It’s a playoff championship win at last for the Delta Stars in the Lower Mainland Baseball Association (LMBA).
The Stars were formed out of Ladner back in 2004 as one of the original teams in the LMBA’s new 45+ Division. Since then, they have had no post-season success over the last 18 seasons. That finally all changed last Saturday at Dugald Morrison Park.
The Stars defeated the Vancouver Pirates 6-5 in thrilling come-from-behind fashion. The win snapped four straight playoff final losses to their longtime rivals.
It look like the drought would continue when Vancouver jumped out to a commanding 5-0 lead in the top half of the first inning.
In a show of sheer determination, pitchers Paul Pepin, Rick Dubras and Justin Green, along with the Stars’ defense, regrouped and went on to hold the Pirates scoreless the rest of the way, leaving 13 stranded runners on the basepaths.
The Stars’ offense finally broke through with a run in the sixth and then three more in the seventh with timely hits and heads up baserunning by Phil Letts, Ghalib Gulam, Mike O’Connor, Rick Dubras, and a sacrifice fly by Keith Fluet. Down by one going into the bottom of the ninth, lead-off batter Brian Loney worked a base on balls and quickly moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Russ Lacate.
Following a strikeout, Mike O’Connor just beat out an infield single to keep the rally alive. Dubras then came to bat and worked the count to 2-and-2 before sending a fly ball to short left centre field. In what seemed like an eternity, the Pirate centre fielder sprinted to try and make the catch, but the ball fell in front of him, allowing the tying and winning Stars runs to score. Bedlam ensued.
In his post-game remarks, LMBA Commissioner Dan Taylor noted that the 45+ Division championship trophy is named after former original Delta Stars player and long-time Ladner resident George Pinter who passed away in 2013.
The Stars roster is rounded off by original members including coach Ken Lorenz, Larry Waddell, and Bruce Oikawa, along with Ian Kato, Adam Roberts, Rene Holt, and Doug Roberts.