Shamrocks golden at baseball provincials 

The major mosquito Sudbury Shamrocks won SOBA provincials in Cambridge, Ont. Photo supplied

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Luck wasn’t necessary for a pair of Sudbury Shamrocks baseball teams, who earned provincial gold over the Labour Day weekend.

No, instead, they earned first-place finishes in their respective divisions the old-fashioned way — with grit and determination, mixed in with plenty of skill.

The minor mosquito Shamrocks won OBA A provincials in Oshawa, while the major mosquito Shamrocks won SOBA provincials in Cambridge.

The major mosquito Shamrocks, aged 11 and 10, trailed 3-0 going into the fifth inning against Annette in the gold-medal game, before making the comeback.

“All of a sudden, our offence kicked into high gear,” Shamrocks head coach Craig Thompson said.

Did it ever, as the Shamrocks let loose for nine runs in the fifth inning, capped off by a home run by Thompson’s son, Ethan — the team’s first home run of the season. Ethan would go on to win the offensive player of the tournament award.

“The reaction was unreal,” Thompson said. “That was our eighth and ninth run of the inning.”

The Shamrocks went on to win the game 9-3. That win also served as their third straight win over Annette this summer.

The Shamrocks went 5-1 overall in the provincial tournament, despite having trailed in each game.

“Pitching and defence kept us in games all weekend, until the offence decided to get some runs,” Thompson laughed.

And in the title game, Thompson was able to lean on three quality pitchers.

Those were Cavan Clarke, Carter Baron and Lucas Gutscher, whose combined efforts helped the Shamrocks win gold over Annette.

“They kept us in it,” Thompson said of the trio.

Having overcome so many obstacles throughout the tournament made earning gold that much more meaningful to Thompson and his charges.

“I’ve been coaching this team for five years now, and this was a five-year goal, to get to this point,” Thompson said. “It has been a process all Sunday. The positivity is what kept us in the tournament all weekend long. My team was so positive with each other. They came together as a group.”

The Shamrocks also won the most sportsmanlike team award for the tournament.

The minor mosquito Shamrocks took a similar route to their championship win — their second year in a row winning provincial gold.

The Shamrocks scored three one-run come-from-behind wins, two on their final at bat, to claim gold.

The minor mosquito Shamrocks claimed gold at OBA A provincials in Oshawa on Labour Day weekend. Photo supplied

They also survived a Sunday-morning loss in the double-knockout event, but rebounded in a grand way, by winning gold later in the day with a 10-9 comeback against the Guelph Royals. And they did it in wild fashion.

Down in the final inning, the Shamrocks ended up tying the game. And with Owen Lamothe on third, the youngster scored the game-winning run as he raced home on a passed ball.

“It was unbelievable,” Shamrocks head coach Derek Goudreau said. “It was two games in a row, because in the semifinal we came from behind in similar fashion, in the last inning, so it was indescribable watching the kids’ reactions and seeing how happy they were.”

Adrian Potvin, Robert Landry and Ty Dubrauil pitched a heck of a game in the gold-medal outing.

“It was special seeing the boys, the way they fought,” Goudreau said. “We played almost 24 hours of baseball in 48 hours, so to see them at that age — the night before, we didn’t finish until 11:30 p.m., and we were right back on the field at 8 a.m. the next morning, for nine-year- old kids. So to see the way they battled the way they did, three games one right after the other, win, and with it being two years in a row, it was pretty special.”

Twitter: @keith_dempsey