Midget Cardinals grab both wins in Sunday evening doubleheader


Cards-1 Cards-2By Joel Charron


They don’t do too much, they don’t do too little, but the Amherstburg Midget Cardinals do just enough to win games.

On Sunday evening, the Midget Cardinals squeaked by Corunna and Belle River defeating the visiting teams 2-1 and 6-5 respectively at the United Community Credit Union Complex’s premiere diamond.

In game one of the doubleheader, Cardinals starter Justin Garbutt pitched a brilliant four innings, giving up no hits, three walks and sitting down five batters.

Garbutt said the Cardinals started out sluggish but kept swinging away at the dish and credited Travis Neufeld with a sixth inning rip that shot down the third base line that lit a fire under the home team.

Amherstburg walked away with a 2-1 win.

“Both teams couldn’t hit anything,” said Garbutt. “Their (Corunna) pitcher was throwing some good junk.”

Although Garbutt wasn’t a part of the bantam team that defeated Corunna in last year’s OBA C division championship, he said there is a good rivalry developing between the two centers.

“I wasn’t on the team last year but considering they played each other in the OBA finals in a close game it was nice to get a win on them at this point in the season,” said Garbutt.

Just 20 minutes after the final pitch in game one, Amherstburg took the field again with the Belle River Braves as their opponent in game two.

Riley Meloche got the nod on the mound and was roughed up in the first two innings. Belle River scored two runs in the first inning and another one in the second for a quick 3-0 lead.

However, Amherstburg began to show signs of life in the bottom of the second.

Marshall Laing lead off the second with a double and eventually scored on a wild pitch, Derek Matte drove in a run and also scored on a wild pitch and Chris Wismer drove in a run with a double of his own.

With a 4-3 lead, Cardinals manager Kris Meloche swapped up Wismer, who kept the Braves lineup at bay for three stellar innings.

Wismer pitched three innings, giving up one hit, walking one and striking out three.

Matte pushed the Amherstburg lead to 5-3 after crossing the plate on another Belle River wild pitch.

Belle River made a push in the sixth innings by scoring a run, however, a heads up defensive double play by Garbutt allowed the Cardinals to escape with the lead still intact.

Wismer restored the two-run lead after driving in a run with a RBI double.

Amherstburg gave up a run in the seventh but relief pitcher Kyle Goodchild struck out the final two batters to preserve the 6-5 win.

“That’s our team, we do just enough to get it done,” said Meloche. “They are a loose group, maybe at times a little too loose.”

Meloche admits he is at fault for how loose his team plays but said the players need to know when it’s time to take it seriously.

“We’re not playing the kind of baseball that we can play,” he said.  ‘We’re not playing Amherstburg baseball, but it’s coming.”

Meloche said Garbutt and Wismer played outstanding on the diamond.

“Garbutt let nothing by him today and Woody (Wismer) was a stud on the mound,” he said.

Wismer said fatigue played a factor in the second game.

“The guys seemed a little tired after the first game but we had no choice but to fight through it,” he said. “We have a lot of fight in this team.”

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