London News & Search
The London Majors’ five-game losing skid is over and they didn’t even have to play.
The Intercounty Baseball League club was gifted a much-needed victory Tuesday since they were scheduled to face the Guelph Royals, who folded last month in hopes of resurrecting next season.
That freebie win sets up a second-place showdown with the Panthers in Kitchener today and serves as the launching pad for a hectic five games in six days for the reeling Majors.
“We’re a banged up team,” London manager Roop Chanderdat said. “We have some significant injuries and we’re trying to get healthy. But the boys are positive. We’re batting right now (with two weeks left in the regular season).”
The catching position has been ravaged. Mike Ambrose remains sidelined with a head injury suffered during a Barrie doubleheader two weeks ago. Backup Quinton Twohey hurt his neck in a more recent twin bill against the first-place Baycats.
Chris McQueen, London’s lead-off hitter, is on the shelf with a “lower-body” injury.
“He’s the catalyst in our lineup,” Chanderdat said. “It’s a tough stretch. I think we’ll be alright with pitching this week. Everyone will get their chance and this is the time when you get your guys qualified (with enough innings) for the playoffs.”
All seven of the Majors’ losses have come against the two teams ahead of them in the standings — Barrie and Kitchener. London already had two trips to Kitchener postponed because of rain, so the make-up games loom large in playoff seeding.
“They’re both good teams,” Chanderdat said. “We’re right there. We had a lopsided loss (18-2) to Barrie, but also two walk-offs against them. It’s finding a way to get over the hump.”
It’s hard to believe anyone matching Brantford’s six straight titles (2008-13) but the Baycats are already half-way to the Red Sox’s dominant stretch.
“They’re both dynasties,” Chanderdat said. “It’s going to take a near-perfect game to beat Barrie. But they can be beaten. If everything goes well, hopefully, we can see them in the finals.”
MAJORS’ BIG WEEK
Wednesday: at Kitchener, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: at Burlington, 7:15 p.m.
Saturday: vs. Brantford, 7:35 p.m. at Labatt Park. Alumni Day, with visit from The Famous Chicken, played by London native Ted Giannoulas.
Sunday: vs. Hamilton, 7:05 p.m. at Labatt Park.
Monday: vs. Brantford, 7:35 p.m. at Labatt Park.
London News & Search