Golden Boys! Peewee Express top Thunder to clinch U14 national championship

Brandon Barker had the go ahead RBIs to help the Napanee Peewee Express clinch gold at the U14 Nationals. File photo.

Adam Prudhomme

Brandon Barker’s sixth inning, two run single put the Napanee Peewee Express ahead for good as they defeated the Wilmot Thunder 8-4 to clinch gold at the U14 Fast Pitch Canadians in Saskatoon, Sask.

With the game knotted at 4-4, Barker stepped up with one out and two runners on base. He took the first pitch for a called strike before connecting on a clutch single on the next pitch.

Ethan Sutcliffe cashed in two huge insurance runs two batters later with a two out, two run triple. 

Gavin Brooks pitched two scoreless innings to close out the game and clinch national gold.

Napanee had jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first when Ty Kemp singled home a pair.

Napanee scratched out two more runs on a costly Thunder error which allowed Brooks and Kemp to score to go up 4-0.

The Thunder weren’t about to go away quietly however, chipping away with two runs in the third and two more in the fifth. Undeterred, the Express responded with four in their next at bat and never looked back. 

After an 11-3 win to begin their day, the Express were matched up against a Chatsworth team that had their number all tournament, defeating them twice already.

Third time was the charm for Napanee, as Jack Madden broke a 3-3 tie with a two run triple in the fifth to spark an eventual 6-4 victory. 

Luke Paul tacked on an insurance run with an RBI single in the top of the seventh.

That run would prove important as Chatsworth rallied for one in the bottom of the seventh and brought the tying run to the plate before Brooks was called on to end the game with a swinging strikeout.

Napanee finished the tournament 8-3 overall, winning four straight must win games to clinch the country’s top prize. More to come.

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