Tight-knit IBL Leafs eager to add another long-awaited championship in 2019

By. Ian Shantz, Toronto Sun 

The Intercounty Baseball League’s Toronto Maple Leafs passed the chemistry test with flying colours last season.

Now, it’s about getting top grades on the final exam.

Despite a sub-.500 season and being eliminated from the post-season earlier than they had hoped, the Leafs have been raving about the positivity that could be found inside the clubhouse at Dominico Field at Christie Pits despite a roller-coaster summer.

“That’s the ideal situation as a manager. You have a group of guys that want to be together. They’re all brothers and they’re in the same fight together,” 43-year-old Leafs manager Damon Topolie said in advance of the team’s season-opener on Sunday, May 5 versus Brantford. “We have the right locker room and we have the right guys.”

Indeed, while the Leafs went 16-19 in the regular season and were swept in the second round by eventual league finalist Kitchener, the consensus among the players is that the team was as close-knit as it has been in years. That should only benefit the squad as it opens its 51st season in the 101-year-old top Ontario amateur loop with designs on claiming the franchise’s ninth title and first since 2007.

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