It was a wild post-season for the wild card team from the north country. The team was ready to follow up their inaugural championship season with a second banner, this time under the direction of GM Rob Larmer.
The Caribou opened the playoffs on the road and promptly lost 4-2 to the Hamilton Mounties (95-49). Neither the Mounties nor the league had any idea that win #96 would be their last one for 2024 as Thunder Bay quickly assumed control of the series and breezed to a 4-1 Championship Series win. They would face the Detroit T-Birds and their juggernaut offensive in the Championship Series.
Opening on the road, they again lost the opener by the score of 6-2. They held a 3-1 lead in game two before Detroit exploded for 5 runs in the final two at bats to win it, 6-5.
Game 3 was the key to the series for both teams. The game lasted 6 hours and 4 minutes before a winner surfaced in the 17th inning. Detroit was efficient against Thunder Bay pitching, leaving only 4 men on base. The Caribou let opportunity after opportunity to win at home slip away, often times with runners on third base and 0 outs.
Finally, Fred Darrach, 0-for-8 with 5 left on base, drilled a single to score Cooper Corrigan, and the Caribou had their first win of the series.
Again, none of us had an inkling that the T-Birds would not win another contest as Thunder Bay won the next three games. They clinched in Detroit, the only road win of the series as the Caribou won all three October affairs.
Larmer is not your ordinary GM as he maintains a second career when not tending to the demands of the ball club. He’s a Canadian dairy farmer who names his cows. Congrats to Rob on his 2024 season!