York Moves to 4-1
Last Monday, the club travelled to Newmarket to meet the Express. Former Diamond, Mike Rochon squared off against Steven Szoldra. The Diamonds took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the 5th before allowing 2 in the 5th, 2 in the 6th, and the game winner in the 7th on a Steve Zimmermann sacrifice fly.
Szoldra pitched well and deserved a better fate as he worked into the 6th. Manny Rodriguez paced the offense with 2 hits. Marc Arsenault had 2 hits for the Express and Noah Somer picked up the win in relief.
In Game #2, the York bats took over as the Diamonds won convincingly by a 9-4 score. Brett Burns overcame some early wildness to pick up the victory. Rocco Lau got his first two regular season hits for York.
On Thursday night, the Diamonds took on one of the heavyweights of the Eastern Conference, the Brooklin Dodgers. Eric Foley took to the hill for York against Wayne Wickens. York got on the board with two in the first on RBI singles by Brett Burns and Nick Guglielmo, and then added two more in the second on RBI singles from Bruce Johnson and Shikoh Uchiyama.
The Dodgers struck back with 2 in the third after some poor York defense. In the fourth, Mike Weir pounded a 2-run home run to tie things at 4-4.
Eric Foley buckled down and pitched out of a second and third with one out jam in the top of the 7th. In the bottom of the frame, reliever Mike Robinson retired the first two hitters. then Bruce Johnson singled, Brent Sterling was hit, and Shikoh Uchiyama walked. Steve Foley came to the plate and was grazed by the first pitch to force in the deciding run to give the Diamonds a 5-4 win.
Eric Foley went 7 innings, to notch his 94th career win. York turned two double plays and Anthony Vecchiarelli played very well in his first career start at first base. Nick Guglielmo and Bruce Johnson had two hits apiece. Mike Weir and Rob Leva had two hits for the Dodgers.
Next game is a return tilt vs the Dodgers at Keelesdale on Thursday night.
Diamonds Break Three Game Losing Streak
In a game shortened by rain (5 innings), the Vikings came out on top 6-4. Matthew Fergenbaum got the win and Steven Szoldra took the loss. Game #2 was rained out.
On Tuesday, York travelled to Vaughan Grove to play the second game. Starter Eric Foley was not at his best (14 hits allowed and 6 wild pitches), but showed the heart of a champion as he kept the club in the game despite horrendous fielding and bizarre decision making behind him.
Steve Foley looked like his old dominant self at the plate, blasting 2 two doubles, a three-run homer, and driving in 5. Foley also came on and struck out the last batter to pick up his fourth save. Leadoff man Hayden Griffin had 2 hits, 2 walks, and scored 4 times. Sean O'Neill has a 2-run double as well.
It was a big win for the Diamonds who found themselves free-falling down the Eastern Conference standings, and needed the win to try to get back on track.
Next up is the OSBA Tournament this weekend in Oshawa.
Bulls Eliminate Diamonds
In the first game, York won 6-3 as Tsukasa Murakoso moved to 8-1 on the year as he allowed 3 unearned runs and struck out 8. Cam McKnight took the loss for the Bulls. Steve Foley had two hits and 2 RBI for York while McKnight had 2 hits and 2 RBI for Burlington.
Sunday was a different story as the Bulls took advantage of some questionable defense to win 6-3 and 5-1. Graham Howden won Game #2 and beat York for the third time this season. Eric Foley was the hard-luck loser as he gave up only 1 earned run. Ernie Morrison and Nick Guglielmo had 2 hits for the Diamonds and Nathan Tennant had 2 singles for the Bulls.
In Game #3, Cam McKnight pitched on zero days rest for the second week in a row and was dominant in striking out 7. Brett Burns pitched well for the Diamonds but was tagged with the loss. Steve Foley had 2 hits for York and Jason Hogan had a single and a double for the Bulls.
Diamonds Set to Begin Third Campaign In OSBA
York looks to build upon their appearance in the 2011 Western Conference Finals. The league has changed and added 5 new teams. Aside from the Mets, newcomers include the Bolton Braves, Kendal Eagles, Port Hope Flyers, and Port Hope River Rats. As the loop is now at 19 teams, the Diamonds travel schedule will be greatly reduced (thankfully) as teams will only play within their own conference.
York returns a strong nucleus and has added five new faces for 2012.
York's 21 man lineup will be loaded with depth and it will be up to the coaching staff to make sure everyone gets a chance to contribute.
Once again, Steve Foley, Eric Foley, Tsukasa Murakoso, and Brett Burns will lead the team.
Newcomers include youngster Eric Davidson who will see a lot of time at third base. Mike Rochon returns to York for the first time since 2007 and should see a lot of innings on the mound. Part-timers Steve Correia and Denis Hucal, formely of the Toronto Cardinals of the MSBL will add two explosive bats to the lineup.
The last newcomer is Danny Pereira who will try and get back in the swing of things after a long layoff.
York's defense was much improved halfway through last season as Josh Vanski, Mark Pereira, Rob Rivers, and Justin Williams solidified starting spots.
Veterans Ernie Morrison, Nick Guglielmo, Rich Freeman, Brent Sterling, and Manny Rodriguez will also make key contributions.
Steven Szoldra will work out of the bullpen and Rick Yez and Paul Freeman round out the roster.
The Diamonds goal is to win the championship and on a smaller scale the team will strive to limit their maddening inconsistency that plagued their first two OSBA campaigns.
The team seemed to turn the corner at the end of 2011 and they hope to continue their strong play into 2012.
Diamonds Get One Point
Game #1 ended in a 4-4 tie. David Clark was dominant in 4 innings for the Mets, striking out 9. Mike Rochon battled through 3 2/3 innings before Dennis Hucal went the rest of the way. A big throw from rigthfielder Steve Correia cut down the potential winning run in the last inning. The Mets outhit the Diamonds 7-6.
The wheels came off in the second game as the Mets cruised to a 10-0 win. Starter Eric Foley was victimized by poor defence as only three of the runs were earned. Nelson Rodrigues picked up the win, and Zach Lamperiera notched the save. Jamie Hatfield went 3-3 with 3 RBI for the Mets.
Mark Pereira was the lone bright spot for York, going 2-2, including a missile off the left-field wall.
York made 7 errors, threw 4 wild pitches, and allowed 4 stolen bases. They left 10 men on base and were 1-10 with runners in scoring position in the game. That, my friends, is a recipe for disaster, or at least a good old-fashioned butt-kicking. Skipper Paul Freeman put in a large order of Pepto Bismol, as well as new order of hats right after the game.
Next game is Thursday night vs the Vaughan Expos at Keelesdale.
Diamonds Fall Again
Mike Rochon pitched better but was saddled with the loss. York's defense and offense continued to struggle and the team has decided to wear Guglielmo headbands until the slump is broken.
Diamonds Heat Up With the Weather
A brief synopsis of the streak:
June 6th - 6-3 win over the Vikings. A big comeback win for the Diamonds, keyed by Steve Foley's 3-run double. Denis Hucal pitched five innings for the win and Steve Correia went the final two frames for the save.
June 7th - 9-0 win over the Giants. Brett Burns threw 6 shutout innings and Tsukasa Murakoso returned from injury to pitch the last inning. Burns also had 3 RBI and Manny Rodriguez and Steve Foley had 2 hits apiece.
June 9th (first game) - 10-0 win over the Expos. Eric Foley threw a complete game 2-hitter, while striking out 6. Josh Vanski and Justin Williams had 2 hits each. Steve Foley had a home run and 3 RBI.
