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Braves qualify for for Michign Cup final
james grant September 27th, 2011

Sarnia, ON –  The Sarnia Senior Braves qualified for the final of the 2011 Michigan Cup Baseball Championship with a 9-3 semi-final victory over the Pontiac Parkers this past weekend in St. Clair Shores, MI.

The Braves, who finished with a Canadian record of 41-9, took part in the Ontario 'AAA' Eliminations, and were Western Counties Baseball League and Thames Valley Tournament Champions prior to accepting an invite to the end of season American event.

“When we began our 2nd season of operation in 2011, we had some specific goals in mind, and we have achieved each and every one of them to this point,” says coach Scott Finnie. “We hit the gym on January 2nd and will be playing for the Michigan Cup title exactly nine months later. That is the type of program we wanted to bring back to the city. There is a strong baseball tradition in Sarnia and I know I speak for the entire squad when I say that we are proud to be able to add to it. It would be great to end the year on a high note.”

Nick Baljeu tossed a nine-inning complete game against the Parkers who are the 15-time defending Pontiac region champions and were undefeated heading into the game. Baljeu struck out six and allowed just seven hits. Dwayne Amyotte, James Grant and Baljeu each scored twice for the Braves while Wade Babula, Greg Sinclair and Lance Hart scored once apiece.

The Braves advanced to the semi-final with a 5-1 win over the Michigan Tigers at Manz Field in Detroit, childhood field of former Detroit Tigers great Willie Horton.

Mike Hyde tossed the complete game against the Ann Arbor region champions, striking out eight. Baljeu again scored twice with Amyotte, Grant and Thingstad each counting once.

Sarnia’s pitching has had an exceptional season thus far, and proved it again in the Michigan Cup with Jeff Jones, Joel Ainsworth, and Brian Riedel combining to strike out 18 in 14 innings of work over the rest of the tournament, while allowing just two runs against.

The Braves will conclude their 2011 season when they travel to Fraser Field in Detroit to take on the St. Clair Shores Red Sox in the Championship Final on Sunday, October 2nd at 3:30pm.



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