Dennis Ouellette

Sr. Cards win two out of three games on weekend

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team won two of three games on the weekend to improve their record to 9-6 on the Essex County Senior League baseball season.

In Friday night’s action, the Sr. Cardinals split a doubleheader against the Woodslee 35+ team.

The two teams played a pair of five inning games, with Woodslee taking the first game 8-4. Manager Dennis Ouellette said the 35+ team is a good one.

Amherstburg pitcher Mitch Lepine (17) tags first base on a ground ball play on the infield. Lepine pitched a one-hitter in his team's 1-0 win in the second game of a doubleheader last Friday night.

Amherstburg pitcher Mitch Lepine (17) tags first base on a ground ball play on the infield. Lepine pitched a one-hitter in his team’s 1-0 win in the second game of a doubleheader last Friday night.

“They got seven runs in two innings,” said Ouellette. “They are a very good hitting team, there’s no doubt about it.”

The Woodslee 35+ team plays good defense as well, Ouellette added, and while the Cardinals hit the ball hard in the first game, they ran up against some good gloves on the infield.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Mitch Lepine was able to counter the strong Woodslee 35+ bats. Lepine pitched very well, holding the Orioles to one hit in a 1-0 Amherstburg victory.

The Cardinals threatened in the second inning as they loaded the bases with no one out. However, a double play saw runners retired at home and at first, keeping the game scoreless. After a walk re-loaded the bases, a good play by the Woodslee shortstop kept the game scoreless.

Amherstburg left a runner on third in the third inning and after another scoreless inning in the fourth, the only run of the game was scored in the top of the fifth. The Cardinals loaded the bases once again and got a run across after a wild pitch allowed Nick Price to score from third base.

Nick Price takes a swing at a pitch during the second game of a doubleheader July 14 against the Woodslee 35+ team. Price scored on a wild pitch later in the game, the only run in a 1-0 Cardinals' win. Amherstburg lost the first game of the doubleheader 8-4.

Nick Price takes a swing at a pitch during the second game of a doubleheader July 14 against the Woodslee 35+ team. Price scored on a wild pitch later in the game, the only run in a 1-0 Cardinals’ win. Amherstburg lost the first game of the doubleheader 8-4.

“I felt really good, really strong,” said Lepine. “We played error-free baseball. It was our best defensive game of the year.”

Lepine said they struggled in the first game of the doubleheader but they played well in the nightcap. He believed it was his best game of the season on the mound.

“It’s easy when your defense is playing well,” he said.

The Sr. Cardinals met Woodslee’s senior team Sunday afternoon as well. The Cardinals and Orioles played a high scoring affair with Amherstburg taking a 9-6 decision.

The Cardinals are back in Woodslee July 18, after the July 19 issue of the RTT went to press, to battle the Woodslee junior team. Their next home game is July 26 at the Libro Centre against Walker Homesites starting at 7:30 p.m.

Sr. Cards lose first game of the season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team suffered their first loss of the regular season last Wednesday night.

The Cardinals, who now have three wins and one loss on the 2017 Essex County Senior League season, dropped a 5-3 decision to the Tecumseh U18 team at the Libro Centre’s premier diamond.

Amherstburg's Cole Lepine takes a rip at a pitch during the first inning of the May 31 game against Tecumseh U18.

Amherstburg’s Cole Lepine takes a rip at a pitch during the first inning of the May 31 game against Tecumseh U18.

Things started well for the Cardinals as they took an early lead. After Tecumseh scored in the top half of the first inning, Amherstburg responded with three in their half of the frame. Josh Sikich drove home a run with an RBI double with Matt Bassingthwaighte following that up shortly thereafter with an RBI single. Zack O’Donnell had the third RBI of the inning as his sacrifice fly scored a run.

The Cardinals couldn’t manage to score again on the night but Tecumseh slowly mounted a comeback. A two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning tied the score with the visitors adding two more in their half of the seventh inning.

Coach Dennis Ouellette focused on the fact the Cardinals’ usually reliable defense wasn’t as sharp last Wednesday, as they committed five errors.

“We hadn’t made five errors this year so far,” said Ouellette. “That was the bottom line.”

Second baseman Nick Price awaits a throw as a Tecumseh baserunner slides in behind him.