June 9th (second game) - 11-9 win over the Expos. Steve Correia and Josh Vanski had 2 hits each and Denis Hucal had 3 RBI. Paul Freeman pitched 1/3 of an inning and vultured his first win in a league game in 11 years. Down 4-1 with 2 outs in the second, the Diamonds exploded for 10 runs, keyed by clutch hits from Rich Freeman and Mike Dowdall.
June 14th - 10-0 win over the Giants. Tsukasa Murakoso (5 innings, 5 K's) and Eric Foley (1 inning) combined on the shutout. Steve Foley homered and sinlged and drove in 4. Eric Foley and Mike Dowdall had 2 hits each.
June 17 - 12-5 win in an exhibition game over the York Blue Sox. Rookie Eric Davidson got the win allowing 1 hit and striking out 7 in 4 innings. Davidson and Brent Sterling had 2 hits each.
July 5th (first game) - a 6-1 win over the Express. Brett Burns went six strong innings to get the win. Frank Fisico made his debut with a scoreless seventh. Josh Vanski, Steve Foley, Brett Burns, and Eric Foley all 2 hits.
July 5th (second game) - a 6-1 loss to the Express. Tsukasa Murakoso took the loss.
July 8th (first game) - an 11-1 win over the Twins. Eric Foley went the distance and struck out 7. Steve Foley had 3 hits, while Josh Vanski, Eric Foley, Denis Hucal, and Brent Sterling had 2 hits.
July 8th (second game) a 15-2 win over the Twins. Mike Rochon went the whole way and struck out 4. Steve Foley had a single, plus 2 home runs and 4 RBI. Denis Hucal and Brent Sterling had 2 hits each. Rick Yez hit a 3-run double.
July 12th - a 3-2 win over the Mets. Tsukasa Murakoso went 6 innings for the win, while striking out 7. Eric foley picked up the save. Steve Foley and Brett Burns were each 3-3.
Steve Foley is on a torrid streak in the last 10 games, going 20-26 for a .769 batting average, along with 4 home runs and 19 RBI.
York Takes 2 of 3
In the opener against the Forest Glen Giants, Brett Burns went the distance to earn the 6-4 win. Burns is now 3-0 on the season, as he allowed 7 hits and struck out 7. The Giants took a 2-0 lead in their first at-bat. York came back with three in the second inning. Burns tripled, Brent Sterling walked, Rich Freeman had an RBI single, Rob Rivers reached on an error, Mike Dowdall walked to score a run, and Mike Rochon had an RBI groundout. York went up 5-2 in the fifth inning, as Sterling walked, Rivers singled to right and Sterling scored as the ball was misplayed, Dowadall then executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to score another run.
The Giants scored single runs in the fourth and sixth to close to within 5-4. York got an insurance run in the seventh as Sterling singled, Rich Freeman sacrificed him to second, and Rivers singled, as once again an error in the outfield allowed the run to score.
In the bottom of the seventh, a spectacular diving catch by Dowdall in left field preserved the win.
In Game #2, rookie Frank Fisico went five strong innings to lead the Diamonds to 9-1 win. Fisico allowed one run on five hits, and struck out seven. Mike Rochon went two perfect innings to pick up his first save.
Offensively, Denis Hucal, Steve Foley, and Rich Freeman had two hits each.
Over the course of the doubleheader, all eleven players had at least one hit.
Majors Shut Down Diamonds' Offense
Game #1 ended in a 3-1 Majors win. Lefty Michael Bannon went the distance allowing 6 hits, striking out 7, and hitting a 2-run double. Eric Foley threw a complete game for York, allowing 5 hits and striking out 5. Paul Freeman led the offense for the Diamonds with 2 hits and an RBI. The game marked the return of York legend, Rudy Naraine, who contributed a base hit to the cause.
Game #2 was another low scoring affair, as it ended in a 1-1 tie after 9 innings of play. Pitching was the story as Denis Hucal (3 innings), Josh Vanski (2 innings), and Steve Foley (4 innings) were the hurlers for York. In the 6th and 9th innings, Foley had a runner on third with no outs and pitched out of the jam both times. In the 9th, the heart of the Majors order was up with a runner on third, as the Diamonds used the 5 man infield. Foley induced two ground balls back to the mound and then struck out the last batter to preserve the tie.
Josh Pileggi (5 innings) and Craig Rattos (4 hitless innings) pitched very well for the Majors. York tallied only 5 singles, with the lone run coming on a Rich Freeman RBI groundout. The Majors had 8 hits, with Manraj Aulja and Ryan Rattos having two apiece.
Diamonds Storm Back To Finish First
In August, York went a perfect 5-0, sweeping the Vaughan Vikings (4-0 and 13-6), eking out a 3-2 win over the Metro Mets, and sweeping the Bolton Braves in two hard fought games (3-1 and 5-4).
Some notable accomplishments in August included:
Eric Foley (2 wins, 13 innings, 1 earned run, 3 hits allowed, 13 K's)
Mike Rochon (2 wins)
Steve Foley (2 saves)
Steve Foley (5-9, .556 average, 5 walks, and 3 SB)
Mark Pereira (4-9,.444 average, 3 RBI)
Paul Freeman (5-10, .500 average, managed not to injure himself)
Eric Foley (4-10, .400 average, 5 RBI, 2 SB)
Manny Rodriguez (5-12, .417 average)
Rick Yez (3-9, .333 average, 2 RBI)
Rob Rivers (4-12, .333 average)
In the opener, York prevailed 4-2 behind Eric Foley's complete game as he struck out 5. Chris Lee went the distance for the Twins. York made it 1-0 in the second on a Manny Rodriguez RBI single. The Twins went up 2-1 in the 4th before York scored three in the bottom of the inning. Brett Burns' two run single was the big blow, and Rodriguez added another RBI single. The Diamonds got some great defense from Denis Hucal and a solid game behind the plate from Justin Williams.
Game #2 was a back and forth affair with York finally come out on top 7-6 in 8 innings. The Diamonds scored 4 in the top of the first with the big blows being a Brett Burns RBI single, and a Josh Vanski 2-run single. Burns then stole home on the back end of a double steal to make it 4-0. The Twins got two back in the bottom of the frame and tallied another in the second.
York went up 5-3 on a Steve foley home run in the third but the Twins got two in the fifth to chase starter Brett Burns and one in the 6th off of Steve Correia to move ahead 6-5 into the seventh.
With one, Rich Freeman doubled to left. Eric (Kirk Gibson) Foley singled off the left field fence, and Nick Guglielmo's RBI single knotted it up.
In the 8th, Correia walked, went to second on a passed ball and scored on a bad hop basehit by Denis Hucal. Correia closed it out in the 8th and the Diamonds were off to the second round. Steve Foley and Denis Hucal each had 3 hits in the contest.
Cardinals Sweep York
With a scoreless tie into the top of the 8th, four York errors gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead that Dikdan would not relinquish. He allowed 4 hits over 8 innings and struck out 12. Denis Hucal pitched the ninth and got the save, stranding the tying run on first base. Foley was the hard-luck loser giving up only 3 hits and striking out 9 in his complete game.
Steve Foley concluded another great year by extending his season long hitting streak to 26 games and ending the season batting .566
Diamonds Win in Newmarket
York outhit the Express 10-1 and both teams combined for 30 walks due to a miniscule and inconsistent strike zone.
