Majors Advance to IBL Finals

The London Majors hope to win their first IBL championship in 39 years after beating the Kitchener Panthers 9-6 Monday evening.

The Majors had fallen behind 2-0 in the series, then fought back to advance to their first finals appearance since 2008. After losing a 10-inning Game 5 the Majors battled to take Games 6 and 7 to knock out the Panthers.

In Game 7 the Majors shot out to 5-0 lead after two innings and were up 9-2 after five.

In the first inning, Paul Young’s two-run home run gave London a quick 2-0 advantage, a lead they would never relinquish. The Majors pulled away in the fifth when Derrik Strzalkowski scored on a Cody Mombourquette single to make the score 6-2. Young then knocked in Paul Lytwynec and Mombourquette with a single making the score 8-2. Byron Reichstein scored the ninth run on a Chris Dennis sacrifice fly. Kitchener scored three in the top of the ninth but it was too little too late for the Panthers who can at least look back and know they pushed the Majors to the limit.

Brett Sabourin earned the win for London with a six-inning performance, striking out four with four hits and allowing three runs. Kitchener’s Matt McGovern took the loss in relief going 2 1/3 innings after coming in for starter Adam Echlin who proved ineffective after just 1 2/3 innings.

The Majors have made it to the finals most recently in 2004, 2006 and 2008 but left empty-handed. They will face the defending league champion Brantford Red Sox or the pennant winning Barrie Baycats for the championship.  Game 7 in that series goes Tuesday night in Barrie.