On a cold, Tuesday August night in Willowbrook, the Yorkton Yankees won their first ever SESBL Title with a 7-4 win over the Willowbrook Royals, winning the best of five series 3-1 and giving them a deserving end to an impressive season. The Royals and Yankees both battled hard in the series, but in the end as in most of the SESBL season, the Yankees were simply too balanced of a team to be defeated.
Game one of the series completely went the Yankees way with the Jubilee Park crowd out to support the hometown side to start the championship series the Yankees benefited from hot bats and solid pitching to take an 8-0 win and the first game.
Game two was a different story as the Royals threw everything they could at the Yankees in an attempt to prevent going down 2-0 in the series and having to face elimination on the road. The Yanks were able to prevail with a 5-4 victory. With a chance to end the SESBL season and win its first ever championship, the stage was set, the story was written, and Jubilee Park was in anticipation of a championship celebration.
But, the Willowbrook Royals had other plans in store for Jubilee Park that night, hopping out to an early 8-0 lead in the fourth inning before coming out in the top of the fifth and putting the game out of reach off timely hitting and baserunning taking advantage of the Yankees mistakes to put the game completely out of reach. Eventually frustration got the best of the Yankees as their starting backcatcher got ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire. Whether the move was to fire up the team or not, the ejection eventually did nothing to inspire a Yankees rally as the Royals pitching continued to silence the Yankees bats. A 14-0 victory sent the series to a pivotal fourth game
Game four of the series, with Willowbrook at home and having a chance to completely change the momentum of the series and bring it back to Yorkton with a fifth and deciding game, the Yankees came out strong. Jeremy Johnson opened the scoring with a solo shot that gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead right off the hop. However, the Royals would not go down without a fight, tying the game up then going up 3-1 once again taking the momentum and looking like they just might be capable of pushing the Yankees to the edge. A chance to continue the chance of an upset. In the top of the third the Yankees showed what champions are made of, sending nine batters to the plate, scoring six runs and wasting no time in taking their lead back from the Royals. The six run third inning served as the difference as Logan Calanchie came in for a two inning save that clinched the game, the series, and the SESBL season for the Yankees.
From the opening of the season, the Yankees showed their dominant combination of batting and pitching in addition to having a real sense of a team. The Yankees played together and for each other while clearly being one of the best teams in the league, ending off their season with a deserved first SESBL title, and frankly the season shouldn't have ended in any other way.