The game featured the debut of many newcomers for York and all contributed to the win. Big righthander Steven Szoldra made his debut and threw 3 shutout innings, despite walking six. Marcus Weiss had 2 hits, 2 RBI's, and scored 3 runs, as well catching 2 fly balls. Rocco Lau made a nice catch in the outfield and also had 2 RBI. Sean O'Neill was solid on defense and Bruce Johnson singled twice. Nick Guglilemo returned to the club after 3 seasons away and singled and had 2 walks. The Express lent former Diamonds' hurler Mike Rochon back to York for the evening and the righthander worked the final two scoreless frames. Patrick Vecchiarelli also looked good in his 2 innings of work.
In terms of the veterans, Eric Foley had 2 hits and 3 walks and smoked the ball all night. Foley also picked up his 91st win as a Diamond, twirling 2 innings and allowing 2 unearned runs. Paul Freeman had 2 hits and 4 RBI. Anthony Vecchiarelli was solid behind the plate and Brent Sterling swung the bat well.
The Diamonds will practice on Thursday at 6:30 and then begin the season for real with a doubleheader at the Newmarket Fairgrounds against the same Express club at 6:00 next Saturday.
Diamonds Get Off On The Right Foot
Game #1 - WP - Eric Foley (2-0), Save - Steve Foley (1)
Game #2 - WP - Steven Szoldra (1-0), Save - Steve Foley (2)
Both games were almost mirror images of each other as the following oddities occurred.
In both games Whitby scored two runs in the first inning and in both contests the first out was recorded by strikeout, then the second batter was hit by a pitch and stole second and later scored.
In both games the Diamonds replied to take the lead back in the bottom of the first, scoring 3 times in Game #1 and 4 times in Game #2.
York then opened up a larger lead (7-2 in Game #1 and 6-2 in Game #2).
In both games, the Diamonds starting pitcher was removed and both times the Chiefs came back to make it close.
Steve Foley came in to pitch after that and in both games he walked the first batter to force in a run and then struck out the last two batters to earn his first two saves of the season. Both games ended on controversial third strike calls.
Manny Rodriguez had 2 at bats in each game and was walked in the first inning of both and was hit by a pitch in the third inning of both.
Nick Guglielmo was 1-2 in each game.
The symmetry ended there and some other notable performances were:
Newcomer Shikoh Ukiyama smacked a double on the first pitch of the season and reached base 4 times.
Starters Eric Foley (92nd career win) and Steven Szoldra (1st career win)each picked up victories.
Nick Guglielmo looked great at shortstop and also hit well.
Brett Burns had two clutch hits in the first game.
Anthony Vecchiarelli gunned down a runner at second.
Josh Barber had a key sacrifice fly.
Eric Foley had a 2 run double and Steve Foley reached base 4 times.
The schedule for the next week is as follows:
Monday, May 24th doubleheader at Newmarket at 6:00
Thursday, May 27th - home game vs Brooklin at 7:30
Long Layoff Over
In the top of the 5th, a bloop single was followed by a long double by Jamie Tessier which put Indians at second and third with nobody out. Foley then induced a grounder to second, on which Bruce Johnson made a great play to check the runners and get the out. Drew Kendall stepped up and lofted a sacrifice fly to right field as the runner made it home just before the tag. Foley then got the third out.
In the bottom of the fifth, Sean O'Neill walked and stole second, then advanced to third on a wild pitch that barely got past the catcher. With two down, another wild pitch trickled to Keelesdale's short backstop and O'Neill took off, and barely slid under the tag to knot the game at one.
O'Neill seemed to jumpstart the offence as he was followed by 2 walks and a hit batsman that loaded the bases before Steve Foley ripped a drive to left centre that was almost caught but bounced away scoring 2 runs. Eric Foley's grounder was misplayed to make it 4-1, and Brett Burns blooped a single to left to make it 5-1.
Eric Foley took charge from there using some nice defensive plays from Sean O' Neill to his advantage.
Snyder struck out 8 for the Indians and Foley allowed only 3 hits and struck out 5, to move to 4-0 on the season as he picked up the 95th win of his career. O'Neill was the other star on the night, contributing 2 good defensive plays, his first hit as a Diamond, a stolen base, and two aggressive plays to move up on wild pitches.
Weather permitting, the next action is a Sunday doubleheader at 1:00 p.m. at Ritson Park in Oshawa vs the Oshawa Talons.
Diamonds Win One & Lose One
In Game #1, York trailed 3-0 into the third before two out hits by Paul Freeman and Rocco Lau were followed by a booming double by Nick Guglielmo to make it 3-2. The Talons went ahead 4-2 in the fourth before Brett Burns and Ernie Morrison singled. They were followed by a single by Shikoh Uchiyama to make it 4-3. After a balk, pinch hitter Manny Rodriguez lined a 2-run single to make it 5-4 for York.
In the 7th, singles by Morrison, Sean O'Neill and Uchiyama were followed up by a 3-run triple by Rodriguez. Hayden Griffin then lined an RBI triple and Freeman hit a sacrifice fly to make it 10-4. starter Steven Szoldra battled his way into the 7th before tiring and handing the ball to closer Steve Foley, who recorded the final out for his third save of the year.
Szoldra pitched great and his record now sits at 2-0. Sean O'Neill was phenomenal at the hot corner for the Diamonds, making great play after great play. York was led by 2 hits each from Guglielmo, Morrison, O'Neill, Uchiyama, and Rodriguez. Owen Hudgins and Anthony Cole had two hits apiece for the Talons.
Game #2 was a different story as lefthander Mike Arseneault was in total command, striking out nine and allowing only 2 singles. The Talons scored 3 in the fourth inning on RBI's by the Reid brothers. It was a strange inning as the York outfielders had 3 assists in the inning as Marcus Weiss had one and Steve Foley gunned out two runners, one at third base, and one at the plate. The Talons scored another run in the fifth on a bases loaded walk.
Brett Burns pitched well enough but his record dropped to 1-1. He was followed by Ernie Morrison, Steve Foley, and Shikoh Uchiyama.
Next Diamonds' game is a return tilt vs the Ajax Indians this Thursday at Keelesdale at 7:30.
Tribe Spanks Diamonds
Eric Foley pitched well for York, but still took the loss to drop to 3-1. Donnie Burke and Mike Snider led the way with 2 hits apiece for the Tribe. Ajax scored one in the third on a Chris Palaez single and 4 in the fourth, where there were 3 York errors mixed in.
Next week will be extremely busy for the Diamonds as they take on Newmarket (Thursday), Brooklin (Saturday), and the Vaughan Vikings (Sunday doubleheader)
Diamonds Headed For the Western Finals
In Game #1, Tsukasa Murakoso moved to 7-1 with another great performance as he struck out 10 batters. In the bottom of the first, York got a three runs as Steve Foley singled with 2 outs. Eric Foley's bloop double to right plated his brother. Brett Burns then ripped an RBI double to left and Justin Williams hit soft line drive into left to score Burns.
The Twins scored to make it 3-1 in the top of the 4th on a Stu Kingston RBI single. But in the bottom of the frame, Rich Freeman's RBI single plated the final run and Murakoso cruised in with a 111 pitch count.
In Game #2, it was the bottom of the order that did most of the damage for York. Eric Foley threw a shutout to move to 6-3, as he allowed 5 hits and struck out 4 in throwing an economical 95 pitches. York scored all their runs on 2-out hits, including an Eric Foley 2-run double, a Mark Pereira 2-run double, and a Nick Guglielmo 2-run single.
