NAPANEE – Murray Patterson and his Stratford Cubs have qualified for the Canadian Junior men’s fastball championships.
The nationals are Aug. 8-11 in Irma, Alberta.
Here this past weekend, Cubs finished second overall in the 11-team, double-knockout OASA Elimination tournament.
Stratford met Napanee Express, the undefeated host team, in Sunday’s final.
Cubs scored six runs in the first inning, but then hung on for an 8-7 victory after Napanee pushed across two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh.
It forced a second and deciding game. In the winner-take-all affair, the Express scored four times in the first inning and two more in the second en route to a 6-0 win.
“We kind of ran out of steam in the second game,” coach Patterson said.
In addition to Napanee and Stratford, third-place Owen Sound also qualifies for the Canadians in Alberta. Fourth-place Tavistock doesn’t qualify.
Cubs opened the weekend with a 3-1 victory over St. Marys Steelworkers.
After losing their second start, 5-1 to Owen Sound, Cubs began their long road back with an 8-0 romp over Newbury (near Chatham).
A 5-1 Stratford win over Tavistock guaranteed Cubs at least third place and a berth in the nationals. They then stayed on the diamond for a rematch with Owen Sound.
Trailing 4-3, Stratford scored a run in the top of the seventh to tie it and force extra innings. After a scoreless eighth, Cubs scored three runs in the ninth to win it 7-4 and gain a berth in the final against Napanee.