The Brantford Red Sox only have one team left between them and a record-tying fifth-straight Intercounty Baseball League championship.
The Red Sox’s current dynasty can match the 1959-63 Red Sox and 1927-31 Galt Terriers as the only clubs to stretch dominance in the league to a complete half-decade.
To get to that pinnacle, the Sox still have to fight their way past the Barrie Baycats in a best-of-seven championship series that begins on Thursday at Arnold Anderson Stadium.
For their part, the Red Sox have breezed through the first two rounds, capturing a 4-1 series victory against the Burlington Twins before dominating the Kitchener Panthers in a four-game sweep, with total runs for the series at 32-7 in favour of Brantford.
“We are pretty focused on winning,” veteran catcher Wayne Forman said. “Everyone in the locker room knows what it will mean to win five in a row.”
Though the big goal is ever-present in the back of their minds, Forman said the next game is always first in their thoughts.
“We are taking this game by game,” he said. “Anything can happen in baseball and we will be ready to go every single game.”
The starting rotation has been dominant in the postseason, following the example of Mike Meyers.
“Meyers has stepped up his game since the playoffs have started and he’s done that every year for us,” Forman said. “Meyers came out in Game 1 of the series with Kitchener and tossed a complete game three-hit shutout and then the next game (Chris Chavez) came out and threw a complete game two-hit shutout.
“The guys motivate each other in that friendly, but competitive way. We compete against ourselves each game so it doesn’t matter who we play.”
The team has also been getting great starts out of newcomers Brian Sikorski and Nathan Forer to round out the rotation.
“Sikorski is a veteran on the mound and knows what to do and you can see it rubbing off on Forer,” Forman said. “He has played at a high level, but doesn’t have the experience of the other guys. But you can see he is catching on quick to play like a seasoned veteran.”
The Red Sox have all elements of their game going.
Leadoff hitter Josh McCurdy has a hit in more than half of his 40 at-bats in the postseason while Scott Thorman has hit a home run once in every six at-bats, leading the IBL postseason with six bombs.
“You have to have pitching, solid defence and timely hitting in baseball,” Forman said. “If you have two of those three things you have a pretty good chance of winning.
“We have all three going for us.”