Orioles soar to se­nior base­ball ti­tle

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Ted CLARKE Cit­i­zen staff tclarke@pgc­i­t­i­zen.ca

In Ma­jor League Base­ball, the Orioles are the undis­puted bot­tom-feed­ers of 2018. Much to the cha­grin of Bal­ti­more fans the world over. In Prince Ge­orge, there’s noth­ing but joy around the Orioles’ nest.

The North­ern Tra­di­tional Homes Orioles fin­ished on top of the Cen­tury 21 Prince Ge­orge Se­nior Base­ball League, cap­ping a per­fect 6-0 play­off run with a 6-4 win over the In­land Con­trol & Ser­vices Tigers Wed­nes­day night at Cit­i­zen Field.

The O’s swept the best-of-five fi­nal se­ries over the first-place reg­u­lar-sea­son fin­ish­ers, cap­i­tal­iz­ing on qual­ity pitch­ing and timely hit­ting that pushed the team’s of­fen­sive out­put in the play­offs up con­sid­er­ably.

They av­er­aged seven runs in the three games and no Orioles starter – Jon Bourassa, Craig Langille and Dy­lan John­son – needed any re­lief in the run to the cham­pi­onship.

“I think that was our first win­ning streak – we won the last seven games,” said Langille.

“With the Orioles, it’s the pitch­ing. Jonny (Bourassa) is in­cred­i­ble and we all threw com­plete games in both se­ries. The pitch­ing was huge and de­fence was great and we had a lot of key hits, too.

“Usu­ally, Orioles ball is 2-1 or 3-1 vic­to­ries and we were putting up an av­er­age (seven) runs and that was nice to see.”

Langille, who joined the Orioles last year, de­liv­ered his finest pitch­ing per­for­mance in two sea­sons in Game 2 on Mon­day, an 8-0 shutout with 13 strike­outs, al­low­ing just two hits over seven in­nings.

“I was hit­ting spots and it was nice, es­pe­cially against a team like that – the guys can swing it – it was re­ally good,” said the 32-yearold Nova Sco­tia na­tive.

Langille had an­other strong out­ing with his bat while play­ing cen­tre­field in the clincher Wed­nes­day, fin­ish­ing 2-for-3 with two doubles and four runs bat­ted in. He sparked the of­fence in the sec­ond in­ning with a bases-loaded dou­ble that cleared the bases and put the Orioles ahead 5-0.

But the Tigers did not go down qui­etly. They scored two in the fourth and two more in the sev­enth to make it a two-run game. But with a run­ner on base, John­son forced heavy­hit­ter Adam Norn into a game-end­ing ground-out to short­stop Kalen Kirk­patrick. The Orioles pitcher al­lowed four earned runs while strik­ing out eight.

Lyle Boutin went 3-for-3 to lead the Tigers, driv­ing in one run and scor­ing two him­self.

Langille emerged as the top hit­ter and top pitcher of the post­sea­son and was named play­off MVP. He went 7-for-11 in the first se­ries, a three-game sweep of the P.G. Surg-Med Knights, then hit six-for-12 in the cham­pi­onship se­ries with six RBI and three runs, in­clud­ing a home run in the sec­ond in­ning of Game 2. Bourassa also clubbed one over the wall in that sec­ond game and fin­ished the se­ries with six hits.

The mer­cury plunged to near freez­ing Wed­nes­day night with a wind chill on top of that and rain, and that tem­pered the cel­e­bra­tion on the field some­what for the Orioles, who last won the play­offs in 2015.

“It was freez­ing cold (Mon­day) and last night was worse,” Langille said. “I haven’t played in that kind of cold since Hal­i­fax, when we play in Oc­to­ber and have the cold wind com­ing off the ocean.”

The Orioles beat the Tigers 7-4 in the opener a week ago Thurs­day.

The Tigers elim­i­nated the Queensway Auto World Red Sox in the other semi­fi­nal se­ries.

Langille said his team thor­oughly en­joyed play­ing the Knights, a team of teenagers fresh from win­ning the Western Cana­dian dou­ble-A cham­pi­onship in late Au­gust.

“They never make a mis­take in the field, which bodes well for their coach­ing,” said Langille. “They’re pretty young, so when it comes to hit­ting it’s a lot more dif­fi­cult for them when they’re play­ing against grown men who have been pitch­ing for 20 or 30 years. But they fared very well.”

Usu­ally, Orioles ball is 2-1 or 3-1 vic­to­ries and we were putting up an av­er­age (seven) runs and that was nice to see. — Craig Langille

CIT­I­ZEN PHOTO BY JAMES DOYLE

North­ern Tra­di­tional Homes Orioles pitcher Dy­lan John­son throws against the In­land Con­trol & Ser­vices Tigers on Wed­nes­day night at Cit­i­zen Field. In Game 3 of the best-of-five play­off cham­pi­onship se­ries, the Orioles won 6-4 and com­pleted a sweep of the Tigers. The Orioles pre­vailed 7-4 in Game 1 and 8-0 in Game 2.

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