Essex County Senior League

Sr. Cards season ends with two straight losses in ECSL playoffs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The season is over for the Amherstburg Cardinals senior men’s baseball team.

The Cardinals lost two straight games in the Essex County Senior League’s double-elimination playoff tournament last weekend. The second game was a 4-2 loss to Essex in a game that went eight innings. That game was played in Harrow.

The Cardinals built a 2-0 lead after one inning but Essex clawed back with one in the third inning and one in the sixth to force extra innings. They added two more in the eighth to win the game and advance.

Amherstburg could only muster four hits on the afternoon. Lack of hitting and lack of depth were key problems during the weekend, as well as the season as a whole.

“(Essex) had a lot of hits that were bloops. They were putting the bats out and they were dropping into no man’s land,” said Amherstburg’s Nick Price. “We left a lot of guys on base. Credit their defense. They made a lot of clutch plays.”

The first game of the playoff tournament for Amherstburg was Friday night at the Libro Centre. The Cardinals dropped an 8-3 decision to Harrow, a game in which former Cardinals pitcher Mike Purdie did well in a relief effort for the Blues.

Amherstburg pitcher Josh Sikich fields the ball during Friday night’s game against Harrow at the Libro Centre. Harrow would win that game as well as the league title later in the weekend.

Harrow scored two in the first inning and one in the second to go up 3-0 before Amherstburg made it a 3-2 game with one run in each of the second and third inning. Mitch Lepine scored on a ground out in the second inning while Matt Lepine’s RBI single cashed in the run in the third inning.

Harrow scored two more in the fourth inning but Amherstburg got one back in their half of the frame when Price tripled then scored on a Brad Lepine bounce out. Harrow would add one more in the fifth and two in the sixth to round out the scoring.

“We really didn’t hit the ball,” Matt Lepine said after Friday night’s game. “We made a few errors.”

Brady Levack tags the Harrow baserunner during Sept. 21 action at the Libro Centre. Harrow would win this game and go on to win the championship while Amherstburg dropped its only two games in the double-elimination playoff tournament.

Matt Lepine said he had two hits in Friday night’s game and thought he played well personally, but hoped for a rematch against Harrow that would not occur.

Harrow would end up winning the Essex County Senior League championship, beating Tecumseh Sr. twice on Sunday afternoon at the Libro Centre.

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior team thanks Bob Price Home Inspections for being their sponsors again this season.

If anyone is interested in playing for the Amherstburg Cardinals senior team in 2019, they can call Price at 519-999-9390.

Sr. Cards go 1-2 at Labour Day OBA tournament

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals hit the road Labour Day weekend for their OBA tournament but didn’t come home with the result they wanted.

The Sr. Cardinals went 1-2 in the tournament, played in Port Lambton. The second loss knocked them out of the tournament.

Things started well for Amherstburg, as the Cardinals defeated Clearview 8-1 in the first game, getting 11 hits in the process.

In the second game, the Cardinals lost to Bolton 6-3.

“That’s a game we felt we were a better team,” said Cardinals infielder Nick Price. “We just couldn’t hit.”

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior team played at The Corner Ballpark July 2. It is the former Tiger Stadium site. They also went 1-2 at the recent OBA tournament (Submitted photo)

In their third game, Amherstburg played Harrow.

“They beat us 6-4, said Price. “We had an hour rain delay going into the seventh inning. We scored three runs in the top of the seventh but couldn’t complete the comeback.”

Despite the OBA tournament being over, the season is not for the Sr. Cardinals as the Essex County Senior League (ECSL) playoff tournament is later this month. The Cardinals host Harrow Sept. 21 at the Libro Centre at 7 p.m. for their first playoff game.

The bulk of the ECSL playoff tournament will be in Amherstburg this year, with the championship to be decided at the Libro Centre Sept. 23. Tecumseh is scheduled to have a home game Sept. 21 and there will be two games in Harrow Sept. 22 but the remainder of the games are slated for the Libro Centre’s premier diamond.

Sr. Cards finish regular season, now await OBA’s and league playoffs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals have finished the Essex County Senior League baseball season and are now focusing on the upcoming OBA tournament and playoffs.

The Cardinals finished the regular season at the .500 mark with an 11-11 record after defeating the Essex Yellow Jackets 8-6 last Thursday night in Essex. Amherstburg got off to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Mac Ouellette’s RBI single drove home Nick Price.

Amherstburg first baseman Mac Ouellette fights the sun as he catches a fly ball during last Thursday evening in Essex.

Essex took a 4-1 lead in the third inning with four runs of their own but Amherstburg clawed back with one in the top of the fourth on a Josh Slaney RBI single and three more in the top of the fifth thanks to an RBI double from Cole Lepine, Brad Lepine scoring on an error and a sacrifice fly from Slaney.

