The Hamilton Cardinals traveled to Dayton (July 15-18) to participate in Ohio’s 64-team Best of the Midwest 18U baseball tournament.
The Cardinals were the only Canadian entry, out of the seven attending, to advance to the quarter finals.
Starting pitcher Tim Black had 10 strikeouts, gave up six hits in 6 1/3 innings, and allowed only four runs. Closing pitcher Riley Coverdale allowed one hit, and struck out one to finish the game with a 7-5 win.
Game 2 saw the Cardinals face the Fairborn Firehawks. Curtis Johnson got the start on the mound, allowing no runs off one hit and striking out four of the eight batters he faced.
Nathan Mastervick started the game with a double, followed by Nolan Pettipiece’s triple that scored three runs for the Cardinals. In the second inning, David Ertl was walked and scored on Chris Beer’s single to help the Cards to an 8-0 lead after two innings.
In the third, Hamilton made a pitching change bringing in Chris Newman who faced four batters allowing one hit and no runs. The Cardinals would go on to win 10-0.
In the third game, the Cardinals faced the Columbus Cannons. The Cardinals were not able to score any runs and ended up losing this game.
After round robin play, the Cardinals ended up with two wins and a loss, enough for 26th place moving into Saturday’s games.
In game five, at Wittenburg University, the Cardinals faced the seventh ranked Fort Wayne Cubs. The Cardinals started off the game strong with a triple by Jacob Chiaravalle who scored two runs. Cloverdale, the Cards’ starting pitcher, faced a good hitting Cubs team but ended up striking out five and getting the 11-9 win for Hamilton.
In the next game, the Cardinals faced the 23rd ranked London Badgers. Cardinals starting pitcher, 16-year-old David Ertl, pitched 3 1/3 innings allowing only five hits. Black, the Cardinals’ closing pitcher, struck out five batters and gave up two hits in 3 2/3 innings. The Cardinals were down 6-1 after two complete innings but battled back to score six runs off four hits and took a 7-6 lead after three innings.
In the fourth inning, Kyle Leavers started the Cardinals hitting with a double down the right field line. Josh Toporowski then hit a single, putting runners at first and second for Lucas Pattison, who connected for a double, scoring Leavers and Toporowski.
The last three innings of play were shut out innings, giving the Cardinals a 9-7 win over the Badgers and advancing them to the quarter finals.
In the quarter finals, the Cardinals faced the defending champions, the Midwest Mules. The Mules came out with a high powered offense, got a quick lead and never looked back. The Cardinals lost to the Mules who ended up losing in the championship to the undefeated Ohio Warhawks.