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Otter mosquitoes reach Dover finals

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Backed by excellent pitching from starter J.J. Cowan, the Port Dover Sailors defeated the Tillsonburg Otters 13-3 to capture the first mosquito baseball tournament held in their hometown.

Cowan struck out numerous batters on Sunday afternoon while his teammates racked up hits and runs. They carried a 9-0 lead halfway through the game.

Tillsonburg battled back late in the game, but a three-run homerun by Ben Mason in the bottom of the sixth inning forced the umpire to invoke the mercy rule, and the tournament was over.

“I don’t know, something just hit me,” Cowan, who was named as the game’s MVP, said afterwards. “A miracle happened. I don’t usually pitch this well.”

Port Dover coach Scott Cunningham credited his whole squad for beating Tillsonburg, a team that until this game had gone undefeated all season when playing centres of the same size.

“We had great starting pitching. The relief pitching was excellent as well. They were batting well, fielding well. It all came together this game,” he said.

Cunningham called the win “a special day for Port Dover minor baseball.”

Port Dover also got an excellent weekend of ball out of Sophie Monture, who plays third base. Monture was named game MVP twice and field and hit consistently in the Number 2 spot in the batting order.

Tillsonburg coach Dan Castellani was gracious in defeat. “Their starting pitcher was just amazing,” Castellani said. “Normally, we’re always up on Dover They brought their ‘A’ game in the end.”

He said the Sailors are a “class team” and the tournament was “well run.”

The Sailors didn’t have an easy route to Sunday’s final. During round robin play, they tied Simcoe, lost to Tillsonburg, and defeated Delhi.

They then had to beat Simcoe in the semifinal game early Sunday to get another crack at the Otters, who had won all their games until that point.

The three-day tourney attracted four teams. It was the first time Port Dover has hosted a mosquito tournament and afterward convener Heather Easton said the organization hopes to make it an annual event.

Almost all the games were close and exciting, and the weather was “perfect,” Easton noted.

“It’s been a beautiful weekend for a tournament . . . I’d like to see it happen again,” she said.

Daniel R. Pearce

519-426-3528 ext. 132

daniel.pearce@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/danreformer

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