Marauders capture SOSSA baseball crown
The A.N. Myer Marauders found a way to get the job done.
The Marauders topped Ancaster 4-3 Tuesday to capture the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (SOSSA) AAA baseball championship and punch their ticket to another appearance at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championships in Windsor next week.
“Coming through SOSSA I knew we were going to be challenged,” Myer manager Dave Buchanan said. “We weren’t the same team we were last year on paper but this team is grittier. They are a gritty bunch. Everyone from Grade 9s to Grade 12s, it’s a total effort.”
The Marauders scored four runs in one inning of Ancaster’s ace pitcher.
“Their starter, from what I understand, was a D1 commit,” Buchanan said. “He was a stud who threw gas and we hung in there for at bats and drew some walks and then got a couple hits off of him and he got a little unravelled. They were deep but we grinded it out.”
Nico Valvo threw four effective innings on the mound for Myer before three others pitchers finished up with one inning each.
Luca Valvo, Nino Valvo’s younger brother, shone in the middle infield.
“We played good defence again. Luca Valvo played really well on defence. They had guys on second and third and two outs and he made some great plays at shortstop and second base,” Buchanan said.
Myer topped Notre Dame 3-2 in the semifinals earlier Tuesday to advance to the final.
“Andrew Behring pitched pretty well and a couple of others came in for spot relief,” Buchanan sad. “Got a couple of hits at the right moment. We did leave some guys on base but we did play good defence and limited them and squeezed one through.”
The SOSSA title came as a bit of a surprise to Buchanan.
“Last year we finished fourth (at OFSAA) and almost got to the gold medal game and we had a couple of injuries and kids not being able to participate for whatever reason. Everybody is experiencing this because they are playing for their prep team. All those kind of barriers and hurdles, we were just unsure who’s going to be there for us and other teams were getting better,” he said.
Nevertheless, the Marauders head into OFSAA with a 17-1-1 overall record.
“There has been some overall success,” Buchanan said. “Most games have been close, one or two run games. It’s a pretty resilient group that tends to pitch well and throw strikes. At this age if you pitch well and play good defence, you’re going to be OK.”
The Marauders begin play at OFSAA in Windsor next Wednesday.
“We have six or seven kids who are throwing strikes so that’s one of the keys going to OFSAA. You have to have six to eight guys at least that can come in and throw. If you don’t, you can’t get past the first day,” Buchanan said.
Members of the team are: Patrick Babin, Joe Baka, Cole Bateman, Keenan Bateman, Mike Beam, Andrew Behring, Ryerson Gignac, Erik Iseppon, Carter McBurney, Sawyer Neal, Marshall Peterson, Thomas Somerville, Jack Shannon, Luca Valvo, Nico Valvo, Colby Webb, Zach Whalen, Lucas Martin and Owen Pullar.
Coaches: Dave Buchanan, Bart Maves, Tyler Wood, Ron Wood, Kyle Fortuna, Geoff Allen, Stoney Jackson.
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