The Hamilton Cardinals Major Peewees, who won an exhibition game on April 19 and then went five games without a win in Central Ontario baseball Association league play, found the winning mark again. At least temporarily.
Not only did the Cards win their opening game – 18-7 over North Toronto A’s – in a tournament in Vaughan on June 2, they made it to the quarter-finals because of their defensive play.
In the opening game, the Cards bounced the A’s starting pitcher off the mound after just 1/3 of an inning which saw Hamilton score seven runs on three hits and a pair of walks, The Cardinals finished the inning with 9 runners crossing home plate.
All 11 Cardinals recorded a hit, including Jordan Robinson, who was making his first appearance of the season. Ben Zwolak, Nolan Gallo and Jacob Underwood each had two hits with Zwolak and Underwood connecting for doubles while Gallo had a solo home run. Darien Kielb was 1-for-1 with a run scored in his only plate appearance. Michael Ssemanda got the start, and the win, striking out four A’s. His relievers Zwolak and David Candy each struck out two.
But the Cards winning way was stopped in the second game when they lost 10-4 to the Mississauga Tigers. Cards starter Kole Bishop-Polmateer took the loss, going three innings and giving up five runs on nine hits. The bats were a lot quieter in this game with Ty Whalen going 2-for-2 with a double and a run scored. Underwood also recorded a double and reached home.
Matt Porkolab had the only RBI of the game for the Cards.
The Cards struggled in their final round robin game, which was delayed over an hour by rain. The host Vaughan Vikings held on for a 6-5 decision.
Chris Pendlebury got the start, and the loss, giving up six runs – four earned – over 2 1/3 innings. Reliever Noah Britt pitched the final 3 2/3 innings and surrendered just three hits and no runs, which allowed the Cards to nearly tie the game. Britt represented the tying run on third when the final out was made.
The Cardinals were held to just two hits – singles by Dawson McLaughlin and Ssemanda. RBIs were recorded by McLaughlin, David Candy, Britt and Zwolak.
The Cards finished in a three-way tie for second in their pool but advanced to the quarter-finals because of a better defensive record than the A’s and Vikings. They played London in the quarter-final game, losing 8-6.
Underwood got the start and went four innings, giving up five hits and seven runs – three earned. He struck out three batters. Whalen and Bishop-Polmateer each pitched an inning of relief, with Whalen yielding the final London run. Jordan Robinson was 3-for-3 at the plate, keeping his perfect batting average for the year, with a double and an RBI. Also contributing doubles were Whalen and Britt.
COBA loss to Georgetown
The Cardinals returned to COBA play on Tuesday (June 5) only to lose, 10-5, to the Georgetown Eagles.
Zwolak went three innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits while striking out 5. Reliever McLaughlin took the loss, giving up four runs – three earned – on two hits while striking out four.
Ssemanda went 2-for-4 at the plate, scoring a run, Chris Pendlebury went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, including a solo home run. McLaughlin also hit a solo homer in his one plate appearance. Underwood collected the other RBI.