London Majors can clinch first IBL title since 1975 tonight in Toronto

The London Majors practice at Labatt Park in London, Ont. on Friday, July 2, 2021 ahead of their July 9 season opener. (Brent Lale / CTV News)

The London Majors are a win away from their first Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) title in 46 years.

Ace pitcher Pedro De Los Santos will get the start for London at Christie Pits in Toronto, Ont. against his former team Thursday.

The left-handed pitcher struck out 12 in a complete-game five-hitter in the opener of the Dominico Cup last week.

With a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-five finals, Majors manager Roop Chanderdat is hoping to bring home his first title since taking over the team 15 years ago.

"It's not just for me, and the long-time players, but it would mean so much for Scott Dart (Co-owner) and for all the people who have been with us and me especially since 2006," Chanderdat.

"We've been there in finals in 2006, 2008 and 2014, so for our fans who follow us loyally, it means a lot for all those people, more so than just you know just the players . I want to win for the players too but also for everyone in London".

This is the eighth time the Majors have played in a championship game since their last title. This year, they have a balanced team with both pitching and hitting, and it allowed them to win the regular-season pennant in a shortened season with a condensed schedule.

"It's been a grind this season and the record we put together, when people look back at it, it's, pretty impressive ," says Chanderdat.

"With COVID protocols, not just in baseball , but guys have to go through all the COVID stuff for their daily life. Combine that with not playing for, a whole year, so there's been a lot of obstacles in the way and this team's persevered."

By winning the regular season London has earned home-field advantage. If they lose tonight, they will host a winner-take-all game five at Labatt Park Friday Night. It would likely be a sell-out with 3,300 fans in attendance, but Chanderdat is laser-focused on tonight's game.

"Our mindset's not even thinking tomorrow," says Chanderdat.

"The whole focus is 100 per cent on tonight and and trying to win that game and Christie Pits".