London News & Search
The London Majors and Kitchener Panthers didn’t waste any time.
The echo from the final out after the Panthers’ six-game first-round playoff win over the Hamilton Cardinals had barely died away when the Panthers and Majors called “Play ball!” on their battle to get into the Intercounty Baseball league final.
The teams opened their best-of-seven semifinal Sunday night in Kitchener. Game 2 is at Labatt Park in London on Tuesday night.
The Majors managed four days off after their five-game series win over the Burlington Herd.
“I kind of expected it,” Majors manager Roop Chanderdat said. “Sunday night is their usual home night and you want to get your usual night at least once in the playoffs from an ownership standpoint, so you get the big crowd. It’s kind of quick, but it’s how the playoff goes.”
The Majors went through a deadly stretch of games late in the season and the playoffs, playing 10 games in less than two weeks.
“It’s good to have a little rest,” Chanderdat said. “It was crazy. We had a light practice on Friday and we’re ready to go.”
The Majors will need to be. The Panthers have had their number this year, winning four of five. During the Majors tough stretch near the end of the season, the Panthers beat them 20-0 and 15-5.
“They are a really good team. Any time you have the (most valuable player) in Sean Reilly and other good hitters, you are going to be tough,” Chanderdat said. “They are tough in their park; the strategy’s different playing in that park and their lineup is suited for that park.
“They’re a top team and we’re going to have to play well to beat them.”
Jack Couch Field is small and if the wind is blowing out, it’s a hitter’s dream.
“They are used to hitting that way; rather then ground balls, they hit it in the air and it might go out,” he said. “You have to build your team for your park and they are a good team.”
The teams are familiar with each other and have had several heated on-field confrontations.
Majors vs. Panthers
Game 1: Sunday at Kitchener
Game 2: Tuesday at Labatt Park, 7:35 p.m.
Game 3: Thursday at Kitchener, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Saturday at Labatt Park, 7:35 p.m.
Game 5: Sunday at Kitchener, 2 p.m., if nec.
Game 6: Tuesday August 22 at Labatt Park, 7:35 p.m., if nec.
Game 7: Wednesday Aug. 23 at Kitchener, 7:30, if nec.
London News & Search