Elite T-Birds weave no-hitter in taming Amherst Panthers


The Hamilton-based Canadian Thunderbirds 15 and Under team manufactured its first no-hitter of the season in the Boys of Summer Elite Baseball play.

In blanking the Amherst (N.Y.) Panthers 12-0, and giving up no hits, the Thunderbirds took a doubleheader from the Panthers by taking the second game of the twin-bill, 14-3. That improved the T-Birds record to 22-5-1.

Andrew Neustadter (Niagara-on-the-Lake) threw no-run, no-hit ball for five innings for the victory. He struck out six and walked two of the batters he faced. He had strong support offensively as his teammates pounded out 13 hits with every T-Bird starter scoring at least once.

Mike Fumarelli (Amherst) was charged with the loss going two and two-thirds innings, and giving up seven runs on eight hits. He issued a walk and had one strikeout.

Brian Kusey (St. Catharines) was the Thunderbirds best hitter with three, including a double and two RBIs.

The Thunderbirds were equally overpowering in the second game, as pitcher Mitch Habib (Mississauga) improved his won-lost record to 4-0. He went four innings, allowing one earned run on four hits and three walks. Habib struck out two batters. Ken Forman (Amherst) took the loss. He lasted four and one-third innings and was tagged for eight runs on seven hits and a walk. He had two strikeouts.

For the Thunderbirds, Josh Klingspohn (Beamsville) collected three hits including a double and batted in two runs. Mike Fumarelli (Amherst) led the Panthers with a two-run home run.

Earlier, the Canadians swept the Buffalo Wings, 8-4 and 4-1.

Kusey got the mound victory going four and one-third innings giving up one run on four hits in the second game. He struck out five.

Kusey was called upon without any warmup after a coaching miscue on the Thunderbirds part. An unintentional second visit to the mound cost the T-Birds their starting pitcher and before they knew it, the Thunderbirds found themselves down three before they escaped the inning. But the T-Birds regrouped and tied the score in the fourth inning. Kusey was flawless the rest of the way changing speeds with great control and confusing them with his new pitch, a knuckle ball.

Losing pitcher was Derek Moran (Buffalo) who allowed eight runs on five hits through four and two-thirds innings. He retired seven batters on strikes while walking three.

Leading hitter for the Thunderbirds was Colin Maybee (Markham) with a single, a triple, and one RBI. For the Wings, James Nowicki (Buffalo) had a double, a triple, and three RBI.

In the 4-1 game, Anthony Ricciardi (North York) went the distance giving up one run on four hits and two walks while compiling 10 strikeouts.

Bill Brancatella (Buffalo) took the loss. He also went seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits while walking three walks and setting down four batters on strikes.

Brandon Nelson (Hamilton) was the ‘Birds leading hitter with two safeties and an RBI. Ryan Gemmati (Buffalo) had two singles for the Wings.

Ricciardi struck out the side in the seventh for the complete game.

In other action in Barrie, York County Cardinals defeated Niagara PAL 4-2 with Jayson Killoran (Newmarket) picking up the pitching win. In seven innings, he allowed two runs on four hits while striking out six batters.

Losing pitcher Mike Kidzie (Depew, N.Y.) went six innings allowing four runs on 12 hits and three walks. He struck out two.

For the Cardinals, Troy McLoughlin (Newmarket) had a single, double and triple, and two RBI. Niagara PAL’s Matt Paonessa (Buffalo) had a double and triple, and batted in a run.

In a second game, the Cards whacked Niagara 12-2 as McLoughlin got the win. In two innings, he retired all six batters on strikes. Mike Hardy (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) last four innings and allowed eight runs on nine hits.

For York County, McLoughlin was also their leading hitter with two doubles and five RBIs.

Niagara PAL’s Mike Kidzie had a single.