Players and their families enjoying the league’s final BBQ of the season following the semifinal games. Photo courtesy: Robert Doi.
TORONTO — The regular JC 3-Pitch season ended with a definite division within the standings. The top two teams combined for 14 wins, while the bottom two combined for only five. But in a one-game playoff, anything can happen, and it did. As has happened only a couple of times in the league’s 37-year history, the bottom two teams have upset the top two in the semifinals.
Nick Chung’s fourth-place Thornhill Toyota squad lost all three regular-season meetings with Andrew Lok’s first-place Back2feet, so expectations were low heading into the playoffs.
Their semifinal game was close throughout, coming down to the bottom of the seventh inning. Back2feet had the tying run on second and the winning run on first with four batters remaining (every player hits every inning).
However, shortstop Dan Reid made an unassisted double play, and second baseman Darryl Hayashi made a game-saving catch of a bullet line drive off the bat of Back2feet’s big hitter Sean Chu, and the rest of the defense held tight to squeeze out a 27-26 win.
In the other semifinal game, Justin Ogino’s third-place Thornhill Sluggers played their finest game of the season to defeat Tod Nagamatsu’s second-place iA Private Wealth team 34-22.
The Sluggers picked the perfect time to come up with a huge offensive output combined with a stellar defensive effort. In an all-“Thornhill” finals game, the Sluggers will host Toyota for the Championship trophy.
It should be an exciting game as the two teams split their regular season series, with each team winning twice.
For more about JC 3-Pitch, visit www.JC3Pitch.com.