Article: Junior A's COBA Championship
Article submitted by Head Coach Rich Griffin ~
On Sunday at Clarkson Park, the Oakville Junior A's defeated Burlington Bulls 11-5 to capture a second COBA championship in the past three years. What made this weekend sweep so unusual is that the A's had just nine available players for each of their four victories. After beating Mississauga North 8-2 on Saturday, the A's then beat the Tigers-2 in consecutive games, 4-1 and 10-0, later the same day to advance to the finals vs. the Bulls, who were forced to defeat Oakville twice to win the COBA title. Once again, there were just nine active players. Greg Barbuto was slated to start vs. the Bulls, but the knuckle on his right hand was swollen. Ben Donnell stepped up, describing his arm as feeling “mint” despite 68 pitches the day before. He worked two shutout innings, then hit a wall. With everyone on the field, nobody could warm up. Donnell worked three and finished the game at first base, unable to throw to a base, if needed. Trailing 5-1, the sole graduating A's player, first-baseman Blake Donaldson took over and pitched two shutout frames, despite forearm tightness. The A's took a 7-5 lead in the fourth as Donaldson ripped a two-run single to left, then handed the ball to Barbuto who overcame knuckle issues to grind out two shutout innings. Donaldson moved to second base and ended up stepping on the bag for the final out in his final game. Oh, he was the winning pitcher. Catcher Troy LaCoste, Donaldson, shortstop Robbie Cant and centre fielder Vic Christiansen were the only players in their usual positions for the four wins. Pitchers Austin Gerow, Tyler Rymal and Barbuto all pitched and played positions. Gerow slammed his first Junior home run. Also in the weekend player mix were Daniel Ohorodnyk, Kyle Carey, Luke Whitehouse and Matt Scanzano. Not available for COBAs, but huge contributors to a first-place 18-3 regular-season record were Ryan Kosmynka, Mitch Over, Cam Cook, Danny Roderick, Alex Fulton and Alex DeVos.
This article has been viewed 2281 times.