OSHAWA – The Humber Hawks men's baseball team, defending OCAA champions, had to come from behind late to knock off the Seneca Sting 7-4 in the opening game of the 2019 championship tournament.
With the win, the OCAA regular season pennant winners, have advanced to the undefeated game at 6:30 pm tonight at Kinsmen Civic Stadium in Oshawa. Also, the win has guaranteed that the Hawks will take home a provincial medal. At press time, their opponent has yet to be determined. Seneca will play for their playoff lives later this afternoon.
Hawks veteran hurler Matt Stoddart toed the bump for Humber and struggled early, but always found a way to get out of jams and holding the Sting scoreless through four. The visiting Sting loaded the bases twice and had two runners in scoring position in another inning. In fact, Seneca had only a single out all three innings, but could not push a run across.
The Hawks did breakthrough for two runs in the third, courtesy of an error and a couple of wild pitches.
Things finally unravelled in the fifth for Stoddart, as the Sting were opportunistic in pushing across four runs. It was a combination of key hitting and solid baserunning that put Humber behind for the first time in the game.
The next two innings got very interesting for the league champs.
After placing runners on first and second with none out in the fifth, they were unable to move the runners into scoring position. Aidan Murphy then made quick work of that missed opportunity by doubling to the right-centre gap, and closing the deficit to one. Two walks later, and Humber had tied the game. The key was a bases-loaded walk taken by catcher Hunter Bisser. Keep that name in your thoughts moving forward.
After shutting the Sting down in the sixth, Humber was ready to bat again, hoping to play off the momentum from the fifth. After a quick out, the Hawks were given a gift in a wind-blown infield hit. A couple of batters later, the bases were loaded and Bisser was coming to the plate. The fourth-year star catcher delivered a solid hit to score two and was then aided by an error to clear the bases.
Closer Riley Pollard, who was called upon in the fifth, much earlier than normal, put the Sting down in order to close out the game.
Jared Gonsalves joined Bisser in the hit parade for Humber, swatting two safeties each. Bisser led both teams with three RBI's.
For his efforts, Bisser was selected as the Humber Player of the Game.