The Diamonds have reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in their history and look forward to trying to keep their playoff run going.
Cardinals on the Verge of 3-Peat
The Cardinals led 6-0 after one inning, including a Chris Micolino home run. York got 3 in the fifth and left the bases loaded. The Cardinals responded with 2 in the fifth, 4 in the sixth, and one in the 7th before the mercy rule kicked in. Rick Boutilier had 3 hits for the Cardinals. York's seven hits came from seven different players.
The Diamonds try to avoid the sweep tonight at Keelesdale as Eric Foley takes to the hill.
Diamonds Prepare for Season
The Diamonds will be in the Eastern Conference of OSBA and will play a 28 game schedule. We will play home and home series (4 games total) with the Pickering Pirates, Ajax Indians, and York Diamondjacks.
We will also play one series (2 games total) against the other members of the Eastern Conference, which are the Whitby Chiefs, Brooklin Dodgers, Clarington Cubs, and Oshawa Talons.
In addition we will have one series (2 games total) against 4 of the Western Conference teams, including the Forest Glen Giants, Vaughan Vikings, Mississauga Majors, and Mississauga Bengals.
We will not play the other Western Conference teams (Burlington Bulls, Mississauga Stars, Vaughan Expos, Mississauga Twins) at all this season .
The Diamonds have undergone some changes since last season as Dave Wiseman has retired due to a back injury. Matt Krause and Andre Contreras are taking the year off to spend time with their families. Kevin Ebert has retired due to a heavy work schedule. Karl Boyd will not be back with the team and Derek Kimmerly moved to Nova Scotia at the end of last season.
On the injury front, goalie Dan Fiorita was injured a couple of weeks ago and will miss a considerable chunk of the OSBA season.
Fan favourite, Nick Guglielmo has returned to the Diamonds after a 3 year absence. Former Diamond owner/manager/coach Dave Quennell will be reprising his role as a guest spring training baserunning instructor and may be around to help out with some of the coaching during the season.
York has added a number of new faces as well. Marcus Weiss is an outfielder from Montreal. Sean O'Neill and Bruce Johnson are infielders who played for the Metro Jays last year. Steven Szoldra, a pitcher, is a product of the Etobicoke Rangers Junior program. Rocco Lau is an infielder/outfielder who last played for Toronto Playgrounds a few years ago.
York hopes to overcome the retirements and integrate all of the new players in order to try and qualify for the playoffs in 2010.
Four All-Stars Lead the Way as Diamonds Sweep Expos
In Game #1, Justin Johnson of the Expos opposed Eric Foley of the Diamonds. The Expos scored two in the top of the first on a Mike Holian RBI double and then a York error. In the bottom of the inning, York responded with a 5-spot. Josh VanDeemter and Rob Rivers walked. A Steve Foley RBI single made it 2-1, and an Eric Foley fielder's choice loaded the bases as the throw was late to second base. Brett Burns then had the key at-bat of the game as he drilled a pitch to the wall in left centre. Two runs scored and the third runner might have been out at the plate but the throw was cut off and was relayed to third to try and get Burns. But the throw went wild allowing Burns to come around and score to make it 5-2.
In the 4th, the Expos made it 5-3 as Jeff Murphy's single was scored by a Clint Jeon single. York came right back in the bottom of the inning as Ernie Morrison's single was scored by a clutch Bruce Johnson single. In the fifth the Expos threatened again with runners on first and third with nobody out. The game and the series changed in an instant as Jimmy Gonzalez's ground ball to short was field by Josh VanDeemter who threw to Rob Rivers for the first out, Rivers relayed onto first baseman Ernie Morrison for the second out, and Morrison fired to catcher Mark Pereira who tagged the third runner out to complete the triple play.
York got an insurance run in the fifth as Steve Foley scored on a Brett Burns single. As usual, Eric Foley got stronger as the game went on and went the distance striking out six. Brett Burns had 2 hits and 4 RBI, Steve Foley had 2 hits, an RBI, and 2 stolen bases, and Manny Rodriguez went 3-3. Jeff Murphy had 3 hits for the Expos.
In Game #2, the Expos scored one in the bottom of the second off starter Tsukasa Murakoso as Clint Jeon singled in Darryl Spencer who had also singled. York tied it up in the top of the fourth off starter Mike Holian, as Steve Foley reached on an error and scored on a Brett Burns sacrifice fly. Murakoso then began to dominate as he scattered 4 hits and struck out 10, including 7 over the final three frames.
In the top of the 6th, Nick Guglielmo was hit by a pitch and was wild pitched to second. A Josh VanDeemter single put runners at first and third. Rob Rivers chopped an infield single to short to make it 2-1 and setting the table for Steve Foley. Foley then launched a 2-0 pitch over the wall in centre to give York a 5-1 lead that it would not relinquish. the Expos got one back in the 7th as Jeff Murphy's groundout scored Alex Beauvais who had tripled to right.
Offensively, Josh VanDeemter and Justin Williams had 2 hits apiece. Mark Pereira deserves a special nod as he caught all 14 innings.
York now awaits their second round opponent to be played on September 10th and 11th.
Cardinals Win 4-1
Dikdan scattered 3 hits and struck out 12 to move to 4-0 on the season Foley allowed only 1 earned run on 6 hits while striking out 9.
York scored on an error in the first and an error factored into the Cardinals tying the game in the second.
The Cards got 3 in the fifth after an error a bunt single, a walk loaded the bases. Dennis Hucal delivered an RBi single, Chris Micolino was hit by a pitch, and Frank Diamanti had an RBI groundout.
Both pitchers threw really well and the Cards were able to come out on top.
In Game #1, Pickering took advantage of a wild pitch to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. York answered back with 4 in the bottom of the inning on a Brett Burns grand slam to left. Pickering came right back with two in the top of the second to make it 4-3. With the bases loaded, York benefited from a controversial interference call that was ruled to be a double play and the inning was over. Starter Brett Burns threw the ball well but ran into some control issues. In the bottom of the third, York scored another 2-out run on an Eric Foley single and the score was 5-3.
Steve Foley came onto pitch in the middle of the fourth and he pitched out of jams in the fourth and fifth. York knocked starter Dave McElroy out of the game after four innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Pirates got big hits from McElroy, Mike Minarik, Sean Gray, and Mike Robinson to knot the game at 5. York had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the 6th, with runners on second and third with nobody out but could not score. This inning turned out to be the momentum swinger of the series. Things stayed tied until the top of the 8th, when the bottom of the Pirates order exploded for 5 runs and an eventual 10-5 win. Pickering outhit York 15-5 and left the Diamonds to lament what could have been as York hit well against the Pickering ace, the Pirates made an uncharacteristic 5 errors, the Pirates were missing 3 key bats, and the other Pirates big bats were relatively quiet. However, the bottom of the Pirates order stepped up in a gigantic way and earned the win for their team.
In Game #2, Eric Foley was simply dominant in a 93 pitch effort. He allowed only 1 hit, which came in the final inning, and utilized great defense from Nick Guglielmo and Shikoh Uchiymama to keep the Pirates at bay. York stung starter Will Mariani for 5 runs in the first inning and cruised to the 5-0 win. Hayden Griffin reached on an error. Shikoh Uchiyama sacrificed him to second. Steve Foley was hit on the foot and Eric Foley continued his red-hot hitting with a 2 run single. Nick Guglielmo was stung on the knee by6 a fastball and Brett Burns, Manny Rodriguez, and Paul Freeman followed with RBI singles. After that Mariani shut down the Diamonds.
