Playing in an age division above their own, Hamilton’s intermediate Canadian Thunderbirds captured the Mizuno Elite Baseball Classic.
The Thunderbirds rode the complete game, three-hit pitching of Mathew Vickers to down the Montreal Titans 7-2 in the championship finale in Mississauga on the weekend. Vickers was named Most Valuable Player in the final game. The Titans won the senior (19-and-under) tournament last year.
The Thunderbirds, a team of 17-and-under players, started their championship march on Friday evening when Burlington’s Jimmy Modesto pitched a complete 3-0 game victory over the Halton Athletic Club from Milton.
The Thunderbirds followed that win by beating the East Toronto Prospects 6-4 on Saturday.
Tyler Bradley of Innerkip went 4 2/3 innings for the win and Simcoe’s Kyle Poirier came through with a strong effort in relief.
Vickers tuned up for the championship game with a 5-2 win against the Lamm Post from Buffalo. Vickers lasted five innings before giving way to Poirier.
In a preview of the finale, the Thunderbirds turned back the Titans 7-5 with Hamilton’s Mitch Peragine of getting the mound decision. Kitchener’s Joey Paulin came in as the closer and sealed the win.
The senior Thunderbirds came home with the consolation championship, edging the Orillia Tigers 6-5. In round-robin play the seniors posted decisive wins over Buffalo, East Toronto and Milton.
The two banners capped an impressive summer for Thunderbirds teams playing in the Premier Baseball League of Ontario and competing in a number of international events. Thunderbirds teams have won five International titles this year as well as Conference Championships in three additional age divisions.
Players for the Thunderbirds come from Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Toronto, London, Ancaster and Stoney Creek.