Dennis Ouellette

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.

Sr. Cardinals fall in Essex County Senior League baseball finals

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior men’s baseball team got to the Essex County Senior League final but could not get past the Woodslee Orioles.

The Cardinals dropped a 7-0 decision to the Orioles Sunday afternoon with Woodslee taking the 2016 league title with the win. Had Amherstburg won, they would have played the Orioles again immediately after that game in a winner-take-all final game in the double-elimination playoff tournament.

Woodslee scored one in the first inning and four in the second to pull away and threatened in the third and fourth innings. The Orioles got a two-run home run in the fifth inning to round out the scoring. Amherstburg managed to get four hits over the seven inning game.

Amherstburg first baseman Mac Ouellette lunges backward to make a catch during Sunday’s league final against Woodslee.

Amherstburg first baseman Mac Ouellette lunges backward to make a catch during Sunday’s league final against Woodslee.

Both of Amherstburg’s losses came against Woodslee, as a home run killed the Cardinals in a 3-1 loss Saturday. The Cardinals ended up playing the Tecumseh senior team twice in the tournament, winning 12-5 Friday night and 11-10 Sunday morning, the latter game having been moved from Saturday night due to rain.

“Overall, there were a couple of plays that made the difference,” said Amherstburg coach Dennis Ouellette.

Ouellette said Woodslee’s long hits to the outfield dropped in while Amherstburg’s did not. The first game was even most of the way until a late-inning home run and if it were Amherstburg that got the home run, Ouellette said the Orioles would have been chasing them.

“We’re clearly balanced,” said Ouellette. “I’m not disappointed that way.”

Amherstburg’s Tristan Bouchat swings at a pitch during Sunday’s loss to Woodslee. Woodslee won the league title with the win.

Amherstburg’s Tristan Bouchat swings at a pitch during Sunday’s loss to Woodslee. Woodslee won the league title with the win.

Despite the end of the Essex County Senior League season, there is still more baseball to be played for both teams as they advance to their respective OBA tournaments Labour Day weekend. Amherstburg is headed to Forest for their tournament.

“(Woodslee) is going to the A division in OBA’s and they are probably going to reach the semi-finals,” said Ouellette. “We played basically even with them so we should do well in the C division. I’m looking forward to the OBA’s this year.”

Ouellette said he is satisfied with the year as a whole, noting the Cardinals began with eight straight victories before the streak was snapped due to players missing games over work commitments.

“I’m definitely not disappointed at all,” he said. “I’m looking forward to next year already.”

Sr. Cardinals off to 5-0 start

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It has been a good start for the Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team.

The Cardinals record now sits at a perfect 5-0, following a 14-10 victory against the Tecumseh Thunder senior team Sunday afternoon at the Libro Centre. Tristan Bouchat was the winning pitcher in Sunday afternoon’s game.

It was the second game of the week for the Cardinals as they also held on to beat Harrow 7-6 last Wednesday night, also at home.

Amherstburg’s Tristan Bouchat pitches during last Wednesday night’s 7-6 win over Harrow.

Amherstburg’s Tristan Bouchat pitches during last Wednesday night’s 7-6 win over Harrow.

“Last year we were rebuilding,” said coach Dennis Ouellette. “We are more together now.”

Pitching is a strength of this year’s team, Ouellette added, a feeling echoed by second baseman Nick Price.

Price said after Wednesday night’s win that pitching has been strong thus far and that the bats were going too. Two of the first four wins were via the mercy rule, he added.

“We can’t say enough about our defense and pitching,” said Price.

Nick Price delivers a base hit during fifth inning action last Wednesday night at the Libro Centre.

Nick Price delivers a base hit during fifth inning action last Wednesday night at the Libro Centre.

The win over Harrow was attributable to pitching and defense but also timely hitting, Price added.

The goal this season is to finish tops in the Essex County Senior Baseball League and to also do well at the OBA tournament in the fall.

“I think we’ve got the team to do it this year,” said Price.

The Cardinals next two games are on the road but they return to the Libro Centre’s diamond June 15 for a game against the Woodslee Orioles. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.