Midget Cardinals grab silver at OBA’s

 

By Joel Charron

 

The Amherstburg Midget Cardinals’ season ended with a silver lining recently.

OBA photoThe Cardinals picked up a silver medal at the Ontario Baseball Association (OBA) midget tournament in Corunna August 23-25.

Amherstburg fell to the host team Corunna 5-1 in the finals on Aug. 25.

“The boys did everything we asked them to do,” said manager Kris Meloche.

Amherstburg headed into the OBA tournament with the ninth seed and according to Meloche one of the toughest draws in the tournament.

The Cardinals journey to the final began Friday night with a dominating 18-0 mercy win over Wallaceburg.

Saturday morning the Cardinals took the field against Belle River and squeaked out a 3-2 victory. Amherstburg would lose their next game 6-4 to Corunna, however ended their long day of baseball with another win over Belle River, this time a 6-3 final.

“Belle River is a good team. For us to beat them twice in the same tournament is huge for us,” said Meloche.

On Sunday, in the semifinals Amherstburg edged out a very good Hanover team to advance to the finals, winning 4-3.

“They (Hanover) had a kid that was throwing 85-86 mph. He was by far the best pitcher at the tournament,” said Meloche. “We were able to get to him and beat him.”

Looking to avenge their only loss of the tournament, Amherstburg squared off against Corunna in the final.

However, the Cardinals would not get their revenge, losing 5-1.

“Things just didn’t go our way in the final,” said Cardinals shortstop Kyle Goodchild. “We were hitting the ball hard but right at their fielders gloves. If we would have found the gaps, we would have destroyed them.”

“I’m really proud of the boys,” stated Meloche. “They all stepped up and sacrificed and did what it took to win the silver.”

Meloche credit Goodchild and Ryan Gignac for stepping into leadership roles.

“They acted like player coaches out there. I couldn’t be more proud of those two guys,” said Meloche.

Although Amherstburg’s goal was winning gold, Meloche said silver is nothing to be ashamed of, especially when they were playing teams loaded with players that are 17 and 18 years old.

Amherstburg’s average age is 15-16 years old.

“We were playing full rosters of 18 year old young men and we matched everyone,” said Meloche.

With Amherstburg only losing two players (Goodchild and Gignac) Meloche believes next years squad has a very good chance at another title run.

“We should have a good, strong team for a few years,” said Meloche.

 

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