The ‘Price’ is right

By Joel Charron

Good pitching and solid defense, what’s what wins baseball games.

That’s what the Amherstburg Senior Cardinals showed the Leamington Baron as they eliminated them in a 3-1 Game Three win in the best of three series in the Essex County Senior League playoffs, Monday night at the United Communities Credit Union Complex.

The series begin last Wednesday at the UCCUC.

Behind the strength of Amherstburg pitcher Adam Ouellette, the Cards pounded 13 runs on 12 hits for a 13-3 mercy win in Game One.

Despite giving up three runs in the first inning, Ouellette found his groove and shut down the opposing team lineup as the Cards lit up Leamington ace Willy Froose.

“I’m surprise we hit him the way we did,” said Amherstburg’s Rob Meloche. “We usually have a hard time against him.”

The Cards scored seven runs in the first two innings and then exploded for six runs in the home

Nick Price throws a complete game, two hitter to move the Sr. Cards past Leamington

half of the sixth inning.

“It’s a good way to start the series,” said coach Ken Thrasher. “He (Froose) is a good pitcher, I just don’t think he attacked them like he could.”

Game Two moved to Leamington on a windy Sunday afternoon and sent Cardinals ace Mike “Junior” Purdie to the mound.

The Cards jumped out to a 4-0 lead, thank in part by a triple by Purdie in the third inning that drove in a run and a home run by Terry McLellan that drove in two runs in the fourth inning.

Leamington would cut into the lead in the fourth with a run scored and two more would cross the plate in the sixth

Purdie who had a rough day on the mound gave up 10 hits while striking out five.

Leamington drove the tying run across the plate in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game into extra inning and would eventually steal the game from the Cards in the eighth inning on a single down the first base line that scored the runner on third as Leamington stole Game Two, 5-4.

“Our bats just went cold after the fourth inning,” said McLellan. “This is a tough loss. We though we were coming away with a win.”

“One mistake can change the game. We pulled together and made the best of it, there’s not much more you can do,” said coach Frank D’Alimonte.

The series shifted back to Amherstburg on Monday night for the decisive Game Three.

Pitching in only his second game of the year, the Cardinals sent Nick Price to the mound and commanded the field like a seasoned veteran.

The Cards helped their young pitcher out by scoring the game’s first run off a Purdie double to left field that just missed going over the fence.

Leamington would tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning only to see them fall behind again on a Justin Wood single that drove in Lorne Pike for a 2-1 lead.

John Bondy would push the lead to 3-1 after his single cashed in Mark Beaudoin in the fifth inning.

Leamington was never able to lock in on Price has he induced a number of ground balls and never seemed rattled. Price pitched a complete game, allowing one run on two hits, walking two and striking out three as Amherstburg took the series 2-1 with a thrilling 3-1 win

“I felt pretty calm all game,” said Price.

Price credited Cardinal catcher Matt Spargalo for his success on the mound.

“Matt called a great game and I was just trying to hit my spots. I tried to keep the ball low and good things happened,” said Price.

“That was a fun game to be a part of,” said Thrasher. “It’s a pleasure to watch these boys when they play good, clean baseball. You have to take your hat off to Nick, what a game he pitched.”

Before moving to the next series against first place Chatham, the Cardinals focus turns to the OBA tournament in the Niagara Region beginning this Friday at 6 p.m.

“This is a great way to start OBA’s,” said D’Alimonte. “We showed our talents. We created opportunities and took advantage of them.”

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