Five years of playoff frustrations ended for the Toronto Maple Leafs
Wednesday night at Christie Pits.
Jeremy Walker hit a pair of two-run homers and Paul Spoljaric pitched
6 1/3 gritty innings as the Leafs claimed their first Intercounty Baseball
League championship since 2002 with a convincing 13-5 win over the
Brantford Red Sox before thousands of fans at the Pits.
The Leafs win the series in seven games and complete a tremendous
season with the playoff crown, an elusive title for the Leafs despite
regular season records of 137-40 in the past five seasons.
But previous playoff failures were completely forgotten Wednesday as
first year manager Dino Roumel and his team celebrated the franchise’s
eighth playoff crown wildly on the field after the final out.
“We won 41 games and it wouldn’t have meant anything if we hadn’t
of won tonight,” Roumel said. “It’s been a great ride for us and tonight
we went out and let our talent speak for us.
“This crowd meant a lot to us and we’re really happy with the way
things worked out.”
The series was a classic, and Game 7 was shaping up to be another
thriller with the score tied 3-3 in the fifth inning after solo homers by
Hynug Cho and Lee Delfino tied the game for the Sox.
Delfino celebrated after his homer by standing at the plate and was
followed around the bases by an irate Spoljaric after the homer. That
seemed to fire up the Leafs, who responded with four runs in the fifth
on two-run homers by Matt Logan and Walker.
Brantford got back to within 7-5 on another two-run homer by Cho in
the seventh, but the Leafs scored three more in the seventh and another
three in the eighth to put the game away.
Walker wound up with four RBI and Logan added two hits and three
RBI. Playoff MVP Joe Colameco had two hits, including a solo homer,
and Nildo Puertas also hit a two-run homer for the Leafs, who had 17
“The MVP doesn’t mean as much as winning the championship,”
Colameco said. “It’s 16, 17 guys on our team that gave everything.”
Damon Topolie added three hits for the Leafs, with Gamin Teague and
Sean Travers adding a pair of hits each. Spoljaric got the win, going 6
1/3 innings and allowing five runs – three earned – on eight hits with six
strikeouts and two walks. Darryl Craig pitched a scoreless 2 2/3 innings
Brad Hogeterp was the loser for the Sox, allowing six runs on eight hits
over 4 2/3 innings.
Cho and Josh McCurdy both had three hits for the Red Sox.