In Game #3, Eric Foley went to the hill again for what everyone knew would be a very short outing as Eric had thrown 101 pitches on Tuesday and 93 pitches in the previous game. The defense behind him was a bit shoddy and the Pirates hit the ball hard and opened up a 3-0 lead after 2. Starter Mike Robinson continued to baffle York for the second time this year as he went the distance allowing only 4 hits and 1 walk, despite striking out no one. York had the bases loaded and one out in the second but did not score, as well as having the first two runners reach safely in the 6th. Robinson recorded 14 fly ball outs over the course of the afternoon. Brett Burns came onto pitch in the third inning and threw very well, allowing only 3 late runs to make the score 6-0.
Overall the Diamonds had a good season, although somewhat disappointed by their overall record 17-17-2. The club lost or tied a number of games that they should have won, and proved they were the kind of team that many expected them to be which was an average to above average club in the OSBA. Manager Paul Freeman figured the club would do fairly well in OSBA, but with the team's depth depleted from some retirements in the offseason, he knew it would be hard to win a championship or compete with the big boys this year. The team knows where they need to improve and the offseason will be spent trying to bring in new players to fill those roles. A number of longtime Diamonds who did not play this year have expressed interest in returning in 2011.
The Diamonds would like to congratulate the Pirates on a well-deserved series win.
Morrison Continues Remarakable Run
Last Thursday, York trailed the Forest Glen Giants 5-0 in the top of the 6th as starter Zac Bannon was shutting the Diamonds down. In the sixth, the bats finally awoke as Justin Williams singled, Ernie Morrison walked, and Josh VanDeemter singled. A Manny Rodriguez single made it 5-1 and a Dave Wiseman single made it 5-2. A throwing error plated two more and it was 5-4.
In the bottom of the 7th, things got even more dramatic as Steve Foley lined a game tying home run to left to lead off the inning. With one out, Justin Williams walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Morrison then came through with a single to right, that narrowly scored Williams and gave York a 6-5 win. This was Morrison's second walkoff RBI in as many weeks.
Steve Foley got the win, throwing 2 2/3 quality innings in relief of starter Tsukasa Murakoso.
Last night, Curtis Strabac of the Twins and Eric Foley of the Diamonds engaged in a good old-fashioned pitcher's duel. The game was scoreless into extra innings before Morrison played the hero again in the bottom of the 8th...
Justin Williams walked with one out in the 8th and Morrison then banged a towering drive to right centre that short-hopped the fence. Williams came around to score and Morrison had his third walkoff game winner in as many weeks. Eric Foley struck out 8 and was aided by a great throw from Justin Williams to nab a stolen base threat in the 6th.
York now will wait to see who they will face in Round #1 of the playoffs.
York Sweeps Expos
In the finale, York jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Starter Eric Foley went 5 innings to up his record to 6-2. Brett Burns had 2 hits and 3 RBI, Andre Contreras had 3 singles and 3 RBI, Matt Krause had 3 hits and 2 RBI, Steve Foley had 2 hits and 2 RBI, and Ernie Morrison had a hit, 3 walks and 2 RBI.
In Game #2, former Diamond Mike Rochon was masterful in limiting the York attack and Dan Fiorita matched him pitch for pitch.
York went ahead 2-0 on a RBI's from Eric Foley and ERnie Morrison. The EXpos tied it in the 8th on singles by Rich Getty and Darryl Spencer. In the top of the 9th, Steve Foley singled with two out and then the drama began. Foley stole second and the throw caromed into short left field. Foley then took off third and the throw got by the third baseman and Foley scampered home after sliding into second, third, and home plate.
In the bottom of the 9th, the Expos loaded the bases with two out before Fiorita induced a game ending pop-up to Andre Contreras. Fiorita picked up the win to move to 8-2. York got two apiece from Steve Foley, Andre Contreras, and Manny Rodriguez. Eric Hammer and Darryl Spencer had two hits for the Expos.
Diamonds Make Playoffs In First OSBA Season
On Thursday, August 26th, the Mississauga Majors were back at Keelesdale and the Diamonds wasted little time in jumping out to a 7-0 lead, with five runs in the first and one in the second and third innings. The Majors made it interesting getting things to 7-4 in the bottom of the 5th before York pulled away to a 12-4 win.
Eric Foley went 6 innings, striking out 4 to notch his 7th win of the yar. Steven Szoldra pitched a scorelss 7th inning. Offensively, Nick Guglielmo was on fire, going 3-3 with 3 RBI. Other notables were:
Hayden Griffin hit, walk, and a hit by pitch
Shikoh Uchiyama 3 hits and 2 RBI
Eric Foley 2 hits and 2 RBI
Paul Freeman 3 RBI
On Sunday August 29th the Diamonds travelled to Ajax needing a win to make the playoffs and a sweep to possibly avoid a first-round playoff game.
York got their much-needed and much-deserved win with an 8-5 triumph in the first game. Brett Burns pitched 5 good innings to win his third game of the year. Eric Foley gutted out an inning and two thirds on short rest before Steve Foley came on to to get the last out and record save #7. York pounded out 17 hits including:
Hayden Griffin 2 hits, 3 runs, 1 RBI
Shikoh Uchiyama 2 hits, 2 RBI, 2 sacrifice bunts
Steve Foley 3 hits and 1 RBI
Eric Foley 3 hits and 2 RBI
Bruce Johnson 2 hits
In Game #2, York got whipped as Ajax needed the win to make th playoffs. Steven Szoldra took the loss and was followed by three relievers. Shikoh Uchiyama was the only Diamond with 2 hits. Mike Snider once again dominated the York bats for most of the game.
The Diamonds finished tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference and made the playoffs.
It was a season of streaks with one long hot streak, and two sizable cold streaks. After a 6-1 start, York went 5-11-2 before winning two of their final three games.
Finishing the regular season at 13-13-2 was probably a good indication of the inconsistency with which the team played. All of the tools are still there to make a good playoff run, so it will be interesting to see how the club fares over the next little while.
Aces Mike Snider and Eric Foley took to the hill. In the top of the first, singles by Hayden Griffin and Shikoh Uchiyama set the table for a long RBI double by Steve Eoley and RBI single from Eric Foley. Snider then buckled down and got out of a second and third and nobody out situation.
In the bottom of the third, Chris Palazez led off with a long triple, but Foley then retired the next 3 hitters on a strikeout, groundout,and flyout to preserve the 2-0 lead.
In the top of the 5th, with one out, Ernie Morrison dirlled a single, Bruce Johnson singled, and Brent Sterling walked. Paul Freeman ripped a base hit up the middle to score Morrison, but a strong throw from Ryan Gordon nailed Johnson at the plate. Snider then worked his way out of the inning once again.
In the 7th, York added two insurance runs on four walks and a hit batsman.
Eric Foley started off well and became dominant as the game progressed. He retired the last 7 batters of the game, and all were on strikeouts. Foley ended the game with 10 strikeouts, allowing only 3 hits and no walks and raised his record to 8-4. Snider struck out 6 on the evening.
The Diamonds now proceed to take on the most impressive team they have faced this year, the Pickering Pirates. The Pirates already deep rotation will be enhanced by Dave McElroy, who has not faced York yet this season. Will Mariani, Mike Robinson, and Jaymin Parmar have also proved difficult for the Diamonds to score against, so York will have to be at its best if they have hopes of advancing to the second round.
