On the eve of his return to the London Majors, Byron Reichstein was on the mound in Labatt Park.

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On the eve of his return to the London Majors, Byron Reichstein was on the mound in Labatt Park.

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The 28-year-old launched the Ilderton Riverhawks to a 7-4 win over the Strathroy Royals in a Southwestern Senior Baseball League game.

“Bases loaded, two out in the sixth, I threw a pitch to Mike Ambrose, who played for the Majors,” the 2021 Intercounty League Playoff MVP recalled. “He hit a comeback in line. I went to pull away and it hit me on the top of my forehead.

The ball went straight through the air and Ilderton’s third baseman caught it to end the inning. Reichstein came back to pitch 7-8-9 innings for the full game.

On Canada Day, he was back in the Majors’ first-place roster for the first of three straight weekend wins over Barrie, Welland and Brantford.

After the championship victory last fall, Reichstein decided against immediately re-signing with the Majors for personal reasons. His longtime London manager, Roop Chanderdat, stayed in touch throughout the winter and spring.

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“There are certain guys you’re always ready to come back for,” Chanderdat said. “Byron has always been one of my guys. You have a core group and you tell them that if they leave – work, life, whatever – you’ll always take them back.

It’s not like Reichstein hasn’t wielded a bat in the past nine months. He always got his reps with Ilderton.

“It was the whole pre-game coming one to two hours before the game that changed,” said the veteran outfielder. “With Ilderton, you just show up 20 minutes before the game starts, get the bats out and go. This weekend I got an idea of ​​what I need to do for preparation (IBL).

“I was exhausted after the three games.”

Reichstein has also pledged to help the London Badgers’ 16U team. He assists manager Bob Lofgren, whose son Troy was a teammate with the Majors.

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“I thought I would go back to my roots and help the organization that put me on the map,” he said. “It’s great fun. I love teaching, helping and watching them process the things I tell them.

He immediately impressed the youngsters.

“I’ve played one or two of them before since Badgers 18U have been in the senior loop,” Reichstein said. “One of our catchers got called up to the 18U team and I hit a home run while he was catching.

“When I told them I was going back to the Majors, they were all delighted. Some of them are going to the games.

Chanderdat placed him second in the order. The Majors responded with 35 points in three games.

“It’s a scary formation,” Reichstein said. “If you come in as an opposing pitcher, you have to pick your fights and I don’t see a lot for them. We have Drew (Lawrence) or (Austin) Wilkie, two excellent point guards who can take bases on you. I’m left-handed batting, then it’s Cleve (Cleveland Brownlee), Robert (Mullen) and Starling (Joseph) with three heavy bats.

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“They show it in every game and make you play. You go down, we cover all aspects (from power and speed).

Brownlee and Mullen have already combined 17 homers and 58 RBIs as the two are hitting over .400. Reichstein is going to see some great terrain to drive on, just like he did in the London Pennant race last year.

“I’m delighted to be back,” he said. “We have a good team again and it should be a lot of fun.”

He already has a skull-beaten senior league line by a good margin.

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INTERCOUNTY BASEBALL LEAGUE

(London Majors week ahead)

Wednesday: at Brantford, 8 p.m. The Red Sox are 0-18 this year.

Friday: vs. Toronto, 7:35 p.m. at Labatt Park. The Majors beat the Maple Leafs in the 2021 Finals.

Saturday: in Guelph, 7:30 pm The Royals warm up.

Sunday: vs. Welland, 7:35 p.m. at Labatt Park. Jackfish is battling for the top spot with London.

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