Clippers History (Port Dover Minor Baseball)

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Port Dover Junior Clippers

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Summary

 

The Clippers started their journey in 2015 when Adam Mummery Head Coach brought his outgoing third year Port Dover Midgets into the new Clippers team together with past Port Dover players and imports from the Norfolk County area. They joined the Junior Intercounty league which contained "AAA" teams such as Kitchener. Hamilton and Guelph amongst other "AA" an "A" classified teams.

 

Not many, particularly amongst existing Intercounty Junior teams game them much of a chance. However great coaching and hard work and commitment surprised most, by their ability to grind out games for wins. A successful first year saw the clippers high in the rankings and beating out Hamilton "AAA" in the play offs

 

2016 saw Garnet Henrich taking over as head coach who then had a team that had experienced its first year in Junior Intercounty ball. This teams confidence was high as they knew they had the beating of any team on the day. This season culminated in a Provincial Championship win at Junior "A" and the coveted Intercounty Junior Championship.

2015 Season

PORT DOVER JUNIOR CLIPPERS BEAT HAMILTON IN FIRST ROUND OF BASEBALL PLAYOFFS (July 2015)

Port Dover Clippers Junior Baseball team has beat the Hamilton Cardinals in a best-of-three series.
The first game of the Junior Inter-County Baseball League was played on Friday in Hamilton. That game ended with a 9 – 6 score in favour of Port Dover.

Game two was played on Sunday evening (July 26) at Lions’ Harry Misner Park in Port Dover. The score was a lop-sided 20-6 for Hamilton.

But that didn’t discourage the local players who headed back to Hamilton for the third game on Monday evening at 7:30 p.m.
Monday night’s game three at Bernie Arbour Stadium was won by Port Dover Clippers with a 5 to 0 shutout.
Starting pitcher Javin Varnard pitched the nine innings … posting 10 strikeouts!

Head Coach Adam Mummery declared at the end of the game, “it was a fantastic win,” adding “that shows the character of this team after the big loss Sunday at home. I am so proud of them.”

Coach Mummery gave credit to Assistant Coaches, John White, Beau Berg, Garnett Henrich. Port Dover Clippers will face Guelph in Round Two.

“I want to thank Port Dover fans who turned out in such big numbers for Sunday’s game,” Coach Mummery stated.
Port Dover Clippers junior baseball team was organized in March. Head coach is Adam Mummery.

Port Dover Minor Baseball formed this Junior team for players aged 18 to 21, on a suggestion from some of last season’s Midget team players (Adam Mummery was coach) as they wanted to continue playing organized baseball.

Teams in the league include; Brantford Braves, Cambridge Cubs, Guelph Silvercreeks, Woodstock Rangers, K-W Panthers, Port Dover Clippers, Stratford Indians, Hamilton Cardinals

Henrich named Clippers new skipper ( Feb 2016 )

It’s no secret Garnet Henrich loves baseball, and it isn’t a secret that his passion for the game is contagious.

Those are just a couple of the strengths he wants to bring to the table as he takes over the Port Dover Clippers’ reigns.

Henrich was named head coach of the local Junior InterCounty Baseball League team at a recent meeting. He takes the torch that Adam Mummery started last year with the team in its inaugural season.

“I’m really excited about it,” Henrich said. “Adam did a great job as head coach last year and really set the standard high.”

Henrich is no stranger to the team. He was one of Mummery’s assistant coaches last year. But because of family commitments, Mummery isn’t able to return.

“Coaching in the junior league is a huge accomplishment. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and I’m really happy to be taking over,” Henrich said. “After my playing days I thought coaching would be great to do. I learned a lot last year. I think we all did.”

Last season the Clippers started out slow, as expected. But later in the season they began to surge, ending up in fifth place, with a 7-9 record in the eight-team loop.

“It was unexpected that this team was put together to begin with,” Henrich said. “We started off slow because a lot of the guys had not played ball in a couple of years. That is what put us behind. But we worked them hard in practice and we saw them really coming together.”

He said the turning point was a loss to the Stratford Indians.