Games are Thursday at Keelesdale at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at Kirkey Field at 2:30 and 5:00 p.m.
Vikings Thump Diamonds
SEASON SERIES - Cardinals win it 3-1 (Cards wins were 8-7, 6-5 and 13-3, and the York win was 2-1). The teams have not met since July 4th.
PREVIOUS PLAYOFF SERIES - Cardinals have a record of 4-1 (Cardinals wins in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 and the York win was in 2005)
ALL-TIME RECORDS VS EACH OTHER - Cardinals lead the all-time series with a record of 31-30-2
NUMBER OF TITLES WON
York 6 (1990,1993,1996,1999,2005,2006)
Cardinals 3 (2002, 2007, 2008)
INTERESTING FACTS - Cardinals founder Steve Correia played for York in 2001.
Five York players played some games for the Cardinals' OBA team, the Martingrove White Sox, this summer.
York and the Cardinals joined forces to win the 2008 OSBA Fall Tournament at Clarington.
THE OFFENSES (stats include playoff games)Both teams score around 7 runs per game.
CARDINALS - .294 team batting average .403 team slugging pct .383 team OBP
YORK - 305 team batting average .398 team slugging pct .412 team OBP
CARDINALS - 54 extra base hits (Steve Correia leads with 9), 65 SB in 74 attempts
YORK - 47 extra base hits (Steve Foley leads with 17), 58 SB in 66 attempts
PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR
CARDINALSSteve Correia - .342 avg with 2 HR and 8 SB
Rick Boutilier - .354 avg. with 9 RBI and 11 SB
Kevin Horton - .400 avg and 9 SB
Brian Dikdan - .500 avg and 2 HR in only 18 AB
Ryan Donnelly - .342 avg and 10 RBI
Fil Vazzano - .321 avg with 14 RBI and 7 SB
Duncan Perry - .315 avg
Frank Diamanti - .306 avg
Dennis Hucal - .302 avg with 7 RBI
Rob Rivers - .300 avg with 13 SB
Fab Vazzano - .286 avg with 11 RBI
Chris Micolino - 10 RBI
YORKSteve Foley - .585 avg with 6 HR, 29 RBI and 15 SB
Matt Krause- .407 avg. with 7 RBI
Eric Foley - .400 avg with 20 RBI and 8 SB
Hayden Griffin- .391 avg
Josh Barber- .360 avg
Ernie Morrison- .333 avg with 12 RBI
Andre Contreras - .318 avg with 15 RBI
Manny Rodriguez - 8 RBI
Brett Burns - 10 RBI and 7 SB
Karl Boyd - 10 RBI with 5 SB
York has the most dominant player in Steve Foley and another great player in Eric Foley. The Cardinals have a great talent in Steve Correia and greater balance in terms of power and speed throughout the lineup. York has only 2 lefthanded hitters and the Cardinals have a more balanced left/right lineup.
CARDINALS - Chris Micolino is rock solid behind the plate and controls the running game very well. The majority of the Cardinals' pitchers are quick to the plate with runners on base. The infield defense possesses 3 of the finest defenders in the MSBL, third baseman Dennis Hucal, shortstop Frank Diamanti, and second baseman Rob Rivers. First basemen Fil Vazzano, Kevin Horton, and Rick Boutilier are also good with the glove. In the outfield Steve Correia is excellent and the others have strong throwing arms. The bottom line is the Cardinals defense is usually the tops in the league and this year has been no exception
YORK - York's catchers have thrown out runners at a much greater rate this season (22%). In the Finals, Anthony Vecchiarelli will get most of the time but Ernie Morrison, Brett Burns, and Dan Fiorita have all played well behind the dish. York's greatest improvement this year has been with their pitchers in holding runners on base. Dan Fiorita has always fared well in this area and Brett Burns also proved to be quick to the plate. Eric Foley has developed a slide step this season which has worked to the team's definite advantage. The infield defense has been anchored by strong play by first basemen Andre Contreras and Eric Foley. Manny Rodriguez has also had a good campaign at second. The left side of the infield, consisting of Brett Burns, Ernie Morrison, and Karl Boyd made some strides in the semifinal series against the Vaughan Expos. In the outfield Steve Foley is a supreme defender and Matt Krause and Hayden Griffin are fast and have good throwing arms. Brett Burns provides another option in the outfield. York's defense has allowed too many unearned runs this year and for them to have any chance they will have to continue with their recent improved play.
CARDINALS - The Cardinals have great depth and a bevy of arms to choose from. Former Guelph Royal Brian Dikdan (3-0 record, 1.73 ERA, 47 K's in 26 innings) has been dominant in the playoffs and is sure to get at least a couple of starts. Another ace is Ryan Donnelly, who may not see much mound time due to his commitment to the University of Toronto baseball club. Steve Correia (3-1 record) was the club's most reliable pitcher this year and will be counted upon heavily. Potentially dominant righthander, Dennis Hucal will also be available. Hucal (2-0 record) also has ace potential. Lefthander Kevin Horton (2.25 ERA) has given York fits over the years and will also figure into the plans. Duncan Perry (4-0 record) is coming off a great year and has pitched well all season long.
YORK - The Diamonds may not have the same depth of bullpen as the Cardinals, but it is an effective staff just the same. Longtime ace Eric Foley has had another great year (6-1 record with 68 K's in 55 innings). Dan Fiorita was perhaps the league's best pitcher this year (8-2 record with 59 K's in 70 innings). Brett Burns (2-1 record) and Ernie Morrison (1-0 record) also had moments of brilliance. Steve Foley anchored the bullpen (2 saves and a 2.70 ERA)
Overall, the pitching looks good on both teams. Questions to be answered include: Will Donnelly pitch? Can York do anything against Dikdan? Can the Cardinals overcome the 1-2 tandem of Foley and Fiorita? Can both teams control the running games? Will home field advantage play as much of a factor as in 2008 when the home team won every game?
Game #1 goes on Thursday night (September 10th) at Keelesdale at 7:30.
Majors Come Back To Defeat Diamonds
Eric Foley struck out 10 but took the loss to fall to 5-4. Foley also had two run-scoring singles. Michael Bannon struck out 11 to gain the win and move to 3-8 on the year. The Pileggi Brothers combined for 5 hits and 4 RBI for the Majors. Both Foleys and Shikoh Uchiyama had 2 hits for York.
Although the Diamonds battled, two errors + plus another two plays that should have been made forced Foley to throw many more pitches than he should have. On offense, the bottom half of the order was 0-12 and throughout the lineup, too many strikeouts did the team in once again. Two baserunning mistakes also compounded the issues.
The Diamonds still have a shot at making the playoffs, and the return of Brett Burns and Ernie Morrison should allow the team to be at full strength next week as they try to find a way to make the postseason.
Diamonds Get 3 More Points
Eric Foley withstood a maddeningly small and inconsistent strike zone in Game #1 en route to the tie. Steve Foley and Justin Williams had two hits apiece, and the York runs scored on booming doubles by Mark Pereira and Ernie Morrison, as well as an RBI single from Eric Foley.
The Cubs tied it 3-3 in the bottom of the 7th and had the winning run at second. Steve Foley came onto pitch and on a bunt attempt clearly threw out the runner at third. Inexpicably the runner was called safe resulting in the ejection of manager Paul Freeman. Foley somehow managed to strike out the side and preserve the tie.