Second baseman Nick Price awaits a throw as a Tecumseh baserunner slides in behind him.

The Cardinals have had good defense and pitching so far, but Ouellette noted the latter continued against Tecumseh.

“Overall, I was happy with the pitching,” he said.

Ouellette did point out that Tecumseh did get the leadoff man on in six of the seven innings.

“That put us behind the eight-ball every inning,” said Ouellette.

Amherstburg was supposed to play the Essex senior team Sunday at the Libro Centre but that game was called off due to a lack of players. The Cardinals host Leamington tonight (June 7) at 7:30 p.m. before heading to Essex Sunday for a game against the Essex Srs.

Sr. Cards win second game of season by downing Harrow Srs. 14-4

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team have won their first two games of the season, the second being last Wednesday night.

The Cardinals hosted the Harrow senior team at the Libro Centre with Amherstburg winning 14-4. The game ended after five innings due to the mercy rule.

Harrow got to Amherstburg starting pitcher Nick Price in the first inning, putting up all four of their runs in that frame. However, Price and Mitch Lepine shut the visitors down the rest of the way.

Amherstburg scored one run in the first inning, four more in the second, two in the third and put the game away early with a seven-run fourth inning.

Amherstburg's Nick Price heads for home with one of the 14 runs the Cardinals scored on the Harrow senior team May 17. The Cards host the Harrow juniors May 24.

Amherstburg’s Nick Price heads for home with one of the 14 runs the Cardinals scored on the Harrow senior team May 17. The Cards host the Harrow juniors May 24.

Price had a good game at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three RBI’s on the night.

“I started on the mound and gave up the first four runs. After that, I kept the ball low and caused them to hit ground balls,” said Price.

Price’s first hit was a double to the gap, a pitch he said was a two-strike off-speed pitch.

“I just wanted to get a bat on the ball and it hit it in the gap,” said Price.

The second baseman said it was a good game for him at the plate.

“I was seeing the ball well tonight,” he said after the game.

The Cardinals senior team plays four of its first five games of the 2017 Essex County Senior League season at home and Price said they want to get off to a good start.

“We’ve got some tough games after that,” he said. “A quick start means a lot during a shortened season.”

The Essex County Senior League concludes in late July as Price stated the league is going to a series-style playoff format rather than a tournament.

Dennis Ouellette, who coaches the team with Cliff Bechard, was happy with last Wednesday night’s effort.

“They played a good game,” said Ouellette.

Because it is early in the season, Ouellette said players were moved around to see where they could play. He said pitchers will throw no more than three innings during the early portion of the schedule, noting he planned to use four last Wednesday but ended up using two because the game ended after five innings.

The next game is May 24 against the Harrow Jrs. at 7:30 p.m. before the team heads to Tecumseh Thursday for a 7 p.m. game. The Cardinals host the Essex Jrs. Sunday at 1 p.m.

Sr. Cardinals open season with 8-4 win over Woodslee Jrs.

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior men’s baseball team got their season off on the right foot last Wednesday night.

The Cardinals first game of the 2017 Essex County Senior Baseball League season was an 8-4 victory over the Woodslee Juniors at the Libro Centre. The game was tied at two after three innings but the Cardinals broke it open with five runs in the fourth inning.

Amherstburg's Brad Lepine takes a rip at a pitch during May 10 action against Woodslee.

Amherstburg’s Brad Lepine takes a rip at a pitch during May 10 action against Woodslee.

The five-run fourth inning got started when Dominic Malfara scored on a passed ball. Josh Sikich’s RBI triple scored another run then Sikich scored on an error. Another Woodslee error, this one with the bases loaded, allowed two more runs to cross the plate.

After Woodslee scored a run in the top of the fifth inning, Amherstburg replied in the bottom half of the frame with another run of their own thanks to an RBI single from Mac Ouellette. Woodslee scored one more in the top of the seventh inning but it wasn’t enough and Amherstburg came away with the victory.

“I thought we played pretty well,” said Cole Lepine. “We swung the bats well. The pitching was strong and we made plays on defense.”

The Cardinals won the OBA title last September and Lepine said he hopes they win another. He is a newcomer to this year’s team so “hopefully we repeat.”

Coach Dennis Ouellette said is no doubt they have a deeper pitching staff this season than last.