“We lost that game but the guys were jumping on first pitches and we put up some big numbers,” he said. “It was the first time we started to score a lot. Something just clicked. The hitting came along and the team really gelled together. There was a real spark.”

 

Riding that wave, the Sailors got into the playoffs and beat the Hamilton Cardinals in the first round, before losing to the Guelph Silvercreeks in the semifinal. But now Henrich said he and the rest of the Clippers want more.

“We’ve had a year under our belts, so now we know what to expect,” Henrich said. “We want to do better than last year. I think we can do it. The guys really have that passion. I feel it’s going to be different. From the winter workouts so far, they have the eye of the tiger thing. They want to learn.”

With a solid core group returning, Henrich is hoping to get some reinforcements from around Norfolk, knowing there have been some great midget teams the last couple of years in the area. Henrich also said he’s looking for a couple of more coaches to round out the staff.

“We’d love to get the top kids from Norfolk,” Henrich said. “This is the best junior league in Ontario.”

2016 Season

Port Dover Clippers won the Ontario Baseball Provincial 'A' Championships in Sarnia/Lambton this past weekend.

Click here for the story of the weekend


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Front row from left, Josh Townsend, Garrett Walker, Gavin Barnard, Larry Hopper, Zach Heipel. 
Middle row, Mac Mitchell, Andy Wilson, Austin Lamb, Rhett Roney.
Back row, coach Beau Berg, Colton McLeod, Owen Schweyer, Sam Wilson, John Broc Picard, Brett Pond, coach Duncan Macaulay, coach Garnet Henrich. 

A provincial pennant will hang high above Misner Park courtesy the Port Dover Clippers.

 

The Junior squad comprised of players from all corners of Norfolk was in Sarnia/Lambton this past weekend for the Ontario Baseball Provincial 'A' Championships, where they took the long way home.

After winning the opener 6-3 against Wyoming Friday night the Clippers dropped a 9-7 decision to Harrow Saturday morning. With their backs against the wall in the double-elimination format, a Saturday afternoon contest vs. Halton Hills was rained out, leaving a cluster of games scheduled for Sunday.

Port Dover eventually topped Halton 8-4 the next morning. The club then reeled off four straight wins, including two against previously unbeaten New Lowell for all the marbles.

“The fact that we played five games in one day and won all five was huge,” said Clippers manager Garnet Henrich. “It's a huge accomplishment – I've never heard of any team winning five games in one day.”

Baseball fans in Norfolk are well aware of the Clippers' recent exploits. This is the same roster that finished with a 12-13 record in the Junior InterCounty Baseball League (JICBL) and has won seven in a row. They now sit with a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three final against Brantford with Game 2 to be played Tuesday night.

Knowing more big games loomed this week, Port Dover threw caution to the wind and went for the kill.

“It was tough because obviously in the back of my mind I was thinking about the (InterCounty) playoffs,” Henrich admitted in an interview Monday morning. “At this point right now some of our pitching is spent, but I could see it in the boys' eyes they wanted the OBA provincial championship and I wasn't going to take that away from them. I put my best lineups out, I made sure the guys that were available to pitch were on the mound. As a head coach, I did everything possible to allow these boys to win.”

Andy Wilson threw twice on Sunday, his brother Sam, Rhett Roney and Zach Heipel also took to the hill.

Heipel – used primarily out of the bullpen this season – was outstanding in the final contest (a 2-0 win) tossing nine innings of shutout ball.

“It was a big outing for him because we had no (more) pitching at that point. He really pulled through ... it was more than I could've asked from him,” said Henrich, who walked a fine line between going for the win and keeping some arms in reserve.

“I was basically asking everybody how they felt - if anybody was sore to the point where they couldn't pitch, that would be a no-go but anybody who was able to throw for me, I put them on the mound,” he added. “Obviously, after five games people were sore ... but they sucked it up and they battled through it and accomplished their goal. They were all hungry for the win.”

The victory further added to Port Dover's magical run, one they're intent on finishing in style.

“A lot of them won the OBA championships when they were younger kids but I think this season has proven to them that they're a good ball club,” Henrich explained. “They've all really been working hard trying to get better, meshing as a team. To get to this point of winning a championship, I think it just confirms all the work that they've put into this so far. They believe in themselves now – they were a great team and were able to get to the championship round of the playoffs and know that we deserve that OBA championship. I think everybody is extremely proud of themselves but they want more – they want the JICBL (title).”

