Take me out to the ball game

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: JOEL LUXFORD
Falcons pitcher Brett Sabourin throws the opening pitch for the team's inaugural game on September 6.

On a beautiful September afternoon at 1:14 p.m., Fanshawe Falcons history was made. The varsity men’s baseball team started their inaugural season with a resounding success by defeating the Seneca Sting in both games of their season opening doubleheader.

Falcons’ pitchers Brett Sabourin and Travis Helps both pitched complete game gems to help sweep the Sting 9-2 and 10-0 respectively. Fanshawe catcher Sean Refflinghaus showed off his defensive prowess by throwing out numerous would-be base stealers before capping off the second game by driving in the winning run.

The season opener was a significant event for fans and players alike. For Falcons shortstop Paul Lytwynec, a second-year student in the Police Foundations program, the opportunity to play competitive college baseball again was beyond surreal.

“I thought my college baseball career was over, but when I heard they were going to have a team, it was so exciting,” he said.

Lytwynec also had nothing but great things to say about the Fanshawe athletic department. “The Fanshawe athletic department is amazing. They have given us everything we’ve asked for. It makes our jobs easy as players when all we have to do is go out and play and know all the other stuff behind the scenes is taken care of.”

Thanks to the athletic department, the experience of attending a Falcons baseball game was full of excitement and flare. From the in-game announcer quoting Oprah to the always-entertaining mascot race, there was never a dull moment.

Even the intermission between games offered the opportunity for fans aged 12 and under to run the bases.

Grant Kerrigan, brother of Fanshawe catcher and second baseman Ian Kerrigan, had a message for all those Falcons fans contemplating a visit to the old ball game.

“It’s a great time. Let’s get these bleachers full!” said Kerrigan.

Just like the first game, the remaining Falcons home games are played at the historical Labatt Memorial Park on Wilson Avenue just off of Riverside Drive. The park has been hosting games since 1877 and has an undeniable aura that beckons back to old-time baseball.

As expected, the Falcons team goal is to win the OCAA Championship scheduled for October 17 and 18 in Durham.

“There’s not one guy in here who doesn’t think that’s [a championship] possible,” said Lytwynec. With a few more performances like the season opener, that goal may just become a reality. With six teams in their division and Fanshawe sitting near the top of the standings after opening weekend, the Falcons appear poised to make a championship run in their first season.

The Falcon’s next home game will be a doubleheader against the defending 2013 OCAA Men’s Baseball Champion St. Clair Saints on September 27 at Labatt Park.

Tickets are free for children under six and Fanshawe students with their student card. So grab a glove and a friend and come on out to root, root, root for the home team at the old ball game.