In Game #2, York jumped out to a 10-1 lead, only to have the Cubs cut it to 10-7. Both teams traded a pair of runs in the fifth to make it 12-9 and the game was finally called in the 6th after ten minutes of playing in a monsoon with York claiming the win.
Josh VanDeemter started and struggled with his control. Brett Burns pitched two innings for his first win of the season, and Steve Foley picked up his first save.
Offensively, VanDeemter, Foley, and Burns each had 2 hits, and accounted for 5 RBI's. Eric Foley had a 2-run single, Brent Sterling singled and had a sacrifice fly, Rick Yez and Ernie Morrison had RBI singles, and Dan Fiorita had an RBI single. As well, Steven Szoldra laid down a key sacrifice bunt and Justin Williams scored two runs.
Foley & Morrison Lead York to Opening Game Win
Starters Eric Foley and former York stalwart, Chetan Gandhi, were on their games and runs were at a premium. The Expos jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the bottom of the 5th after RBI's by Mike Holian, Jimmy Gonzalez and Darryl Spencer. York's defense was suspect early on as the team committed six errors. A strong throw from left fielder Matt Krause saved another run from scoring and seemed to wake up the Diamonds in the 5th. Through 4 innings, York had only managed two singles off Gandhi.
In the fifth, Ernie Morrison hit a double, his second of 3 hits on the night. Hayden Griffin pinch ran, Manny Rodriguez was hit by a pitch and a Matt Krause sacrifice bunt went for a hit to load the bases. A Karl Boyd groundout made it 4-1, and an errant pickoff made it 4-2.
Eric Foley began to dominate starting in the fifth, he allowed only one single, while striking out nine. The defense pitched in again as Andre Contreras made an incredible play on a grounder to his right.
In the bottom of the sixth, Contreras singled and was run for by Kevin Ebert, who stole second. One out later, Ebert was gunned down at the plate by leftfielder, Evan DePiero, to keep the score at 4-2. Ernie Morrison then hit a clutch 2-out single to make it 4-3, then Rodriguez singled to left and Krause singled to centre to make it 4-4. Another former Diamond mainstay, Mike Rochon, came on to try to stem the tide. Karl Boyd hit a single to give York the 5-4 lead, and after an intentional walk to Steve Foley, Eric Foley drilled a 2-run signle to make it 7-4. The scene repeated itself in the bottom of the 8th as another 2-out walk to Steve Foley led to another 2-run single by Eric Foley.
Foley then closed the deal in the 9th, allowing only one earned run while striking out a season-high 14 batters. Darryl Spencer and Mike Holian had two hits apiece for the Expos.
Next game is Sunday at Vaughan Grove with a new start time of 6:00.
Pirates Take Stranglehold on First Place
Eric Foley was the hard-luck loser again last night as he struck out 8 and allowed only 5 hits. York scored two in the first off Will Mariani on a Nick Guglielmo walk, a Paul Freeman sacrifice bunt, a Steve Foley RBI single, and a Manny Rodriguez double. After that Mariani was dominant before giving way to Jaymin Parmar with 2 out in the sixth.
A Sean Gray 2-out, 2 run single tied the game in the second. Two York errors lead to the other Pirates runs in the 4th and 5th.
The Diamonds are off for a week before taking on the Mississauga Majors next Thursday at Keelesdale.
Diamonds Record Two Big Wins
Rookie Mark Pereira made his pitching debut to complete the game.
Last Thursday, Michael Bannon and Tsukasa Murakoso locked up in an 8 inning pitcher's duel with York prevailing over the Majors 2-1. Murakoso struck out 11 and allowed only 4 hits. York tied the game in the second on a double play ball and won it in the 8th on a bases loaded walk by Ernie Morrison.
Brent Sterling led the way with 2 hits. Four Majors runners were thrown out on the bases as the Diamonds' improved commitment to defense paid immediate dividends.
Diamonds Split With Jays' Teams
Last Thursday, the hard thumping SABL Jays broke up open a 12-8 game by scoring 7 times in the eighth inning en route to 19-8 win. York's 9 errors certainly hastened thier demise. Derek Kimmerly took the loss in his final game for the Diamonds. Eric Foley had 3 hits to pace the offense.
Last night, the Diamonds had another "interesting" affair with the Metro Jays. After jumping out to a 7-1 lead, York held on to win 7-5. Dan Fiorita was great again, going the distance and upping his record to 7-1. Matt Krause, Steve Foley, Eric Foley, Andre Contreras, and Brent Sterling all had 2 hits for the Diamonds. Clint Jeon had 3 hits for the Jays.
The game good be best described as a mixture of highs and lows.
Good - York had 11 hits and 10 walks
Bad - York stranded 14 runners, struck out 8 times and made 2 baserunning gaffes
Good - York turned 4 double plays, after only turning 7 the entire season
Bad - York making 9 more errors and also botching a few additional plays
Good - a fine running catch in left field
Bad - A throw from left field that went over the backstop in into the forest
Good - 5 stolen bases
Bad - Two York players getting injured while stealing
Eastern Conference Race Tightens Up
In Game #1, most of the game was played in a steady rain and York scored 3 in the 4th on an Eric Foley 2-run double and a Manny Rodriguez single. The Cubs scored an unearned run in the 5th to make it 3-1. The wheels came off in the 6th as Foley began to tire and 2 more defensive miscues led to 4 runs giving the Cubs the win. Rich Freeman played his first regular season game for York since 2000 and did a good job behind the plate.
In Game #2, it was all Cubs before a late York rally to make it interesting. Clarington jumped out to an 8-0 lead, before the Foley/Rodriguez combo struck again with RBI singles. After the Cubs made it 9-2, York rallied in what turned out to be their last at bat. Marcus Weiss had an RBI groundout, both Foleys were hit with the bases loaded, and Rodriguez and Nick Guglielmo then walked with the bases loaded. Shawn Lamb came on to record the final out. Paul Freeman had 2 hits for York.
York now sits at 11-10-2 as the club has really struggled over the last month or so to find any sort of consistency. The team faces the Pickering Pirates on Thursday.
Diamonds Fall to Twins and Dodgers
For York, the bottom of the order came through with Ernie Morrison going 2-2 + an RBI, Steven Szoldra, Bruce Johnson, Manny Rodriguez, and Paul Freeman all went 1-2. Rick Yez picked up his first hit of the year as well.
Tsukasa Murakoso was not quite as sharp as normal and lasted until the fifth. Ernie Morrison pitched 1 2/3 innings of quality relief and Paul Freeman finished up on the mound.
York is right back at it tonight as they take on the Brooklin Dodgers in a pair of games, starting at 6:15.
The following night the Brooklin Dodgers came to town and swept York 4-2 and 13-7. In Game 1, York outhit Brooklin 9-3 b ut mental lapses and poor situational hitting doomed the Diamonds Steven Szoldra took the loss as Rob Rivers and Josh VanDeemter had two hits each.
In Game #2, the Dodgers dominated as Brad Hanna got the win and drove in 5 runs. Justin Williams had a double, a triple, and 3 RBI's in the losing cause.
Kimmerly on the Move
Kimmerly came to the Diamonds in 2006, after a stint with his hometown London Bulls. He spent most of his three season as a reliever, filling in as a starter whenever needed. Derek also demonstrated a fine knowledge for all things Blue Jay related and would make a fine general manager when incumbent J.P. Ricciardi is unceremoniously dumped (finally!) this winter.
