Win over Downsview gets Don Mills in playoffs
Boosted by the standout pitching of Stephen Yee, Don Mills Bruins eased past Downsview Mustangs 14-1 at Bond Park May 26.
The win was needed, coach Josh Kamen said, as the Bruins have fought hard to make the North Region Tier 2 playoffs, sitting with a 2-6 record.
“We have one more game against Newtonbrook. I think they’re ranked first or second,” he said. “We have a really tough game ahead of us but this morale should give us a boost.”
The morale was bolstered by three innings of Yee’s bearing down on Mustangs batters.
Striking out eight, only giving up two hits and one unearned run, Yee said all it takes is a confident pitcher to win.
“I got lucky a few times because they swung at a few balls, but aside from that we had the momentum going full bore in the first inning,” he said. “I had no reason to fear when I came back in the second inning,” he said. “I didn’t have to keep it tight.”
Playing baseball since he was in kindergarten, Yee said practice paid off.
“Through all these years this is pretty much the only thing I’ve athletically excelled at,” he said. “So twice a week, 100 pitches, keep your calm, find your location and then nothing else.”
Shutting down Downsview’s bats was not the only strong suit, as Don Mills’ offensive production came to Yee’s assistance.
Teammate Asim Khan smacked a three-run triple off Mustangs pitcher Dylon Kamiah during an inning that saw eight sets of shoes tap the plate.
Down 8-0 in the top of the second, Kamiah would be the only bright spot for Downsview as a single up the middle got him on base.
Mustangs coach Don Hum said he was impressed with his corral, though they stay idle with a 0-7 record.
And there’s hope for the future.
“It’s been a learning year,” Hum said. “We lost about eight of our starters because they all graduated last year.
“We’ve got a few grade 9s out there that look good so hopefully in three years time we’ll be clicking.”
Still six more Bruins runs would cross the plate, giving Don Mills a commanding lead.
With the confidence coming from self-improvement riding them into their next game, Kamen was optimistic his team could pull off a coup versus Newtonbrook that same day.
Unfortunately, Don Mills lost to the North Stars 9-4.
Still the Bruins clinched, and Kamen said he is elated with the camaraderie within the den.
“We’re very pleased with the team cohesiveness throughout the season, win or lose,” he said. “It’s a great bunch of guys to coach and they have a really positive attitude.”