Nick Price

Sr. Cards now 7-5 on Essex County Senior League season



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team now has seven wins and five losses on the 2018 Essex County Senior League season after a win and a loss last week.

The most recent game was Sunday afternoon at the Libro Centre, a 4-0 loss to the Woodslee Orioles senior team. Woodslee scored one run in the first inning and three more in the second while Amherstburg could only muster one hit on the afternoon, a fourth inning single by Matt Bassingthwaighte. The Cardinals did draw several walks but couldn’t push any of their base runners across the plate.

“Their pitching really shut us down,” said second baseman Nick Price. “Our defense wasn’t bad. When you only get one hit, you can’t expect to win.”

Price said the Cardinals’ pitching was solid, with starter Josh Sikich going six innings while Mitch Lepine pitched the seventh.

“They had a couple of good innings. We just couldn’t hit their pitching today,” said Price.

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior team played at The Corner Ballpark July 2. It is the former Tiger Stadium site. (Special to the RTT)

Price added that “you get a few of those games” during the season but they will try to put it behind them as quickly as possible.

Their previous game was a 9-1 win over the Tecumseh 35+ last Monday night. The game was played on the Willie Horton Field of Dreams at The Corner Ballpark, which is located at the former Tiger Stadium site in Detroit.

“That was a pretty great experience with all the history that’s there,” said Price. “It was pretty neat to step on to that field.”
Price joked that “I hope didn’t use all of our runs in that game.”

The next game for the senior Cardinals is Wednesday night at home against Harrow starting at 7:30 p.m. They follow that up with a 7 p.m. game Friday in Woodslee versus the Woodslee 35+ team.

Sr. Cards now 5-4 after recent Essex County Senior League action



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team won one and lost two in recent game action.

The Sr. Cardinals lone game last week was in Woodslee, where they battled the Woodslee Orioles junior team. The game was a high scoring affair that saw the Orioles defeat the Cardinals 11-10.

The Cardinals, who now have five wins and four losses on the 2018 season, lost 10-1 to Essex June 16 at the Libro Centre. It was a make-up game from a previous rain-out but it turned out to be an off-night for the Cardinals, who made several errors that only compounded their problems.

After Essex built a 5-0 lead in the second inning, the Cardinals scored their only run in the bottom of that inning thanks to an RBI infield hit by Nick Price.

Essex would score three more in the fourth and two more in the sixth and kept Amherstburg off the scoreboard, though the Cardinals would load the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“I don’t think we can make excuses for that game,” said Price, who had three hits on the night. “We need to throw that one under the carpet and forget about it. I think we’ll have a better effort on Tuesday.”

The Cardinals were missing some players against Essex but Price said that was no excuse, noting their numerous errors.

Matt Bassingthwaighte gets a hit during recent game action against the Tecumseh Thunder senior team at the Libro Centre.

“It wasn’t our day,” he said.

While Price had a good game personally, the overall result put a damper his own effort.

“Any time you personally have a good game, it’s a good feeling,” he said. “We still lost the game so that overshadows anything personally.”

The Cardinals played the Tecumseh Sr. team June 13 and came out with an 8-7 victory. Amherstburg squandered a 5-1 lead and trailed 7-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. Matt Bassingthwaighte had an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth and after Price’s infield hit scored the tying run in the seventh, Bassingthwaighte walked with the bases loaded to push home the winning run a few batters later.

“It had its ups and downs,” starting pitcher Mac Ouellette said of the Tecumseh game. “We pulled out the win.”

Amherstburg second baseman Nick Price (2, left) attempts to tag a Tecumseh baserunner during a recent game at the Libro Centre. Amherstburg won the game 8-7.

Ouellette said they have to play complete games, saying they often play well for several innings in a game then get complacent at points.

The Cardinals’ next game is tonight (Wednesday) at the Libro Centre against the Harrow senior team. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Amherstburg and the Tecumseh 35+ team are scheduled to play Monday evening on the Willie Horton Field of Dreams at the Corner Ballpark in Detroit. The Corner Ballpark is located on the former Tiger Stadium site.

Sr. Cards improve to 3-0 after beating Woodslee Sr. team



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team is 3-0 on the season after picking up a win over the Woodslee Orioles senior team Sunday night.

The Cardinals downed the Orioles 4-1 at the Libro Centre with three of their runs coming in the top of the first inning. After two runs scored on a Woodslee throwing error, Brad Lepine’s RBI single cashed in the third run. Amherstburg had a chance to expand the lead in the third but couldn’t, as they left the bases loaded.

The game stayed 3-0 until the sixth inning when Woodslee scored their lone run without having to get a hit. Two errors sandwiched a walk and a hit batter and that pushed a run across home plate. Amherstburg answered back in their half of the inning. Josh Slaney doubled and would score two batters later after a sacrifice bunt and a force out.

Josh Sikich, Mitch Lepine and Zack O’Donnell shared pitching duties for the Cardinals.

Nick Price said they got strong pitching early and that helped the Cardinals Sunday night.

Amherstburg’s Nick Price (right) slides safely into second base during Sunday night’s 4-1 win over the Woodslee Orioles senior team.

“We kept their hits down,” said Price.

The defense was solid, he added, though noted there were “hiccups” in the sixth inning.

“We managed to recover,” said Price. “Zack came in and shut them down. That’s all you can ask for for his first outing.”

Price said the good start is due to playing as a team, getting hits and keeping the errors down.

“We’d like to keep the momentum going,” he said.

The Sr. Cardinals play at home Wednesday night against Essex starting at 7:30 p.m. They play their first two road games this Sunday in Harrow starting at 1 p.m.

Sr. Cards win second game of season by downing Harrow Srs. 14-4



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team have won their first two games of the season, the second being last Wednesday night.

