Dennis Ouellette

Harrow upends Sr. Cardinals in first game of playoffs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team didn’t open the Essex County Senior League playoffs in the manner they were hoping.

The Harrow Blues came to the Libro Centre last Wednesday night and defeated Amherstburg 4-1.

The Blues left the bases loaded in the first inning and runners on second and third base in the second only to come away empty handed. Amherstburg opened the scoring in the bottom half of the second inning. Matt Bassingthwaighte crossed home plate thanks to an RBI single from Cole Lepine.

Third baseman Brady Levack throws to first base during last Wednesday night’s game against Harrow.

Third baseman Brady Levack throws to first base during last Wednesday night’s game against Harrow.

Harrow finally broke through in the sixth inning with four runs and were able to keep the Cardinals off the board the rest of the way.

“That was a good game,” commented Amherstburg manager Dennis Ouellette after the game. “It boiled down to two pitches. That was the difference in the game – two pitches.”

The Cardinals travel to Port Lambton for their OBA tournament Labour Day weekend. Following the OBA tournament, the best-of-three series will resume. The Cardinals won their OBA tournament last year.

Matt Bassingthwaighte high-fives his teammates after scoring a run for the Cardinals in the second inning.

Matt Bassingthwaighte high-fives his teammates after scoring a run for the Cardinals in the second inning.

Currently, the second game of the tournament will be Sept. 9 in Harrow at 5 p.m. If necessary, the third and deciding game of the series would be Sept. 10 in Amherstburg at 3 p.m.

Sr. Cards drop final game of regular season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team finished the season with an 11-9 record after losing 8-4 Friday night against Walker Homesites.

The game was a make-up game from an earlier rain-out and was played at Soulliere Field in Windsor’s Mic Mac Park.

The Cardinals got off to a quick start and led 3-1 going into the bottom of the third inning. However, errors and an inability to get key hits hamstrung Amherstburg the rest of the way. Walker Homesites put up three runs in the third inning, two more in the fourth and one in each of the fifth and sixth innings.

Mac Ouellette (24) awaits the pitch  during fifth inning action last Friday night. Amherstburg lost 8-4 to Walker Homesites and now await to see if they will finish the regular season in second or third place.

Mac Ouellette (24) awaits the pitch
during fifth inning action last Friday night. Amherstburg lost 8-4 to Walker Homesites and now await to see if they will finish the regular season in second or third place.

Amherstburg scored its fourth run in the top of the seventh inning but couldn’t get any more after that.

“We’re just hot and cold,” said manager Dennis Ouellette.

Amherstburg had won two straight games heading into Friday night’s match-up with Walker Homesites. Ouellette touted the most recent game previous to that, a 6-3 win in Tecumseh July 31, as a game where they made few errors and “hit the ball all over the place.”

“We got out here (for the Walker Homesites game) and it’s not the same team,” he added.

Amherstburg Cardinals senior team manager Dennis Ouellette (right) pats Matt Lepine (27) on the back as Lepine comes in to pitch Friday night.

Amherstburg Cardinals senior team manager Dennis Ouellette (right) pats Matt Lepine (27) on the back as Lepine comes in to pitch Friday night.

The Cardinals are still in a battle for second place in the Essex County Senior League, and the first-round playoff bye that comes with it. While Amherstburg’s regular season is finished, the Tecumseh Sr. team has three games to go and could overtake the Cardinals. If Amherstburg finishes third, the playoffs start Aug. 13 but if they end up in second and get the bye, the playoffs would begin Aug. 20 for the Cardinals.

In the meantime, Ouellette said they will get some practices in. That will include infield practice and work on getting the lead-off man out in every inning.

“The first batter seems to get on base too often,” said Ouellette.

Sr. Cardinals drop 8-6 decision to Woodslee Jr. team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team lost a game last Tuesday night against a team they likely should have defeated.

The Cardinals were on the short end of an 8-6 decision, which dropped their overall record to nine wins and seven losses on the 2017 Essex County Senior League season. It was only the second win of the season for the Woodslee Jr. team (2-13).

Amherstburg’s Brad Lepine slides in at home plate in an attempt to score a run against the Woodslee Jr. team.

Amherstburg’s Brad Lepine slides in at home plate in an attempt to score a run against the Woodslee Jr. team.

Amherstburg trailed 8-2 after five innings and tried to mount a comeback but fell just short. The Cardinals put up three runs in the top of the sixth inning, the first run being Cole Lepine scoring from third base on a wild pitch. After Matt Lepine scored on an error, Nick Price crossed the plate with the third run of the inning as he scored on a ground-out.

The Cardinals scored another run in the seventh inning as Cody Brown scored on a wild pitch, but Amherstburg couldn’t get any closer.

“That was tough,” said Cardinals manager Dennis Ouellette, “especially after the way we played the last couple of games.”

The Cardinals had split a doubleheader against Woodslee’s 35-and-over team then beat a strong Woodslee Sr. team.

“We played great games lately,” he said. “This one was not there.”

Cole Lepine singles to left field. Woodslee won the game 8-6.

Cole Lepine singles to left field. Woodslee won the game 8-6.

Ouellette pointed out the Cardinals loaded the bases twice with one out against the Woodslee Jr. team but couldn’t score a run in either instance.

“We definitely didn’t get timely hitting,” said Ouellette. “We probably didn’t get more than five or six hits. We should have got more than that.”

The Sr. Cardinals return home this Wednesday night for a 7:30 p.m. game at the Libro Centre against Walker Homesites. They are also scheduled to play the Essex Jr. team in Essex Sunday at 1 p.m. The Cardinals also have a Monday night game scheduled against the Tecumseh Sr. team next Monday night at Lacasse Park in Tecumseh starting at 7 p.m.

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.