Win first tournament while battling for top spot in the LDBA
August 9, 2023
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - The St. Thomas 8U Cardinals have been rolling this season.
Owners of 17-3 record in the London District Baseball Association (LDBA), the Cardinals recently won a tournament in London and made the semifinals at LaSalle.
An explosion of offence combined with stellar defence led the Cardinals to a undefeated run, winning the London Talons tournament in July, outscoring opponents 91-18, over six games.
"Timely hits when we needed them. Several of our biggest hits of the season, including a huge home run," Cardinals' head coach Jason East said. "Extremely tight defence at all positions, with a few double plays that ended some innings."
It is the first tournament win for the young ball players.
"The boys fed off the energy of the crowd cheering them on," said East. "Their smiles and cheers said it all. For them, it was like winning a Little League World Series."
Seven players of 12 players returned from last season when the Cardinals only won two league games.
"Last year the team did a lot of learning and we're seeing the results this year," East explained. "Making smart plays by minimizing what the other team gets out of a hit, backing up plays, tracking fly balls to make catches and learning more aggressive base running. Everyone is hitting really well."
This year the Cardinals are in the hunt for first place in the LDBA with London West. Both ball clubs are 9-1 in their past 10 league games and 10 points up on the rest of the division.
At LaSalle for a AA tournament at the Turtle Club, August 6-8, the Cardinals, a B centre, advanced to the semifinals, losing to the eventual champions.
"For us to compete in a AA tournament speaks to the kids' improvement," East said.
Next up for the Cardinals are the LDBA playoffs, Aug. 18-20.
St. Thomas hosts the Ontario 8U provincial championship, September 1-3.