Essex regained the lead – this time at 6-5 – with two in their half of the fifth inning. However, Amherstburg would score the final three runs of the game. Brady Levack scored on a wild pitch in the top of the sixth while Josh Sikich’s two-run single in the seventh put the Cardinals in the lead to stay.

“It was a really big win for us,” said Brad Lepine. “It was back-and-forth. We hit the ball well.”

Lepine called it “a really big team win” and stated it put them in third place in the league standings and a home playoff game against the Harrow Blues.

“We got good pitching and we put the bat on the ball well,” he said. “It was awesome.”

Josh Slaney takes a rip at a pitch as part of his two-RBI game.

As the team prepares for the OBA tournament in Port Lambton on Labour Day weekend, he added that they have to minimize their errors, keep hitting the ball and continue to pitch well.

The Essex County Senior League playoffs start Sept. 21. The Cardinals and Blues will play that night at the Libro Centre with the bulk of the playoff tournament to be there as well that same weekend.

Sr. Cards win one and lose one last week

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior team won a game and lost a game in Essex County Senior League action last week.

The Cardinals first game of the week started late, ended late but saw Amherstburg snap a four-game losing streak.

Amherstburg was in Essex with the game, originally having an 8:30 p.m. start, actually getting underway at approximately 9 p.m. and lasting almost three hours. The Cardinals would emerge with a 12-5 victory.

Amherstburg scored three in the top of the first inning thanks to a Josh Sikich two-run double and a Brady Levack RBI single. Mac Ouellette gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead in the fourth with an RBI singe but Essex scored two in the fourth and one in the fifth to make it a one-run game.

The Cardinals pulled away with six in the sixth inning as Ouellette hit a three-run home run, Matt Lepine had an RBI single and Nick Price had a two-run single. Essex would answer back with two in their half of the sixth but Josh Slaney and Levack each had RBI’s in the seventh to round out the scoring.

Amherstburg second baseman Nick Price leads off last Wednesday night’s game in Essex with a hit.

“We started out pretty hot in the first inning,” said Ouellette. “We had good pitching from Josh Sikich and Tristan Bouchat.”

Their bats came alive and “that was long overdue, that’s for sure,” he said.

The sixth inning was “huge,” Ouellette added. The win helped give them confidence as they head into the final games of the regular season and into the OBA tournament Labour Day weekend in Port Lambton, he said after the game.

The Cardinals second game of the week was Sunday afternoon in Woodslee against their senior team but suffered a setback. Woodslee won that game 8-0. The Sr. Cards now have ten wins and 11 losses on the 2018 season.

Amherstburg is scheduled to be back in Essex Thursday night for a 7 p.m. game. It is the last regular season game with Essex County Senior League playoffs due to start in September.

Sr. Cards lose a pair of weekend games

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team dropped a pair of weekend games but were plagued again by a depleted roster for both.

The Cardinals were missing several regular players for both games, particularly Saturday night when coach Dennis Ouellette had to play right field for an inning until another player showed up. Fill-in players suited up for the Cardinals, some of whom have been playing softball in recent seasons.

The most recent game was an 8-2 loss Sunday afternoon in Tecumseh to their senior team. The Thunder scored four in an error-filled first inning, three more in the fifth and one in the sixth while the Cardinals managed two runs in the top of the seventh thanks to a Carl Guthrie RBI single and a Josh Slaney sacrifice fly.

Brady Levack connects with a pitch during Aug. 12 action at Lacasse Park in Tecumseh.

“We lost but I’m disappointed with the way we played,” said Ouellette. “Cole (Lepine) pitched great. We have a good player possible for next year (Guthrie).”

Ouellette said the absent players would have made a difference, as the Cardinals had to use players in different positions and that caused some errors and defensive plays that wouldn’t usually happen.

“There were a lot of balls that fell that wouldn’t usually fall,” said Ouellette.

Ouellette said he is still excited about this year’s team, stating no shows at this time of year is normal as players have other commitments.

“Once we get everyone back, we’ll be playing like we did at the beginning of the year,” said Ouellette.

The Cardinals were in action Saturday night against the Tecumseh 35+ team and lost 7-1. Amherstburg’s lone run came in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Austin Price. Mac Ouellette said Saturday they were short staffed but noted they still didn’t play well enough.

Amherstburg shortstop John Freer makes a catch during Saturday night action at Mic Mac Park. The Sr. Cardinals lost games both Saturday and Sunday, though they were missing regular players both days.

“The name of the game is hitting the ball and we didn’t hit the ball,” he said.

The Saturday night game did not count in the Essex County Senior League standings.

The senior Cardinals (9-10) are in Essex Wednesday night for an 8:30 p.m. game and face the Woodslee Sr. team in Woodslee Sunday at 1 p.m.