Two local boys help Wilmot Thunder win gold

WILMOT TOWNSHIP – Two local boys have had a whirlwind of a summer.

Nathan Romphf and Landon Groul played OASA ball for the Wilmot Thunder out of New Hamburg.

They played two games each week out of New Hamburg until tournament weekends – three in a row.

Eliminations held in New Hamburg on Aug. 7 and 8 saw the team win gold.

Next came the provincials in Napanee Aug. 13-15. There they took silver.

Then it was off to the Eastern Canadians in Hoyt, New Brunswick Aug. 18-22 – another gold medal!

This tournament was round robin play, with six teams in Pool A and five in Pool B.

Pool A consisted of Wilmot Thunder; Hoyt High Sox (hosts); Clarenville, Newfoundland #2; Brookfield, Nova Scotia Elks #1; Napanee Express #3; and St. Gervais, Quebec.

Pool B had the Tara, Ontario Twins #2; Oromocto, New Brunswick Chargers #1; Cabonear, Newfoundland #1; East Hants, Nova Scotia Mastodons #2; and Goulds, Newfoundland #3.

After three days of round robin play, Wilmot had five wins and a loss, which meant the team had to take the long route to get on top. The playoffs began at 6 p.m. Saturday night with a win against Nova Scotia. The highlight of the game was Graul hitting a 225-foot bomb over the fence. He was named player of the game.

Sunday at 11 a.m. Wilmot met the Tara Twins. With lots of patience at the plate, the Twins walked in three runs. Final score was 3-1 for Wilmot.

The next game at 1 p.m. was against Newfoundland’s Carbonear #1 team in Pool B, and it took a complete team effort for Wilmot to win 5-1. This game had some great defensive and offensive play.

Then it was off to the championship game at 3 p.m. against the Napanee Express. They had already beat Wilmot once but the team was ready and determined not to let that happen this game. They called on Romphf to do the pitching and Graul to call the game. After two innings score was 7-1 for Wilmot. Napanee got a few runs to close the gap to 7-5. A back-and-forth battle ensued, with the final 14-6 victory making Wilmot the gold medal champions.

Other highlights: Kevin Durrer’s son Joey plays on the team with roots from Mildmay. They put their name in to host the U15 Nationals in 2022

During the medal presentation there were three individual awards – top pitcher, top batter and MVP of the round robin. The top pitcher and top batter went to Napanee. The MVP of round robin went to Romphf for his many great defensive plays, playing first and second. He pitched many innings, and made a good showing at the plate with a home run, a couple of doubles and many singles and walks.

Submitted by Shirley and Jill Kuntz