Van Velzer delivers RBI single for a comeback win in OBA final grouping action
Friday, September 3, 2021
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - Luke Van Velzer delivered in walk-off fashion.
Van Velzer drove in the winning run as the St. Thomas Cardinals rallied to edge the Chatham Diamonds, 12-11, in their Ontario Baseball Association 12U game, Thursday, at New York Central Park.
Trailing 11-8, entering their final at bat, after
Chatham hit a gram slam to grab the lead, the
Cardinals took advantage of walks to load the bases.
Cassidy Broderick took a free pass to first base to pulled the Cardinals to within two runs, before Cooper Doan punched out a two-run single. An intentional walk given to Jacob Bosma, reloaded the bags, welcoming VanVelzer to the plate.
"I'm proud of these kids for not getting down," Cardinals' head coach Jed Doan said. "That grand slam, that was the first home run against us. But we never gave up.
We're never out of any game if we keep up. If we play like we can, we'll usually come out on top."
Tied at two after one inning, the Cardinals scored four in the second inning, highlighted by Broderick's three-run double.
"She had a heck of a game. It was a combined effort, but Cass for sure," coach Doan said. "Cass, our center-fielder made that great throw, stopped that double. That picked up the team."
To lead-off the third inning, Chatham hit a ball to deep centre field, but Broderick made a throw to Bosma at second base, to catch the hitter attempting to stretch a single into a double.
St. Thomas led 7-4 after three innings, but Chatham scored a trio of runs in the fourth inning to tie. The Cardinals regained a one run lead on Van Velzer's RBI single.
Chatham's grand slam ball cleared the centre field fence and bounced on to Wellington Street.
In the four team OBA playoff final grouping, each team plays the others twice. The Cardinals improve to 3-2, with one game remaining against Belle River.
Waterdown leads the group with a 3-1 record. Waterdown and St. Thomas split their head to head meeting, but Waterdown has the run differential advantage.
"We have a rainout game against Belle River (September 6 at Gorman Rupp diamond), so that might determine something," said coach Doan. "Hopefully (Chatham) can steal a game against Waterdown that can help us."
In a season that didn't see first pitch until July, the Cardinals have spent much of the summer at the diamond.
" A shortened season, but we've had all of these games, with four months compressed to two," said coach Doan. "We've had these (OBA) games plus August Madness games on top of it. It was a lot of baseball but I think they (players) are happy about it. They didn't have a lot of practices.
This weekend the Cardinals have the London and District Baseball double elimination playoff tournament, at Kiwanis Park, in London. Dorchester is the top 12U after finishing the regular season in first place.
"That's why we went though so many pitchers tonight," said Doan.