The Hamilton Cardinals Major Pee Wees came within five runs of claiming the Ontario Baseball Association A title on the Labour Day holiday weekend.
Hamilton, which had a regular season record of 6-14 in the Central Ontario Baseball Association, made it to the OBA final with a record of 4-1 in the double knockout affair. Stratford, which was host for the tournament, defeated Hamilton, 15-10, to win the championship.
In Hamilton’s first game on Friday, the Cardinals dropped a 6-5 decision to the Cambridge Cubs. Starter Tyler Whalen pitched four shutout innings, giving up one hit, before being relieved by Jacob Underwood. Underwood was touched for six runs – four earned – on four hits and two walks.
Matt Porkolab was 2-for-2 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI, Dawson McLaughlin was 2-for-3 with a run scored and Nolan Gallo was 1-for-1 with two runs scored.
Player of the game was Tyler Whalen.
On Saturday morning, the Cardinals turned aside the London Tecumsehs, 13-5. Michael Ssemanda started and went four scoreless innings and holding London to just two hits. Ssemanda was 1-for-3 at the plate, hitting a triple, with an RBI and a run scored. He earned player of the game honours.
Jordan Robinson pitched the final three innings, giving up five runs – 1 earned – on three hits and a walk. Noah Britt had a great game at the plate, going 4-for-5 and scoring twice. Porkolab was 1-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, Whalen was 2-for-4 with two RBI, Chris Pendlebury was 1-for-2 with a three-run homer, Ben Zwolak was 3-for-4 with a solo homer, Underwood was 2-for-4 and David Candy went 1-for-3, scoring a run.
McLaughlin also homered in the game.
The Cardinals had an easier time in the afternoon contest, pounding the Sault Ste Marie Black So, 20-8 win.
Starting pitcher Robinson went two innings, giving up one run on two hits. Britt pitched the next three innings to earn the win. He surrendered three runs – two earned – from six hits, and was named player of the game for Hamilton.
Ssemanda went 3-for-4, scoring four times and driving in four runs. Whalen was 1-for-3 and drove in three runs, Ben Zwolak was 3-for-4 with four RBI, Darien Kielb was 1-for-4 with two RBI, McLaughlin was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI, Underwood was 1-for-2 with a double, two walks, three runs scored and an RBI.
David Candy, who didn’t record an official at bat, managed to score three runs while drawing 4 walks.
On Sunday, the Cardinals managed to exact revenge for Friday night’s loss with an 8-4 victory over Cambridge. Whalen got the start again and went 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs – one earned – on two hits. He recorded 13 strikeouts and walked one batter. He was relieved by Kole Bishop, who gave up two earned runs on two hits in 2/3 of an inning, recording both outs by strikeout. Zwolak pitched the seventh without allowing a base runner and striking out one.
The offence came from the top of the order with lead-off man Ssemanda going 2-for-4 with a double, triple and 4 RBI. Noah Britt went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Darien Kielb was 2-for-4 with 2 clutch RBI. Chris Pendlebury went 1-for-1 with an RBI in his only plate appearance.
Kielb was player of the game.
Sunday afternoon, the Cards took on the Burlington Bulls with a bye to the final on the line and that’s what the Cards got with an 8-5 victory.
Starting pitcher Bishop worked an inning and a third, giving up two earned runs on four hits, with three walks and two strikeouts. Underwood pitched the remaining 5 2/3 innings, throwing 61 pitches, giving up three earned runs on six hits, no walks and striking out three, including the last batter he faced. He earned the win and player of the game honours. Underwood was 2-for-2 at the plate, with a run scored, Ssemanda was 1- for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, Robinson was 3-for-3 with a double, a run scored and 2 RBI, Porkolab hit a triple and scored a run and drove in a run, Zwolak was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. and Candy went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
In the showdown game on Monday, the Cardinals came up short, losing 15-10 to Stratford.
Steven Lemay got the start and went three innings, giving up five runs – 1 earned – from four walks and a hit. He struck out two.
Zwolak took the loss, giving up six runs – one earned – on one hit and two walks in 1 1/3 innings. Candy pitched an inning and 2/3 giving up one earned run, and Porkolab pitched the seventh, giving up three earned runs.
The bats fell silent in this game with Kielb going 1-for-2 with three RBI and two runs scored. Gallo went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Lemay was 1-for-1 with a run scored, McLaughlin went 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI and a run scored and Britt was 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
Jordan Robinson was Hamilton’s player of the game for his strong defensive game at shortstop.