It’s the final inning of the championship game. 1 out. The ground ball is hit to you at 3rd base. You stay composed as you field the ground ball, step on the base and hurl the ball across the diamond for the double play as you win the championship. This scenario is one that a ballplayer would dream of, and it is the reality that Owen Findlay of the Tecumseh Thunder got to live through as his squad won the 18U PBLO Championship versus the Sarnia Braves.
“Making that final out to win the tournament felt amazing and for me to be in the centre of it felt even better.” This sentiment by the 18U Tecumseh Thunder third baseman demonstrates the importance this championship tournament had on this group of young men. The Tecumseh Thunder played their best baseball of the season when it counted the most, going 5-0 throughout the championship weekend and only allowing 5 runs in the weekend’s entirety.
The road to the championship trophy began in excitement as the Thunder walked off the Sudbury Voyageurs by a score of 2-1. “After we walked it off in the first game our team realized that we can really win the championship because our first game was the most important game of the tournament and it set us up for the rest of the weekend,” Findlay described.
Going into the tournament, Owen Findlay tiptoed history as he pitched a one-hitter. When asked if he felt if the performance was a confidence builder going into the championship weekend, Findlay said that it had a huge effect. “after I had a very good outing it really showed me what I can do as a pitcher and it motivated me to push myself to the limits on the mound.” Findlay stayed true to his word as he pitched a complete game in the semi-finals letting up only one run in a 7-1 victory over the Oshawa Legionaires 18U Elite.
Findlay and the rest of the Tecumseh Thunder gave much of the credit to the coaching staff for their success over the weekend. “Our coaches were on the ball all weekend because we were short players for a few games so they had to adjust the lineup each game,” Findlay said. Thanks to the coaches, each player knew their role to play and did their job when their name was called.
Being the third seed going into the championship weekend, the Tecumseh Thunder were one of the frontrunners but they needed to win in order to finally reach the peak that they knew they could. “Our team hasn’t won many championships before so for us to make it to the finals and win the tournament was very amazing for our organization,” Findlay said. “I think after all the tough times everyone has been through, this was the best way to end the baseball season. The memories and friendships that have been made over the last baseball season with our team are very special and will always stay with me.”