Late inning surge pushes Bantam Cards past Leamington

By Joel Charron

The Bantam Cardinals picked up an impressive 9-5 victory over the Leamington Lakers Friday night at the United Communities Credit Union Complex’s premiere diamond.

The Cardinals entered the game having played some of the provinces top teams in a tournament the weekend prior and manager Kris Meloche hoped that playing at a high level would follow them into league play.

To erase what would have been a double-header, the Cardinals played a full nine-inning game.

Riley Meloche got the start for the Cardinals and pitched a solid three innings, not allowing a run and striking out one.

The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the third. Marshall Laing drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and Ryan Wismer cashed in two runs with a double of his own.

It would only take the Bantam Cards one inning to push the lead to 4-0. After reaching base on a double in a gap, Jordan

Eric Parker reaches far back to snag a fly ball.

Bastein crossed the plate thanks to a couple of Leamington errors.

Chris Wismer would push the Amherstburg lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Bastein and Brendan Renaud would pitch solid innings of relief, allowing only one run in the sixth inning.

Leamington would score another run in the seventh to cut further into the Cardinals lead and would have scored more if it wasn’t for the heads up double play to get the runner out at first base and a home plate to end the inning.

Amherstburg would run into trouble in the eighth inning.

After taking over the mound in the top of the eighth inning, Ryan Wismer gave up three runs before being pulled for Eric Parker.

The game was tied 5-5 going into the bottom of the eighth inning.

Joel Wismer ignited the Bantam’s lineup by blasting a lead off triple. Chris Wismer would reach base on balls and a few batters later Laing and Parker would each drive in a run and both would eventually come around to score to give Amherstburg a 9-5 lead.

Parker would shut down the Leamington lineup to secure the win for the Cardinals.

“Our pitching went awry for a little bit but aside from that they played really well,” said Meloche. “We’re coming together and not making silly errors. They come to play everyday, this is a team that can play ball.”

Meloche said he was impressed with his teams ability to bounce back after allowing Leamington to tie the game.

“They could have easily have packed it in and given up but they hung in there,” he said.

“We fell asleep for a bit but we need games like this to show ourselves that we can win,” explained Joel Wismer.

Wismer said playing a nine-inning game may not look like much to the average person but to the players on the field, the extra two innings are a huge deal.

“It made for a long night. I’m pretty tired,” said Wismer.

Meloche said the Bantam’s are playing very good ball as of late, which is a good sign consider the OBA tournament is just around the corner. “We’re going to go deep in that tournament,” said Meloche.

The Bantam OBA Tournament is Labour Day Weekend in Belle River.

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