Game 2 of the JICBL final series goes at Brantford's Arnold Anderson Stadium at 8p.m. If necessary, the winner-take-all Game 3 is set for Wednesday in Port Dover at 7:30p.m.

Port Dover Clippers win Junior InterCounty Baseball League championship 2016

Click here for the story of the Championship


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PORT DOVER 

When the Port Dover Clippers formed last spring, even the most optimistic team members couldn't have envisioned what took place on Wednesday.

In a Game 3, winner-take-all scenario, the Clippers captured the Junior InterCounty Baseball League title with an 11-3 victory over the Brantford Junior Red Sox at Misner Park.

The win was Port Dover's eighth in their final nine league games, shocking not only JICBL pundits but the entire roster in the process.

“Not a chance, no way,” Port Dover pitcher Gavin Barnard said of any championship thoughts 16 months ago. “What we've done the last two years is unreal. Even last year was a great season with getting to the second round. You can't ask for much more.”

The Clippers won six of seven games – including an unprecedented five on Sunday alone - to claim the Baseball Ontario single-A title in Sarnia/Lambton. 

The group had just one day's rest before returning to the JICBL final on Tuesday in Brantford. A 7-2 loss left more than a few people wondering if the Clippers had simply run out of gas.

“We've been bouncing back all year against good teams,” centre fielder Brett Pond said after his final junior contest. “One hit gets us going ... once we get started you can't stop us.”

Barnard answered any lingering doubts surrounding the team with a virtuoso performance, striking out 10 and scattering just six hits over eight innings. He also helped the offence break through in the fifth. After Larry Hopper reached base on an error, Barnard, Sam Wilson and Rhett Roney all doubled to put the home side ahead 3-0. They would score another two in the sixth, setting the stage for a four-run seventh, highlighted by Pond launching a solo home run deep into the night.

The Clippers left six men on base in the first three innings but felt it was only a matter of time until they got to Jr. Sox starter Mike Burke.

“It took a few innings to get the bats going but after (Game 2 in Brantford) we all looked at each other and said, 'we just won provincials ... we've got to come tomorrow night and prove that we're that OBA team',” said left fielder Garrett Walker. “That was in the back of our minds – we knew we could do it.”

No one wanted to say it out loud, but most of the arms on the club – Barnard's most notably – were a little worse for wear after the provincial tournament. It became clear to Walker and the rest of the team, Barnard was going to leave everything he had on the mound Wednesday.

“He's one of the biggest grinders I know,” Walker explained. “He wouldn't tell other people but he told me he was banged up a bit – a lot of us are sore, we had a big weekend ... He wanted to go the entire game, he wanted that from the start. I was worried about him and in the first inning he was throwing hard, he was pumping it in there so I took a deep breath and said, 'he's got this'.”

Though they came up a little short, the Junior Sox also put together a nice underdog story in August. The fourth place club knocked off top-seeded Kitchener in the semis before coming one win from a title. Manager Ted Chapman said he didn't know what the deciding factor in the series was.

The parting words between the Brantford coaching staff and team after the contest will stay in-house.

“That's between me and them,” Chapman offered.

Without the big bat of Devin Homes, who returned to his university team in the US and missed the finals, Port Dover's pitching staff knew they would need to shut down any and all comers in the season's final two weeks. The group did just that in giving up three runs over two elimination contests.

“I think it came down to our pitchers,” Pond said. “They were great every game and we picked them up with the bats when we needed to.”

Going into the 2016 season Port Dover's roster was chalk full of Norfolk County standouts - players that had won plenty on the provincial stage. Earning their latest title was as much about belief as their performance between the lines.

“I think we just kind of realized we actually had it in us to make a run and at least make it to the finals and make it tough for whoever the hell we were playing,” Barnard explained. “I think we just found out what kind of team we were – (we) started getting the bats going, playing solid D and just kept rolling.”

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Printed from portdoverminorbaseball.com on Monday, October 26, 2020 at 11:52 PM