By Darryl G. Smart
The Norwich Otterville Otters are provincial champs.
On Friday, the Otters completed the comeback to beat Chesley 14-7 in front of the home crowd in Norwich to win the best-of-three series and ORSA bantam boys title.
“It was a solid team win in the finals series against Chesley,” head coach Mark VanGoethem said. “This group has been together for some time with a couple new players that joined us. It was such a thrill for everyone to win this.”
In the opener, Chesley came into Norwich and took a 4-2 victory, before the Otters rebounded back with a 14-2 win to force a winner-take-all Game 3.
“We really made some adjustments and the kids responded,” VanGoethem said.
Assistant coach Randy Ryksen said the secret to the team’s success was all about the basics.
“The fundamentals are what got us here,” Ryksen said. “Doing what you’re supposed to do at the moment. Knowing what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it under pressure.”
One player who performed well under the pressure was Tucker Stubs. The coaching staff named him the team’s Most Valuable Player after pitching games 2 and 3 very effectively. Throughout the playoffs Stubs struck out 25 batters in 20 innings of work.
Not only did the left-handed pitcher go to work on the mound, offensively he led the way, going 11-for-17.
While the tournament capped a great return to playing the game they all love, the coaching staff are thankful for the people around them for making it all possible.
“I’d say to thank the organization Norwich Otterville Minor Baseball for making this all possible,” VanGoethem said. “And a huge thanks to Carl Littlejohn and OSRA for also putting this together each and every year. We look forward and play hard to get to this point.”