Zack O'Donnell delivers to the plate during the May 10 win over Woodslee at the Libro Centre.

Zack O’Donnell delivers to the plate during the May 10 win over Woodslee at the Libro Centre.

“We picked up a couple of extra pitchers,” said Ouellette.

Due to recent inclement weather, teams were only able to get in one practice before they played and that included the Cardinals.
“It was trial and error tonight,” Ouellette said after the game.

They were able to get all the new players into the game, he added.

“It was a good first game.”

Ouellette thanked the team’s sponsor – Bob Price Home Inspectors – and pointed out they put the team up an extra night last September when they were at the OBA championship in Forest.

Sr. Cardinals capture OBA championship

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Labour Day weekend was also championship weekend for the Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team.

The Cardinals travelled to Forest for the OBA “C” division tournament and came home with the title. The Cardinals went 5-1 at the tournament, including winning the championship game in the early hours of Monday morning with a 15-12 win over Port Lambton. Amherstburg and Port Lambton played three times on Sunday with the Cardinals also having another game that same day. There were 12 teams in the tournament.

“Honestly, it was a total shock. It was unbelievable that we did it,” said Cardinals coach Dennis Ouellette.

Ouellette said for a tournament like that, a team should take six pitchers but the Cardinals entered with three. Some of the players were missing because they are also on the St. Clair College baseball team, Ouellette stated, and it was opening weekend for them.

“They carried the load and did an unbelievable job,” said Ouellette.

Amherstburg had one game Friday night, one game Saturday and four on Sunday, the fourth being necessary because Amherstburg lost the first game of the finals but had to lose twice to be eliminated. The Cardinals won their first four games of the tournament, lost 1-0 in eight innings to Port Lambton in the fifth game but rebounded to win the championship in a game that ended around 1 a.m. Monday.

“The guys really had to come from behind,” Ouellette said of the championship game.

With the exception of the fourth game, which was against Essex, the team played error-free baseball.

“It was unbelievable how they played. I’ve never seen any of the guys play better for those games,” said Ouellette. “I can’t believe some of the guys playing as well as they did. It boggles the mind.”

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team won the OBA title in Forest Labour Day weekend. Top row (from left): Robbie Cooper, Cody Brown, Mackenzie Ouellette, Jamie Reive, Dewy Price, Nick Price, Matt Tomac, Brady Levack, Dennis Ouellette. Bottom row (from left): Cliff Bachard, Brendon Seguin, Mitch Lepine, Dom Malfara, Brad Lepine. (Submitted photo)

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team won the OBA title in Forest Labour Day weekend. Top row (from left): Robbie Cooper, Cody Brown, Mackenzie Ouellette, Jamie Reive, Dewy Price, Nick Price, Matt Tomac, Brady Levack, Dennis Ouellette. Bottom row (from left): Cliff Bachard, Brendon Seguin, Mitch Lepine, Dom Malfara, Brad Lepine. (Submitted photo)

Winning the game against Essex was a feat in itself, he noted, as the Cardinals trailed 10-5 going into the bottom of the seventh inning but scored six times to win the game 11-10.

The Cardinals lost to Woodslee in the Essex County Senior League championship a few weeks ago but the Orioles were an “A” division team. In the “C” division, Amherstburg had about ten players on the bench with Port Lambton having approximately double that, Ouellette stated, including some hard-throwing pitchers.

“Throwing harder pitches doesn’t mean you are going to win,” said Ouellette. “Our guys had them stymied and our guys hit. That’s what it boiled down to.”

Robbie Cooper was named MVP of the championship game as he went 4-for-4 with a home run, double and six RBI’s. Nick Price was the tournament MVP. Both received gifts for their accomplishments in addition to the trophy, hats and rings they earned with the rest of the team. Dominic Malfara caught all six games, Ouellette added, including each of the Sunday games.

Ouellette said the team was thankful for the support it received. He added the team carried itself well on and off the field, similar to last year when they played in the OBA tournament in Niagara Falls, with both tournament committees taking note.

“People liked how they acted away from the diamond,” said Ouellette.

Not only did the Cardinals earn praise, they also earned the attention of other players. Ouellette said they were getting calls as soon as Monday morning from other players asking if they could join the team next year.