Men’s baseball team clinches OCAA playoff spot

by | Oct 21, 2019 | Sports, Varsity

Remi Drouin, Sports Reporter

Humber men’s baseball team began its defence of their provincial championship in Oshawa today with a 7-4 win against Seneca.

They set the tone for their quest with a 5-3 win on Oct. 13 at Christie Pits Park over the George Brown Huskies in the final game of the season. The Hawks needed the victory to secure first place in the regular season.

The Huskies got off to a quick start by scoring three runs in the first inning off Hawks’ right-hander Corey Vandegraaf.

Humber Hawk first-year pitcher Corey Vandegraaf throws to a Husky hitter in a 5-3 win over George Brown on Oct. 13. Head coach Jeff Gibbs said his pitchers could be more consistent. (Remi Drouin)

Humber’s offense was silent until the sixth inning when outfielder Liam Sutherland hit a sacrifice fly allowing a run to score.

With a runner on second, outfielder Dennis Dei Baning hit a two-run homer to tie the game.

Two more Humber runs came in later thanks to a single from third-baseman Ty Martin and double from infielder Aidan Murphy to give the Hawks a 5-3 win.

Humber finishes the year in first place with a record of 13-5, winning its second consecutive regular season title.

Rookie Hawks head coach Jeff Gibbs was pleased with the team’s offensive output this year but feels they could have been more consistent on the mound.

“I think overall we’ve done really well,” Gibbs said. “With the group that we have, we expect to be perfect, we expect to win every game that we play, so I think we’ve done well, but we could have done better.”

At the OCAA Championship on Oct.18, the Humber Hawks, St. Clair Saints, Durham Lords, and Seneca Sting all secured spots to battle for the provincial pennant.

Humber will face the fourth seed Sting in the first round of the OCAA playoffs. In the season series, Humber won the first two games against the Sting but lost the final game.

The players are looking forward to the possibility of playing their long-time rivals St. Clair.

“They’re our rivals, it’s always a good game when it’s Humber vs St. Clair…We’re both super solid teams,” Martin said.

Gibbs feels his team is more prepared since they won last season.

He also praised his player’s ability to slow the game down in high-pressure situations.

Outfielder Stephen Narhabeki knows the team has high standards to live up to come in the provincial finals.

“We need to remember who we are as a team and find a way to win,” Narhabeki said.