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London Majors defeat Guelph 3-0, continue historic streak at Labatt Park

Since 1877, at least one baseball game has been played at Labatt Park each year. File/980 CFPL

The novel coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of sporting events across the world, but the London Majors refused to let it snap a tradition that’s more than 140 years old.

The Majors defeated the Guelph Royals 3-0 in an Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) exhibition game Friday night at Labatt Park.

Majors starter Owen Boon pitched six shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing just five hits.

London’s Cleveland Brownlee went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Julian Johnson went 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI for the Majors.

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Read more: Historic streak at London’s Labatt Park will continue

Friday’s game in London, Ont., was “not just a regular baseball game but a game to ensure the historic longevity of Labatt Park remains intact,” said co-owner and manager Roop Chanderdat.

Since 1877, at least one baseball game has been played at Labatt Park each year.

But then in mid-March, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the IBL was forced to cancel the season.

“We don’t want it to go down on our watch that somehow there was no game played at Labatt Park,” Chanderdat said.

Read more: Face masks, empty parks: MLB season opens with coronavirus front of mind

The manager said Guelph stepped up, and the Majors put a roster together.

“I’m excited about the guys who are here. They want to play and are excited to play,” Chanderdat said.

The game was not open to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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