Newmarket pitcher Austin Hamblin said it was an exciting weekend for his team playing on a massive stage.
The 15-year-old was one of five players from the Newmarket 15U Elite squad to play in the Ontario Summer Games in Mississauga from July 21 to 24 — taking home a silver medal as part of the York-Simcoe Baseball Association team.
“All the boys there were great,” he said. “I’m glad we got to bring it home to Newmarket.”
Newmarket athletes got the chance to shine at the Ontario Summer Games, which featured more than 2,300 youth competing across 17 different sports.
The York Simcoe Baseball Association Team featured players from several different teams playing together for the first time. The team had a 3-1 record in round-robin play, winning 10-6 in a playoff round before losing 10-8 in the gold medal game.
It was a strong performance, Newmarket coach Todd Hamblin said.
“Newmarket guys, one to five, did really great when they were given an opportunity to get out there,” he said. “The leaders just shone through.”
“The bats were on fire. We just hit every ball that came to us,” Newmarket shortstop Andrew Kobryn said. “The pitching was on too.”
However, the players lamented the narrow miss on gold. Newmarket’s Josh Hewson said they held the for most of the game but lost it at the end.
“It was a tough game,” he said. “I’m happy with the outcome of the tournament. I wish we had got gold, I definitely think we could have, but I’m happy with silver.”
The games featured thousands of athletes, and the baseball players were not the only players to represent Newmarket well at the massive games. Archer Caleb Ko of the York County Bowman archery club brought home three medals, a silver from the team competition and a gold and a silver in two individual contests.
There were 21 athletes in all competing from Newmarket, including basketball, hockey, volleyball, athletics, soccer and rugby.
Organizers honoured the athletes, aged 12 to 18, who came through Mississauga over the weekend. The municipality said close to 1,750 medals were awarded.
"The City of Mississauga was proud to host the 2022 Ontario Summer Games," the municipality said. "where 2,366 registered participants (athletes, coaches, Provincial Sports Organization representatives, team managers and athlete assistants) took part in 17 sports across the city.
“A lot of preparation went into gearing up for this intense, athletic competition,” games host Councillor Matt Mahoney said in a news release, adding that he congratulates the athletes for “their incredible achievements that led them to this exciting milestone in their athletic career.”
Newmarket catcher Paul Verman said it was really fun being with all the other athletes competing.
“It was a great experience," Vermin said, adding that the York-Simcoe baseball team "just came together really well. We bonded as a team … It was a good weekend.”
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