OBA Bantam “C” championships come to Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Some of the finest bantam baseball teams in the province came to Amherstburg over the Labour Day weekend.

The Amherstburg Minor Baseball Association (AMBA) hosted the four-day tournament with games played at the Libro Centre, Malden Centre Park and in Harrow. It was a 12-team tournament with local teams including Kingsville and the host Amherstburg Cardinals, both of which played in the Sun Parlour Baseball Association.

Mitchell won the tournament Monday morning with a come-from-behind 8-5 victory over Listowel.

The Mitchell Astros won the OBA Bantam “C” title with an 8-5 win over Listowel Monday at the Libro Centre.

Dan Hebert, umpire-in-chief with the AMBA and one of the volunteers working at the tournament, said it was a bantam “C” division tournament, with the “C” designation being as a result of the size of the centre.

“We’re ‘C’ based on the population compared to other centres,” he said.

It has been at least a decade since Amherstburg has hosted an OBA tournament and Hebert said they hope to get more in the future.

“We’re trying to impress and get more people coming to Amherstburg,” he said.

Aiden Foreman connects with a pitch during Amherstburg’s game against Wyoming last Friday night at the Libro Centre.

Comments about the Libro Centre were positive, Hebert added, with AMBA trying to make it not just the centre of the county for baseball but also now trying to let the province know about the facilities here.

The Amherstburg Cardinals made it to Sunday’s games and ended with a 2-2 record. After losing Friday night to Wyoming under the lights at the Libro Centre, the Cardinals bounced back Saturday with wins over Woodstock and Kingsville. However, a loss Sunday morning to Mitchell resulted in the Cardinals being eliminated from the double-elimination tournament.

Rick Daly, manager of recreation services for the town, said bringing in an OBA tournament was a positive for the community.

“This is huge because it’s a provincial championship,” said Daly. “That’s what we’re trying to do at the Libro Centre.”

Amherstburg’s Ben Hodgson fields a ground ball at second base Saturday afternoon against Kingsville.

Daly said it takes time but they are attracting provincial and national events to Amherstburg. It was held the same weekend that the Canadian national women’s sledge hockey team had a selection camp indoors at the Libro Centre.

The diamond was closed last Thursday to prepare for the OBA tournament “to let facility staff polish and shine it for everyone,” said Daly. “We really want to put our best foot forward when it comes to events like this.”

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