The Oshawa Legionaires 16U elite squad was in Akron, OH recently taking on a slew of American teams.
The Legionnaires were participating in the Cincy Flames Tournament where they made it all the way to the semi-finals, only to lose to the Full Circuit Power out of New York.
According to head coach Daryl Macklem, the team is very proud and happy with how the tournament went.
“Obviously they’re upset that they fell short of the goal of reaching the finals and ultimately winning the finals, but when you lose to the team that was the eventual champions in the semi-final and leave everything out on the field, yeah it hurts, but after a little while and after it sets in, and you just look back on it, they know they can hold their heads high,” he says.
They played the Full Circuit Power squad twice, and Macklem says they lost both games by only one run, 1-0 and 3-2.
Macklem says the team only played one bad game in six outings.
“Our pitching was outstanding,” he says. “We had four complete games. The two games where we didn’t have a complete game the starting pitcher went deep into the game and gave us a chance to win.”
He says the teams pitching and defense was their “bread and butter” during the tournament.
As baseball programs are often more advanced in the U.S., Macklem says the players loved going down there to play.
“They want to challenge themselves, and they want to prove that they can play and compete with top teams, whether they’re from the U.S. or Canada… and they went after it on the weekend and played extremely well,” he says.
The way the team pitched and competed was the highlight of the tournament for Macklem, as he notes it’s difficult to single out any one player because everyone was playing well.
“I can’t single out one guy. It was an entire team effort,” he says.