The Cardinals hosted the Harrow senior team at the Libro Centre with Amherstburg winning 14-4. The game ended after five innings due to the mercy rule.

Harrow got to Amherstburg starting pitcher Nick Price in the first inning, putting up all four of their runs in that frame. However, Price and Mitch Lepine shut the visitors down the rest of the way.

Amherstburg scored one run in the first inning, four more in the second, two in the third and put the game away early with a seven-run fourth inning.

Amherstburg's Nick Price heads for home with one of the 14 runs the Cardinals scored on the Harrow senior team May 17. The Cards host the Harrow juniors May 24.

Amherstburg’s Nick Price heads for home with one of the 14 runs the Cardinals scored on the Harrow senior team May 17. The Cards host the Harrow juniors May 24.

Price had a good game at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three RBI’s on the night.

“I started on the mound and gave up the first four runs. After that, I kept the ball low and caused them to hit ground balls,” said Price.

Price’s first hit was a double to the gap, a pitch he said was a two-strike off-speed pitch.

“I just wanted to get a bat on the ball and it hit it in the gap,” said Price.

The second baseman said it was a good game for him at the plate.

“I was seeing the ball well tonight,” he said after the game.

The Cardinals senior team plays four of its first five games of the 2017 Essex County Senior League season at home and Price said they want to get off to a good start.

“We’ve got some tough games after that,” he said. “A quick start means a lot during a shortened season.”

The Essex County Senior League concludes in late July as Price stated the league is going to a series-style playoff format rather than a tournament.

Dennis Ouellette, who coaches the team with Cliff Bechard, was happy with last Wednesday night’s effort.

“They played a good game,” said Ouellette.

Because it is early in the season, Ouellette said players were moved around to see where they could play. He said pitchers will throw no more than three innings during the early portion of the schedule, noting he planned to use four last Wednesday but ended up using two because the game ended after five innings.

The next game is May 24 against the Harrow Jrs. at 7:30 p.m. before the team heads to Tecumseh Thursday for a 7 p.m. game. The Cardinals host the Essex Jrs. Sunday at 1 p.m.

Sr. Cardinals capture OBA championship



By Ron Giofu


Labour Day weekend was also championship weekend for the Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team.

The Cardinals travelled to Forest for the OBA “C” division tournament and came home with the title. The Cardinals went 5-1 at the tournament, including winning the championship game in the early hours of Monday morning with a 15-12 win over Port Lambton. Amherstburg and Port Lambton played three times on Sunday with the Cardinals also having another game that same day. There were 12 teams in the tournament.

“Honestly, it was a total shock. It was unbelievable that we did it,” said Cardinals coach Dennis Ouellette.

Ouellette said for a tournament like that, a team should take six pitchers but the Cardinals entered with three. Some of the players were missing because they are also on the St. Clair College baseball team, Ouellette stated, and it was opening weekend for them.

“They carried the load and did an unbelievable job,” said Ouellette.

Amherstburg had one game Friday night, one game Saturday and four on Sunday, the fourth being necessary because Amherstburg lost the first game of the finals but had to lose twice to be eliminated. The Cardinals won their first four games of the tournament, lost 1-0 in eight innings to Port Lambton in the fifth game but rebounded to win the championship in a game that ended around 1 a.m. Monday.

“The guys really had to come from behind,” Ouellette said of the championship game.

With the exception of the fourth game, which was against Essex, the team played error-free baseball.

“It was unbelievable how they played. I’ve never seen any of the guys play better for those games,” said Ouellette. “I can’t believe some of the guys playing as well as they did. It boggles the mind.”

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team won the OBA title in Forest Labour Day weekend. Top row (from left): Robbie Cooper, Cody Brown, Mackenzie Ouellette, Jamie Reive, Dewy Price, Nick Price, Matt Tomac, Brady Levack, Dennis Ouellette. Bottom row (from left): Cliff Bachard, Brendon Seguin, Mitch Lepine, Dom Malfara, Brad Lepine. (Submitted photo)

The Amherstburg Cardinals senior baseball team won the OBA title in Forest Labour Day weekend. Top row (from left): Robbie Cooper, Cody Brown, Mackenzie Ouellette, Jamie Reive, Dewy Price, Nick Price, Matt Tomac, Brady Levack, Dennis Ouellette. Bottom row (from left): Cliff Bachard, Brendon Seguin, Mitch Lepine, Dom Malfara, Brad Lepine. (Submitted photo)

Winning the game against Essex was a feat in itself, he noted, as the Cardinals trailed 10-5 going into the bottom of the seventh inning but scored six times to win the game 11-10.

The Cardinals lost to Woodslee in the Essex County Senior League championship a few weeks ago but the Orioles were an “A” division team. In the “C” division, Amherstburg had about ten players on the bench with Port Lambton having approximately double that, Ouellette stated, including some hard-throwing pitchers.

“Throwing harder pitches doesn’t mean you are going to win,” said Ouellette. “Our guys had them stymied and our guys hit. That’s what it boiled down to.”

Robbie Cooper was named MVP of the championship game as he went 4-for-4 with a home run, double and six RBI’s. Nick Price was the tournament MVP. Both received gifts for their accomplishments in addition to the trophy, hats and rings they earned with the rest of the team. Dominic Malfara caught all six games, Ouellette added, including each of the Sunday games.

Ouellette said the team was thankful for the support it received. He added the team carried itself well on and off the field, similar to last year when they played in the OBA tournament in Niagara Falls, with both tournament committees taking note.

“People liked how they acted away from the diamond,” said Ouellette.

Not only did the Cardinals earn praise, they also earned the attention of other players. Ouellette said they were getting calls as soon as Monday morning from other players asking if they could join the team next year.