Banner Season: Golden Hawks walk-off Varsity Blues in extra innings for first OUA title since 2013

Photo by Jon Halpenny
Photo by Jon Halpenny

Ajax, Ont. - They came up one win short a year ago, falling to Toronto in the finals, but the Laurier Golden Hawks got their redemption this year, earning the baseball banner with 4-3 extra innings victory against those same Varsity Blues. 

Laurier was able to earn their spot in the championship final after they stopped Laurentian’s Cinderella run with a 10-0 seven inning mercy of the Voyageurs. After getting on the board in the first inning, the offence exploded for five runs in the second and another four in the fourth. The Golden Hawks booked their finals ticket behind a brilliant seven inning, six hit, shutout performance on the mound from AJ Padmore.

For Toronto, Peter Nash threw nine-innings of five-hit ball as the Varsity Blues were able to fend off Guelph to earn their spot in the championship final. Toronto scored three runs in the third inning, and that was all they would need with Nash on the mound earning a 5-2 win.

In the championship final, Toronto was able to put up the games first run in the opening inning and add another in the third. After cutting the lead in half in the fourth, Laurier took their first lead of the game in the sixth tacking on a pair of runs.

Toronto continued to fight back however and in the top of the ninth scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brandon Hadield.

Laurier stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, and the OUA final went into extra innings. After Toronto was unable to score, Laurier made no mistake in the tenth. A one-out double off the bat of Keifer Quick forced Toronto to intentionally walk the Laurier clean-up hitter Ryley Davenport setting the stage for an OUA hero.

Matthew Komonen stayed with an outside pitch and flared a single into left field. Quick came around to score from second base for a walk-off win, and the Laurier Golden Hawks claimed their first OUA banner since 2013.

“I was just looking for a fastball, something I could hit the other way,” said Komonen after the victory. “It’s an unreal experience being at the bottom of the pile after your teammates mob you, I couldn’t really see anything and busted my lip open but it was fun and something I’ll always remember.”