Another Sensational Season for the Midget Select Ajax Spartans
What a weekend it was in Clarington as they hosted the 2015 Eastern Ontario regional [EOSBA] playoffs. Capped off by an electrifying finish in the EOSBA finals as the Ajax Spartans walked away 8-7 winners and their ticket punched to the Provincials.
The Ajax Spartan’s can now call themselves back to back ESOBA champions in what really was a fairy tale season; a season dedicated to their late coach Eric Cunliffe. As is the norm for this group, they never like to do anything the easy way, but they always find a way to win through whatever adversity they face and that makes the victories all the more sweet.
Becoming back to back champions was no easy feat for Ajax as their opponents put up a fantastic fight. Ajax stumbled their way past the host team Clarington on Friday night and hit a roadblock Saturday morning against their border rivals Pickering. Ajax fumbled the ball uncharacteristically all game and Pickering smelled blood and went on the attack. With the win for Pickering, they were on their way to the finals leaving Ajax behind with a tough hill to climb; it is never easy for Ajax but the resilient group always finds a way. The loss only fueled the Spartans’ burning passion to win and they went to business in dominating performances Saturday afternoon over Clarington and Sunday morning over Pickering, setting up a Sunday matinee game against Pickering in the finals.
It was a back and forth affair between the two teams all game, you could feel the passion and desire to win from both teams right up to the final out of the game. The Spartans found themselves up 8-4 heading into the top of 7th and were primed for the victory. Though, before they took the field, one of the team’s leaders Ryan Divine called the boys in for one final word “Boys, don’t worry, we have someone (Coach Eric) looking down on us and he’s going to make sure that we get out of any trouble”; and truer words have never been spoken. The Spartans found themselves in trouble with the tying run on second base with 2 out. With the crack of the bat and the ball into the outfield the game seemed destined for extra innings until the throw came to home plate and a miss-step by Pickering gave the Spartans the incredible 8-7 victory; Coach Eric came through one last time for the boys.
Coach Larry Marks and his coaching staff could not be more proud of their team. Posting a 20-2 record this season, carried by strong pitching with 142 strikeouts and incredible hitting with 274 runs and a team batting average of .389, they now have their sights set on their goal of winning the Provincials.
Congratulations on a tremendous season to Coach Larry Marks and his Midget Select Ajax Spartans.
After a trip to the finals in the past 2 seasons, only to lose on both occasions, the third time was a charm as the Ajax Bantam Select team brought home the title that had previously just been beyond their reach. On Sunday August 9, 2015,Â AjaxÂ defeated the Clarington Colts 10-8Â in a game that saw the lead change hands 5 times. After a strong offensive 6th inning, Ajax took a 7-4 lead only to see Clarington pull ahead in the bottom of the 6th inning by an 8-7 score. But the Ajax boys stayed strong. They never gave up, and stormed the bats in the top of the 7th inning, scoring 3 runs to take the lead that Clarington was unable to come back from in their half of the last inning.
If anything, the Ajax Spartans were an unbreakable unit. They stuck with each other all season with nothing but praise and confidence for one another. They had each others backs. When something went wrong for an individual, they were all quick to pick him back up, and move forward.
As a coach, there's nothing better than seeing a unit bond and march on as one.
From the coaching staff, and all the parents, "Congratulations boys"! You deserve this one. Be proud, hold your heads high, and let's kick some butt in the provincials in September. WOO HOO!!
Ajax Spartans Major Bantam team went undefeated at the London Badgers Bantam Tournament. Ajax pitching dominated and the opposition was held to an average of less than 3 runs in the tournament. We brought home Ajax’s first tournament win of the season!