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Wildcats win SWOSSAA, beat out in OFSAA Regionals

Villanova Baseball team pose for photo

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats boys baseball team season is over but it is being branded a success.

The Wildcats, who did not advance to this week's OFSAA tournament in London were eliminated last week in the OFSAA Regionals that were played in Windsor-Essex County. After entering the OFSAAA Regional tournament as the number two seed, Villanova went 2-2 to close out their season. After losing to Mitchell in their first game of the tournament, they knocked off Bradford and Notre Dame. They went up against top seeded St. Martin and fell short.

Games were played last Tuesday and Wednesday in Woodslee, Tecumseh and at Mic Mac Park in Windsor.

“It definitely wasn't a lack of effort,” said Villanova head coach Wes Langlois. “The guys competed hard but it wasn't their cleanest baseball. To move on, you have to play clean baseball. Unfortunately, we just fell short.”

Despite the loss, the coaches are already optimistic for next season.

“Even though the OFSAA Regional didn't work out, I'm very excited for next year and so are the coaches and players.”

Langlois said the Wildcats were a young team this season and “maybe lacked a bit of experience in this style of tournament.” He believed it was a great learning experience for the team as 16 of 20 players are eligible to return next season.

“I think it's great for the players and the coaches to play in a tournament like that,” he said. “It should pay dividends next year.”

Villanova went undefeated in WECSSAA and captured a third straight championship, with Langlois adding he believes it is a tough league to come out of. The WECSSAA championship put them in the SWOSSAA title game against St. Patrick's in Sarnia, with Villanova erupting late in the game and winning that title by a final score of 17-4.

“It was actually a close game for a few innings,” said Langlois. “Then we had a big inning. Our bats came alive.”

It was “a tremendous season” for the Villanova baseball season, Langlois added, noting that 11 seniors graduated off of the 2023 team. He said only one starter from last year's team suited up on this year's OFSAA Regional squad. Langlois said the coaches were happy to see this year's team reload and still earn a WECSSAA championship.

“We ended up getting it done,” he said. “I think it was a great season.”

Wildcats win SWOSSAA, beat out in OFSAA Regionals

By Ron Giofu


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