BRANTFORD - St. Marys native Wayne Forman and Brantford Red Sox are incredibly once again the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) champions.
Joe Colameco collected three hits and drove in two runs, including the go-ahead run with a double to key a three-run seventh inning rally, lifting Red Sox to a dramatic 9-7 Game 7 victory over Barrie Baycats to win their record-setting sixth consecutive Dominico Trophy here Monday night.
Brantford won the best-of-seven series 4-3, coming back from a 3-0 series deficit to capture title number six in a row in remarkable fashion. Red Sox needed 10 innings to win Game 4 in Barrie 4-2 to stay alive, and then won three more games to win the series.
The eight-year run that the Red Sox have been on is not only unequalled in IBL history, but is one of the most dominant stretches put together by any team in any league. The only playoff series loss the Red Sox have suffered since 2006 was in Game 7 of the 2007 IBL finals to Toronto Maple Leafs, giving them a 23-1 record in playoff series since their run started.
Brantford won an impressive 95 playoff games during that time, and the latest title is the 15th for the franchise in its 80-year history (1949, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1981, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013).
Lee Delfino, Hyung Cho, Josh McCurdy, Tyler Burnell, Jason Gotwalt, Wayne Forman, Brad Hogeterp and Stefan Strecker were all with the Red Sox when their run began in the 2006 season, and were all on the roster this season.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Baycats, who have been a perennially strong team since joining the league in 2011. Barrie won its only IBL title to date in 2005, and the Baycats have lost in the finals to the Red Sox four of the past five years.
While the Red Sox have been dominant in terms of number of titles, it hasn’t been easy a lot of times, and Monday’s Game 7 win certainly wasn’t either. The game went back-and-forth all night, with Brantford’s three-run seventh finally enough to secure the win.
In addition to Colameco’s good night at the plate, Delfino contributed a pair of hits and three runs scored. Tyler Burnell had two hits and drove in a run for Brantford, while Jeff Hunt had a hit and a pair of RBI.
Scott Thorman added a two-run home run, while Steve Lewis added a hit, a run scored and an RBI. Terrell Alliman and Forman each had a hit and a run scored for the Sox.
Jeff Cowan, Kyle DeGrace and Jordan Castaldo each had a pair of hits for Barrie in the loss, with DeGrace and Castaldo also adding a pair of runs scored.
The game saw an incredible amount of lead changes. Baycats took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning before Red Sox tied the score in the bottom of the second. Brantford registered a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning, before Barrie returned the favour in the top of the fifth, deadlocking the count 2-2.
Red Sox registered the first multi-run inning when they posted three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. Barrie responded immediately, posting three runs of their own in the top of the sixth to once again tie the score 5-5, before Red Sox closed out the inning with a single run to once again regain a one-run advantage.
Baycats went up again 7-6 with a two-run seventh, only to once again surrender three runs in the bottom of the inning to give the Red Sox the 9-7 lead, this time for good.
Lee Delfino earned the title of IBL playoff MVP, registering 18 hits, including six doubles and six home runs with 18 RBI, 13 runs scored and a .290 batting average (18-for-62) in 18 playoff games.
Delfino led all players in both homers and RBI in the IBL post-season.