Lightning does it again

TEAMMATES Jon Issac and Aaron Kivi were part of the back-to-back Greater Toronto-Leaside Carmen Bush Junior Championship winners Leaside Lightning. They agree it was a really fun season.

That lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same spot is just a theory.

The old maxim was blown to kingdom come as Leaside’s junior baseball team claimed their second straight Greater Toronto–Leaside Carmen Bush Junior Championship.

The championship game rounded out a busy Aug. 14 weekend with an 8-5 victory over Etobicoke Rangers. Winning pitcher Aaron Kivi said being back-to-back champs is a great feat.

“It’s finally good to be able to win a few championships in Leaside,” Kivi said. “Our league has a good history of good baseball players and good teams in the past and it feels good to contribute to that.”

Teammate Jon Isaac agreed, adding that after winning last year, they still had to prove their worth in the Toronto Baseball Association.

“Coming in first last year was a great win, but this year we came out hot, we kind of had a target on our back every game,” he said. “Everyone knew we were in first, we were defending champs.”

To enter the playoffs, Leaside had to battle High Park Braves in a best of three series, cleaning their west-end opponents out of their dugout 14-8 and 10-8 in both games.

Next up was the Whitby Chiefs game, where a two-run homerun by Andrew Ledger turned what was a 6-4 game into an extra-innings pursuit. The Lightning pulled it out though in the next inning, winning 7-6.

“We were really in the game. Everybody was standing on the bench,” Kivi said. “I guess we wanted it more than the other team.”
Once the Newmarket Hawks were out of the way, downed 6-5, Leaside went on to face Etobicoke.

Kivi and Isaac bantered back and forth with their manager Kent Duncan at Howard Talbot Park Aug. 19. Kivi and Isaac even became nostalgic recalling their 10 years playing baseball.

“It was definitely great. Aaron and I were the only two on the team who have played through Leaside for all our years,” Isaac said. “We’ve got to give credit to all the coaches we’ve had through the years, and Howie (Birnie) who’s really made this one of the most enjoyable organizations to play for.”

Of course, they didn’t forget their teammates from the successful season in 2010.

“Overall, it was the most fun I’ve ever had in a season. The team we had this year was the best group of guys I’ve ever played with,” Kivi said.

There was plenty of depth, as opposed to the last season when the team struggled to fill the pitchers mound in their 8-4 win over Whitby Chiefs.

“We had a really good balance,” Kivi said of the 2010 season. “On any given day, five players were away and we could still compete.”

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