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Ontario 1 Captures Bronze Medal With Walk-Off Win Over New Brunswick

Eric Cunningham was the hero Sunday, hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Tecumseh Thunder a 2-1 win over New Brunswick in the Bronze Medal game of the 2018 Baseball Canada Nationals (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

August 26, 2018, Victoria, BC – Ontario 1 pitcher Joel Pierce and New Brunswick pitcher Sam Lund went toe-to-toe in the Bronze Medal game at the 2018 Baseball Canada National Men’s Championship Sunday afternoon, with Pierce’s Tecumseh Thunder squad emerging with a tight, 2-1  walk-off victory over the Fisher Cats at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park.

Joel Pierce was at his best Sunday, scattering just seven hits while walking just two and striking out five in his 6.2 innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The hero on the night was Tecumseh’s Eric Cunningham who bounced a solo home run off the top rail of the left field fence in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Thunder the walk-off win.

New Brunswick’s Sam Lund deserved a better fate Sunday, holding Tecumseh to just two hits on the day while striking out six (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Pierce was at his best Sunday, scattering just seven hits while walking just two and striking out five in his 6.2 innings of work.  He also was strong under pressure as the New Brunswick squad left eight men on base over the course of the game.  He took a 1-0 lead into the top of the seventh, but could not hold the lead as Justin Cormier led off with a pinch-hit single and eventually came in to score on a Jeff Watkin RBI single.

Tecumseh shortstop Brandon Gignac fields a throw while New Brunswick’s Kris Keating slides safely into second (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

For New Brunswick’s Lund, he deserved a better fate, holding the Thunder to just one hit through six  innings of work, but falling behind 1-0 after hitting Austin Oulds in the third inning and then watching as an error by first baseman Serge Lautour on a pick off attempt allowed Oulds to reach third and then come home a batter later on a ground out by Brandon Gignac.

The 2018 Bronze medallists, the Tecumseh Thunder (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In the bottom of the seventh, Lund continued to cruise, quietly retiring the first two batters in the inning, but then gave up the game-winning home run to Cunningham on the second pitch to the right-handed batter, sending the Thunder off the bench for the walk-off celebration.

 

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