LONDON, Ont. – The Western Mustangs hoisted the Jason Guindon Trophy as OUA Baseball Champions on Tuesday night at Labatt Park, defeating the Brock Badgers 9-4.
"Awesome," said Western head coach Mike Lumley. "It was exciting, it was intense, it was everything that you would want emotionally in a game of this magnitude.
"All day we're playing three games, our first game was… mentally not good. I think everything else after that though, we came back and responded against Toronto, put up a lot of runs, and just carried it right into this game."
The Mustangs knocked off the defending OUA Champions to claim their first title since 2009 and the fifth in program history. It was the second game of the day between the two teams after Brock defeated Western by a 10-2 score to advance to the final. Western then earned their spot in the gold medal game with a seven inning 13-3 victory over Toronto.
Western pitcher Owen Boon was named the Championship MVP after throwing seven innings of one-run baseball, striking out nine with only five hits and and five walks. Along with his stellar performance in the gold medal game, Boon helped Western to a 4-3 win over Guelph to start the tournament, allowing only two earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out nine and going all nine innings.
"It's fantastic, there honestly couldn't have been a better way to win this," said Boon. "After four years, winning at home, the MVP is nice, but winning is the best thing ever. I can't imagine winning it anywhere else with anybody but these guys."
With neither team able to pick up a run in the opening frame, Western put the first points on the scoreboard in the top of the second.
After a pair of singles put two men on base to start the inning, the Mustangs opened the scoring on a bunt from Hayden Woodley after a throw to third base went wide, allowing Western to plate both Jeff Martin and Cameron Graham. Woodley then scored off of a single from Nolan Anderson to give the Mustangs an early 3-0 lead.
Western extended their lead further in the third as Martin singled but then advanced to third on an error, putting himself in position to score on a pass ball to make it 4-0 for the home side.
The purple and white offence continued to score in the top of the fourth thanks to a long triple from Andrew Hastings that drove in one. Hastings came around with the next batter as another Badgers error allowed Turner Spears to reach base safely and score Hastings, putting Western up 6-0 midway through the fourth.
Neither team was able to put points on the board in the fifth before Western added another run in the sixth to increase their lead to 7-0.
Martin continued the offensive onslaught in the top of the seventh, driving a solo home run well over the left field wall to make it 8-0 for the Mustangs. Overall Martin went 3-3 on the day, finishing with four runs, one home run, and one RBI.
Brock got on the board in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a double from Dennon Koziol, before Boon was able to shut the door, finishing the inning with his ninth strike out of the night.
The Badgers broke things open in the eighth, loading the bases on multiple occasions and scoring three runs to cut Western's lead to 8-4. That would be as close as they would get however as Western added one more run in the ninth to take a 9-4 win.