Minor Bantam Cards miss Battle of Falls title by one game

Justin Stephenson’s catch put the Cards into the final. (Photo: Brad Novoselac)

The Hamilton Cardinals Minor Bantam AAA baseball team came within one game of claiming the championship in the New York Battle of the Falls baseball tournament.

The Cards finished the affair with a record of five wins and one defeat in the July 20-22 tournament.

The team was undefeated going into the title game but came up just a bit short to a powerful Orchard Park (Buffalo) squad. The team was led all weekend by some very strong starting pitching. Hamilton got great starts from Brandan Chong (two games), Anthony Marzanek, Tyrell Hebert, Mitchell Rossit and Ethan Hammond.

On the way to the final the team knocked off North Tonawanda, Newmarket, Clarence (Buffalo), the Ontario Cardinals and the Amherst Giants. The Cardinals used the speed of Caleb Andreychuk to ignite several offensive outbursts during the weekend and Brandan Kelly-Ruetz had a seven RBI outing in the opening game of the tournament.

The defensive highlight of the weekend came when Justin Stephenson made a diving catch in shallow right field to bring the semi final game to an end. For the Cards it was an impressive showing in the 16-team U.S. tournament.