the Cardinals had their final pool game against the Collingwood Blue Jays. A win here would put them into the championship bracket for Sunday. The usually strong Creemore offence struggled early against Collingwood and found themselves down 2-0 in the third inning. Pitching would save the Cardinals this game led by Cooper Duits who came out of the bullpen to throw four shutout innings with nine strikeouts, no walks, and no runs.
The semi-final game on Sunday again saw the Cardinals down 2-0 after three innings with the offense struggling against strong pitching from the London West Tincaps. Brayden Foulds would shine as both the offensive and defensive star pitching 4 1/3 innings and slamming a triple, and game-tying home run in the sixth inning. The game looked to be headed to extra innings with the score tied 4-4 with two out in the seventh when Drew Hamilton daringly stole home to win the game as the team erupted on to the field. Keenan Reynolds earned the win on the mound after striking out the last five of six batters.
The championship game would be a meeting of the two best teams in the tournament: The Niagara Falls Falcons with a record of 27-2, and the 28-1 Creemore Cardinals. Reece Fuller had the key RBI in the third inning to put Creemore up 5-1 in a game that would end 5-2. By making use of his new change-up, Evan Wells was able to throw a complete seven-inning game on just 71 pitches and lead the Cardinals to another tournament championship.