Brantford Red Sox 2013 IBL Champions

Brantford, ON - The Brantford Red Sox are incredibly once again Intercounty Baseball League champions.

Joe Colameco had three hits and drove in two runs, including the go-ahead run with a double to key a three-run seventh inning rally, lifting the Red Sox to a dramatic 9-7 Game 7 win over the Barrie Baycats to win their record-setting sixth consecutive Dominico Trophy Monday night in Brantford.

Brantford wins the best-of-seven series 4-3, coming back from a 3-0 series deficit to win title number six in a row in remarkable fashion. The Red Sox needed 10 innings to win Game 4 in Barrie 4-2 to stay alive, and then won three more games to win the series.

The eight-year run that the Red Sox have been on is not only unequalled in IBL history, but is one of the most dominant stretches put together by any team in any league. The only playoff series loss the Red Sox have suffered since 2006 was in Game 7 of the 2007 IBL Finals to the Toronto Maple Leafs, giving them a 23-1 record in playoff series since their run started.

Brantford won an impressive 95 playoff games during that time, and the latest title is the 15th for the franchise in its 80-year history (1949, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1981, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013).

Lee Delfino, Hyung Cho, Josh McCurdy, Tyler Burnell, Jason Gotwalt, Wayne Forman, Brad Hogeterp and Stefan Strecker were all with the Red Sox when their run began in the 2006 season, and were all on the roster this season.

It was a heartbreaking loss for the Baycats, who have been a perennially strong team since joining the league in 2011. Barrie won its only IBL title to date in 2005, and the Baycats have lost in the finals to the Red Sox four of the past five years.

While the Red Sox have been dominant in terms of number of titles, it hasn’t been easy a lot of times, and Monday’s Game 7 win certainly wasn’t either. The game went back-and-forth all night, with Brantford’s three-run seventh finally enough to secure the win.

Colameco had three hits with a pair of RBI and a run scored in the win, while Delfino registered a pair of hits and three runs scored. Tyler Burnell had two hits and drove in a run for Brantford, while Jeff Hunt had a hit and a pair of RBI.

Scott Thorman added a two-run home run, while Steve Lewis added a hit, a run scored and an RBI. Terrell Alliman and Forman each had a hit and a run scored in the win.

Chris Chavez was the third of four Brantford pitchers on the night and earned the win, allowing one hit and two runs with one walk and two strikeouts over his one inning of work. Tom Boleska finished the game on the mound for the Red Sox and earned the save, allowing just one hit with one strikeout over 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Chris Kemlo came on to start the sixth inning in relief of starter Adam Rowe and suffered the loss, allowing five hits and four runs with one walk and two strikeouts over two innings pitched for the Baycats.

Jeff Cowan, Kyle DeGrace and Jordan Castaldo each had a pair of hits for Barrie in the loss, with DeGrace and Castaldo also adding a pair of runs scored. Kevin Atkinson and Jason Coker each had a hit, a run scored and a pair of RBI, while Jonathan Fernandez and Ryan Spataro each added a hit with Spataro also driving in a run. Brendan Keys had a hit and a run scored to pace the Barrie offence.

The game saw an incredible amount of lead changes. The Baycats took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning before the Red Sox tied the game in the bottom of the second. Brantford registered a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning before Barrie returned the favour in the top of the fifth, deadlocking the game 2-2. The Red Sox registered the first multi-run inning when they posted three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-2 lead.

Barrie responded immediately, posting three runs of their own in the top of the sixth to once again tie the game 5-5, before the Red Sox closed out the inning with a single run to once again regain a one run lead.

The Baycats went up again 7-6 with a two-run seventh, only to once again surrender three runs in the bottom of the inning to give the Red Sox the 9-7 lead, this time for good.

Lee Delfino earned the title of IBL playoff MVP, registering 18 hits, including six doubles and six home runs with 18 RBI, 13 runs scored and a .290 batting average (18 for 62) in 18 playoff games. He led all players in both homers and RBI the IBL post season.