Burlington duo leads Mustangs to OUA baseball crown

The Western Mustangs were the best team during the 2009 Ontario University Athletics baseball regular season. They were the top team during the post-season as well.

The Mustangs swept the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks in a best-of-three championship series presented by Wilson Sports Equipment of Canada, winning Game 2 on Saturday 3-1 in 10 innings at Betchel Park following a 6-0 victory in Game 1 on Friday night at Labatt Park in London.

It is a record fourth OUA title for the Mustangs in five seasons, finishing the year with a 17-5 record.

Starter Andrew Bergman (Pickering) was named Pizza Pizza player of the game, pitching 8 1/3 innings before giving it up to the bullpen. Bergman gave up four hits and three walks while striking out five, but left with the bases loaded in the ninth inning with Western leading 1-0.

Reliever Carlos Cabrero (Burlington) picked off Ryan Panas (Etobicoke) at third base, but gave up a walk then a pinch infield hit to Mike Kennedy (Harrow, Ont.) as Laurier forced the extra inning. It proved to be the only run Western allowed the entire series.

The Mustangs rallied with two runs in the top of the 10th inning and Cabrero pitched a 1-2-3 bottom half to clinch the victory. Grame Price (Burlington) knocked in the game-winning runs, bringing home Kyle Harris (Strathroy) and Bruce Craine (Whitby) who both had three hits in the game.

Western took the initial lead in the first inning on a wild pitch that hit the plate and took a wicked hop to the backstop. Craine came around to score for the Mustangs.

Overshadowed in the loss was the strong pitching of Laurier’s Andrew Greenberg (Richmond Hill), who held the Mustangs to one run in eight innings of work. The OUA rookie of the year pitched out of danger the entire game, allowing 10 hits and a walk but helped his cause by striking out six.

OUA second-team all-star Jordan Townshend (London) showed why he is the ace of the Mustangs staff in Game 1, pitching a complete game, two-hit masterpiece as Western blew the game wide open with a four-run eighth after leading 2-0. Townshend struck out 15 batters and only allowed four walks. He threw 152 pitches – 98 for strikes. He was named player of the game and Wilson Sports Equipment of Canada most valuable player of the championship.

Rookie Daniel Goldberg (Thornhill) had the big hit in the eighth inning, driving home three runs with a bases-loaded double.

Western went 4-0 in the playoffs, sweeping the Toronto Varsity Blues in the semifinal before using the brooms on Laurier in the final. The Golden Hawks finish the OUA season with an overall record of 12-10.