Sitting at a miserable 1-5 record at the end of September, the Humber Hawks men’s baseball team were struggling to finish off games and were wallowing at the bottom of the standings.
“As of now we are below .500, but who knows maybe next week we win five straight and we are back in it,” assistant coach George Halim said in September.
Halim’s words proved prophetic.
The Hawks went on a tear and turned into one of the top teams in the OCAA, winning 12 of the next 14 games and catapulting into second place.
Humber finished the regular season in second place behind the eventual gold medalists the St. Clair Saints who won for the fourth straight year.
The Hawks success was due to the bats coming alive and the pitching staff dominating opponents. The team would rally off of their success and manage to turn a slow start to the season into winning an OCAA bronze on home turf on Oct. 23.
But now with the provincial championships in the Hawks rear-view mirror, the team can look ahead to the National Championships, which takes place between Oct. 27 and 30 in Oshawa.
Many people who surrounded the team such as varsity coordinators Jim Bialek and Brian Lepp, both have said many great things about the team and the direction the program is heading in.
“They have a young talented team,” said Brian Lepp. “A lot of the guys may not have college experience but have played at a high level outside of Humber giving them an advantage.”
This season’s team was made up of mostly rookie players but for the most part had young pitchers who took the mound. The Hawks pitching staff was dominant this season and was a big factor in their bronze medal run.
“When one guy gets hot, the rest of the team usually follows suit,” Halim said. “This is also the best pitching staff we’ve ever had.”
This season’s national championship which is going to be held by the Durham Lords, is a first for college baseball. It is one of the few sports that don’t have nationals like many of the major sports the CCAA has.
Humber is preparing to face John Abbott College from Quebec, hosts Durham Lords and the Fanshawe Falcons in the round robin at the national invitational tournament.