Senior Cardinals firm up 2013 roster

ibl_cardinals_logoOn the heels of Major League Baseball getting its season underway, the Hamilton Cardinals of the senior Intercounty Baseball League, have rolled out their 2013 roster under general manager Mike Fortuna. The lineup will include 15 returning players from last year’s edition along with 14 players from the Hamilton area.

Some of the returning players include Dan Jagdeo, Justin Malabanan, Matt Martinow, Chris Piano, Zack Ranta, Jon Saporsantos, Ryan Taylor and Brett van Pelt.

The roster:
Dan Jagdeo (Toronto) – Jagdeo is one of the most feared hitters in the Intercounty.  A second team league All-Star in 2011, he led the 2012 Cardinals in Home Runs, RBI, and walks and finished fifth in the IBL in Home Runs (with nine) despite only appearing in 27 games.

Kyle Adoranti (Hamilton) – Currently is attending Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Adoranti played for the 2012 Junior Intercounty Champion Cardinals. He will be a left-handed addition to the bullpen.

Chris Beer (Burlington) – Currently is attending Niagara County Community College. Beer played for the 2012 Junior Intercounty champion Cards. He will appear out of the bullpen and will see spot appearances on the infield.

Tim Black (Mount Hope) – A graduate of Ancaster High, Black is currently attending North Iowa Area Community College. Last season, he split time between the Junior Cardinals and made eight starts for the senior team.

Nino Fasulo (St. Catharines) – Fasulo is an IBL veteran who attended Charleston Southern University in Charleston, SC.  He is a hard throwing pitcher with a delivery that is tough on right handed hitters. Fasulo brings a much needed veteran presence to the pitching staff.

Dustin Godden (Brampton) – Godden is currently attending Mercyhurst North East, a Junior College in Pennsylvania. A right handed relief pitcher, he was voted to his conference’s pre-season All-Conference team this year.

Tim Krawczyk II (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) – Krawczyk is a 6’3” hard throwing right handed pitcher whose fastball can reach the low 90s. He is currently attending school in his hometown at Niagara County Community College.

Matt Martinow (Simcoe) – Martinow is returning for his fourth season with the Cardinals. He has recovered from an elbow injury that sidelined him during the 2012 campaign. Martinow was the team’s leader in innings pitched in 2010 and 2011 and finished with an impressive 2.91 ERA in 2010.

Benson Merritt (Smithville) – Merritt joined the Cardinals midway through 2012 from the Burlington Twins. A former member of the Canadian Junior National Team and draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds, he has a live arm with three quality pitches and the team hopes 2013 will be his breakout year in the IBL.

John Solazzo (Mississauga) – Returning for his third season with the Cardinals, Solazzo is a two-way player. On the mound, he is a right handed pitcher with a power arm. At the plate, he possesses some of the team’s best raw power. Solazzo was also a member of the Canadian Junior National Team.

Brett van Pelt (Whitby) – Van Pelt, a left-handed pitcher, is returning for his third season with the Cardinals. He is currently at Wilfrid Laurier University after having previously attended D1 St. Mary’s College in California. Van Pelt underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in 2010 and the club is hopeful he takes another step forward now that he has fully recovered.

Ryan Van Spronsen (Toronto) – Van Spronsen has been a member of the Cardinals since 2009.  A graduate of Wagner University in New York State, Van Spronsen is capable of being a dominant pitcher at this level. He is returning to the Cardinals after having spent the 2012 season playing in Belgium. In his senior season at Wagner, a D1 school he posted an incredible 2.07 ERA in 100 innings.

Justin Volpato (Hamilton) – Volpato is the ultimate team player. Returning for his third season on the team, he provides a veteran presence in the bullpen.

Justin Malabanan (Mississauga) – Malabanan is back for a second season with the Cardinals. He had an impressive rookie campaign batting .269 with an on-base-percentage of .360.

Lucas Pattison (Hamilton) – Pattison is a graduate of the Oakville Royals program. He is currently attending Ashford University in North Carolina. He will see time primarily with the Junior Cardinals in 2013 while serving as depth to our catching corps at the senior level.

Zack Sardellitti (Maple) – Sardellitti is currently attending Central Arizona College. He saw time with the Junior National Team and is a graduate of the Ontario Terriers program. A lefty hitter with power, Sardellitti was named CITY TV’s Athlete of the Week in December 2012.

Jeremy Schwartzentruber (Petersburg, ON) – Schwartzentruber currently works with the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks baseball team. He has experience playing collegiately in the United States and will further add to our catching depth for 2013.

Mike Gottschalk (Hamilton) – Although he spent 2012 with the Junior Cardinals, Gottschalk saw extensive playing time with the Thunderbirds in 2010 and 2011. While he has played shortstop and pitched, he worked very hard at the junior level and he will be playing third base this season.

Chris Piano (Hamilton) – A fan favourite on the team, Piano returns for his fourth season with the Cardinals. A career .276 hitter in the IBL, Piano is versatile in the infield and has good power. Last season he hit .291 with the Cardinals.

Zack Ranta (Stoney Creek) – Ranta is returning for his fourth year with the Cardinals. He has improved each year with the club, hitting .321 last season with seven doubles and is one of the team’s cornerstones.

Anthony Rizquez (Hamilton) – Anthony is a graduate of St. Jean de Brebeuf high school who is currently attending Morton College in Chicago. He is a quick infielder who can provide the Cards with versatility at second base, shortstop, and third base. He impressed the team in brief appearances in 2012 batting .297 for his 37 at bats.

Jon Saporsantos (Simcoe) – Saporsantos is the most tenured member of the Cardinals, having played since 2008. A leader on the club, he will see lots of time at second base and left field. Saporsantos had his finest year in the IBL in 2012, hitting .325 with an astounding .464 OBP and three home runs.

Ryan Taylor (Burlington) – Taylor is currently attending the University of British Columbia. He was the team’s starting second baseman last season but has been asked to move across the infield and take over as the team’s shortstop. Taylor is an incredibly smooth fielder and the Cards hope he can stabilize the shortstop position.

Dre Celestyn (Willemstad, Curacao) – Celestyn is a centerfielder from Curacao who is currently attending Genessee Community College in New York State. He possesses great speed and hits for power. Celestyn will be a fixture in our outfield.

Kyle Gappa (Hamilton) – Gappa spent the last two seasons playing between the Burlington Junior team and the IBL Burlington Twins. He is capable of playing both corner outfield positions and is a lefty hitter with gap-to-gap power.

Colin Porter (Ancaster) – A graduate of Ancaster High, Porter spent most of 2012 with the Junior Cardinals. He played 12 games at the senior level and impressed, batting .343 in 35 at bats. Currently attending Western Texas College, Porter is capable of hitting for power, has a strong throwing arm and is a quick runner.

Andris Rizquez (Hamilton) – Younger brother of Anthony Rizquez, Andris is a graduate of St. Jean de Brebeuf who is a quick outfielder with a great swing and surprising power. He will be making his debut at the senior level this summer and will be a mainstay in the Cardinals’ outfield. Andris is currently attending Central Arizona College.

The Cardinals will open the IBL season at Arnold Anderson Stadium in Brantford on Saturday, May 1 against the Red Sox. Hamilton’s home opener is set for the next day when the Barrie Baycats visit Bernie Arbour Stadium.

Tickets for all Hamilton Cardinals home games are available at the Bernie Arbour Stadium Box Office on game day.  For more information on Cardinals season passes email or visit the team’s website at

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