After 27 years, the Thorold Anchors have become OBA champions once again!
On Saturday, the team took home the title in the 2022 Ontario Baseball Association (OBA) Senior C-Division Championship.
“I think it feels relieving,” the team’s manager Aaron McInnis tells ThoroldToday. “I’ve known for a long time that this team has what it takes to be champions. I think we had to prove it to ourselves and we were able to do that this weekend. It’s been a long time coming.”
The championship saw thirteen teams from all over Ontario bat it out in three different locations in Niagara, including McMillan Park, earlier this month.
The Anchors successfully took on the Essex Diamondbacks, Hanover Hitmen, Port Dover Sailors, and the Tillsonburg Red Sox, with an overall 5-1 score.
Saturday’s final at McMillan Park was supposed to be played two weekends ago but had been postponed due to heavy rain. The game saw the Anchors win 11-0 against the Tillsonburg Red Sox, and take home the title.
The Anchors really had to prove themselves during the championship, according to McInnis.
“We met our biggest challenges and we were able to answer the bell,” says McInnis. “One of our biggest challenges on this team has been holding leads. It’s been getting out to an early lead, getting a little too confident, relaxing a little too much, and then having somebody creep up and come back up to us. We proved to ourselves that that’s not something that has to happen.”
McInnis credits the team’s victory to teamwork and hard work.
“The guys worked in the cages outside regular practice time and outside of regular games,” he says. “They put in the extra effort. It told them if they put in the extra work it would help them separate themselves from the pack and they believed in that. They put in that work and the results were there.”
Many Thorold residents came out to show their support on Saturday.
“We needed that support but I also think the city needed this,” McInnis says. “With the Thorold Blackhawks not being local this year, Thorold really needed a team to look to and we’re happy that we didn’t let them down.”
Now that they’ve won the championship, the Anchors will become a ‘B’ team next year, but McInnis says he isn’t going to rush the team to practice just yet.
“The amount of hard work that these guys put in, they deserve a nice, long off-season,” he says. “We’re going to take a little break from baseball, reset, and get back to real life for a while. Sometime in February we’ll get all these guys back together and we’ll keep pushing in the same direction with a common goal.”