OWEN SOUND - Stratford Junior Cubs qualified for the Canadian Junior Men’s fastball championships here this past weekend with a third-place finish at the provincial Eliminations.
Wiarton, Napanee, Stratford and Keady Jets will represent Ontario the week of Aug. 5–11 back in Owen Sound at the National championship.
Cubs opened the Elimination tournament Friday by defeating Tavistock Merchants 8–3.
George Armstrong fired a five-hitter to pick up the win. He struck out 10.
Corey Tuffnail led the Cubs’ attack with a double and single, while Trevor Sauder and Chad Foxton both added singles.
In game two, Cubs downed Caledonia 8–5 in a game where they held leads of 6–0 and 8–2, but needed Armstrong to strike out the final two batters in the seventh with the bases loaded to preserve the victory.
Armstrong earned the win, fanning 10 in the process. Tuffnail again led the Stratford offence with a pair of singles. Cody Patterson and Nick Lichti both contributed doubles.
Cubs beat Lagace-Roote
Game 3 saw Cubs advance against last year’s national finalists, Owen Sound Selects, with a berth in the Canadian championship and a third-place finish guaranteed to the winner.
The game featured three former Stratford Memorials facing their old team, led by ace Michael Lagace-Roote.
In the game of the tournament, Cubs’ Armstrong and Selects’ Lagace-Roote battled toe-to-toe through seven scoreless innings, fighting to gain the national berth.
In the top of the eighth, Owen Sound scored to take a 1–0 edge--putting the pressure squarely on the Stratford offence in the bottom half. As has been the case with the Cubs all year long, they never quit and a two-out single from Tuffnail scored the speedy Stratford Cullitons’ Trevor Sauder from second base with the tying run.
After a single by Armstrong moved Tuffnail to second, Jason De Vos smashed the game-winning hit up the middle to score Tuffnail and propel the underdog Cubs to the national championships with a thrilling 2–1 victory.
Armstrong notched the win, allowing only four hits over eight innings. He struck out 10 and hit one batter. Ex-Memorials ace Lagace-Roote took the loss, surrendering seven hits and walking two. He fanned nine.
Tuffnail and Armstrong paced the Cubs attack with a pair of singles each, Sauder with a double and Scott Siragusa chipped in a single.
Game 4 saw the Cubs fall 6–1 in the undefeated game to Wiarton Red Devils.
Sean deGroot took the loss. He gave up eight hits, walked one and struck out two. The Stratford offence came from Jason DeVos with a single and double, and Adam Cronin with a single.
In Game 5, Cubs lost 7–1 to Napanee Express.
Armstrong and deGroot shared the pitching loss. They allowed nine hits, three of which were home runs.
Cody Werner homered for Stratford’s only run. Chad Foxton singled twice, Adam Cronin doubled, Armstrong and Tuffnail both singled.
The Junior Cubs are scheduled to play Tavistock on Wednesday, July 10 at Packham Road at 8:30 p.m.
Pair off to Saskatoon
Both shortstop Cody Werner and pitcher George Armstrong leave July 7 for Saskatoon to compete from July 9 to 14 for Team Ontario in the first-ever Under-21 Men’s International Softball Championships.