The Brock Badgers baseball team put the cap on a dominant season with an 8-0 shutout over the Waterloo Warriors to win the 2014 OUA Championship played at Bernie Arbour Stadium in Hamilton.
Brock captured the league pennant with a stellar 17 and 1 season record, and then swept through the league championship with three more wins to capture the fourth OUA title in team history.
The Badgers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but blew the game open in the third by scoring seven runs to open an 8-0 advantage. The key blow in the third was a flare into the short outfield by shortstop Phil Steer (Toronto, Ont.) with the bases loaded. Two Warrior errors in the 3rd helped the Badgers build their big lead.
Brock got a terrific performance from their starting pitcher Johnny Hutton (Ancaster,Ont.), who threw six scoreless innings at the Warriors. The only trouble Hutton got into was in the 6th, when Waterloo loaded the bases with nobody out. But the Badgers turned a pretty double play, one of four on the day, and Hutton was able to retire the side. Hutton said getting some early run support made his job much easier. "It was absolutely massive, and I couldn't believe the way those guys (Badgers) battled for at-bats," added the southpaw. "I mean, scoring eight runs by the third inning...what more could you ask for?"
The Badger bullpen trotted out Ryan Beckett (Tiny, Ont.), Jeff Baggaley (Whitby, Ont.), and Daniel Veres (Burlington, Ont.), who kept the Warriors at bay, before ace closer Phil Owen (Richmond Hill, Ont.) came on in the 9th to get the final three outs.
Waterloo starter Brandon Semus (Windsor, Ont.) took the loss, getting the hook in the critical third inning. Waterloo flirted with disaster for most of the game, as Brock stranded 13 base-runners over eight innings.
The OUA Championship Most Valuable Player Award was presented to winning pitcher Johnny Hutton, who said the Badgers were on a mission in 2014.
"There are a bunch of guys on this team graduating this year so we went into every game with the attitude we had to win. A lot of us have been together for three years and that chemistry is so important in a short season. It was a huge factor for us this year."
Waterloo made it to the final with a hard fought 3-0 upset win over the second-seeded Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday night.