Skipper, Paul Freeman has annointed Thursday's contest with the SABL Jays as "DK Day at the Ballpark" and the guest of honour himself will receive the start on the mound in his final appearance for the Diamonds. In an unbelievable twist of fate, Kimmerly somehow got roped into providing the post-game beverages for his own going away-party as well. DK will meet with the media during batting practice which begins at 6:15 sharp.
From all of us, we wish you the best of luck, Derek.
Pirates Retake First Place
York tries to get back on the beam with a Sunday doublehader at Clarington.
As well, Steve Foley, Eric Foley, Nick Guglielmo, and Shikoh Uchiyama will take part in the OSBA All-Star game this Saturday night at Rgoers Centre at 8:00. Fans can enter through Gate #8.
York Back at .500
Tsukasa Murakoso was dominant against the Majors and moved to 3-0. He also had 2 hits and 2 RBI. Brett Burns had 3 hits and 2 RBI.
A depleted lineup vs the Stars played great and got a well-deserved win. Josh VanDeemter went the distance to pick up his third win. Despite playing with a broken nose and black eye, Brett Burns homered and tripled. Rob Rivers went 3-3 with an RBI.
Previously, the Mississauga Southwest Twins and York Diamonds split a pair of games at 9th Line. York won Game #1 by a score of 4-1. Eric Foley evened his record at 3-3, going the distance and striking out 6. York had 11 hits, including 3 by Rich Freeman and 2 by Dan Fiorita.
In Game #2, Chris Lee shut down the Diamonds on the way to a 7-0 victory. Josh VanDeemter pitched great but was let down by some poor defense.
York Finishes Busy Stretch At 6-2
The Diamonds exacted a bit of revenge for the Jays thumping the previous evening. Dan Fiorita was in command as he went 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 7. Fiorita moved to 6-1 on the campaign. Derek Kimmerly pitched 1+ innings before Steve Foley worked out of a jam in the 9th to earn his second save.
York's offense was propelled by the Foley brothers as Eric had 3 hits and Steve had 2. Andre Contreras had 2 RBI as well. The York defense was good at times and not so good at other times, but on the whole was good enough to pull out the win. Anthony Vecchiarelli was particularly solid behind the plate and also looked good with the bat.
For the Jays, Alex Beauvais had 3 hits and 2 RBI and Robert Holloway had 2.
The Diamonds finally get a well-deserved break before playing a rare Thursday night twinbill at Keelesdale next week against the SABL Yankees and Dragons, beginning at 6:15. In honour of York's baserunning follies this year, the first 100 fans will be given a new frozen treat called the "Brain Freeze" which has a lovely blue and silver wrapper with images of various York players getting doubled off base on line drives.
Foley went the distance allowing 10 hits and striking out 5. Mainelli went 7 innings before giving way to Matt Klas. York scored first after Brent Sterling's double was cashed in by Ernie Morrison's single. The Giants took a 2-1 lead in the 4th on singles from Triston Hackett and Rob Uggenti. A Chris Micolino single made it 3-1 after 5.
In the 6th, York had 5 hard hits... a double from Hayden Griffin and singles from both Foleys, Nick Guglielmo, and Manny Rodriguez which tied the game and had the bases still loaded with one out. But Mainelli pitched out of trouble to keep things at 3-3.
In the 7th, York had runners on first and second with one out but could not score the game winner. In the 8th, the Diamonds had two runners aboard with two out, but Klas pitched out of trouble to end the game.
Nine Diamonds had hits in the game, including two from Hayden Griffin and Steve Foley.
Diamonds Turn Things Around
In the last 6 games here are the results.
A 2-1 loss to the Vaughan Vikings. Eric Foley deserved a better fate but the team's inability to hit with runners in scoring position again surfaced.
A 5-4 loss to the Oshawa Talons - Down 5-0, a Rudy Naraine single keyed a rally that fell a run short. Steven Szoldra took the loss.
An 6-0 win over the Talons behind 6 innings of shutout ball from Josh VanDeemter. A Steve Foley home run would provide all the run support needed. Eric Foley and Brent Sterling had 2 hits each.
An ugly 8-5 win over the Mississauga Stars. Eric foley got the win and Tsukasa Murakoso picked up the save. Ruben Feliciano hit his first home run. Steve Foley had 2 hits and 2 RBI. Eric foley scored 3 runs.
A sesaon-changing 9-8 come from behind win over the Vaughan Vikings. down 8-2 in the second when Josh VanDeemter took over on the mound, shutting down the Vikings the rest of the way. In the last inning a 3-run triple by Brent Sterling tied it, and Mark Pereira's sacrifice fly was the winning blow. Nick Guglielmo had 2 hits.
A masterful 4-1 complete game by Tsukasa Murakoso as the Diamonds beat the Vikings again. Rob Rivers, Brett Burns, Manny Rodriguez, and Brent Sterling had 2 hits. Steve Foley had a RBI double and Eric Foley came up with a 2-run single. Guglielmo, VanDeemter, Steve Foley, and Murakoso all made fielding gems. Mark Pereira made his first appearance behind the plate and was solid.
The recent hot streak has coincided with a number of strong performances including:
Brent Sterling 6 for 10 with 3 RBI
Steve Foley 8 for 16 1 HR 7 RBI
Rob Rivers 8 for 15 with 6 walks
Brett Burns has hits in all 9 games this season
Nick Guglielmo 7 for 19
Josh VanDeemter 6 for 18 5 walks 5 SB and 2 wins as a pitcher
Eric Foley 4 for 9 4 RBI 2 SB
Manny Rodriguez 5 for 8
Jays Pound York
Daniel Dodds had a single, double, homer, and 5 RBI to pace the Jays. Jamie Hatfield also had 3 hits and Clint Jeon had 2.
For the Diamonds, Josh Barber made a few nice plays in the field and Matt Krause threw well in mop-up duty in his first stint on the mound this year.
York will try to right the ship this evening in a return engagement with the Jays as Dan Fiorita (5-1) gets the start.
Diamonds Hold Their Own
On Thursday, Eric Foley struck out a season-high ten batters as he was locked in a pitcher's duel with Matt Klas that ended in an 8 inning 2-2 tie. Foley allowed only 4 hits and the Diamonds managed 8 hits. Steve Foley blasted his 4th home run in the bottom of the first to put York up 2-0. A 2-run single by Chris Micolino in the 4th resulted in the rest of the scoring. York threatened in the bottom of the 7th and Brett Burns successfully stole home but the batter struck out to end the inning and nullify the run. In the bottom of the 8th, a Nick Guglielmo smash up the middle looked to be destined for centre-field and could have been a game winner. However a diving Graham Magee caught the ball and doubled the runner off of second base to preserve the tie. Both teams had a good night defensively.
On Sunday York came to Kirkey Field to take on the Eastern Conference leading, Pickering Pirates. In Game #1, Pickering prevailed 3-1 behind lefty Will Mariani, with the big blow being a Scott Gray 2-run single in the bottom of the 6th. Steven Szoldra pitched great for the Diamonds but took the loss. Steve Foley had 2 hits and a stolen base. Nick Guglielmo had a strong game in the defensively.
In Game #2, Brett Burns survived a rocky first inning to throw a 5-hit complete game gem in leading York to a 4-1 win. The Diamonds managed only 3 hits but made them count as an Ernie Morrison 3-run double in the top of the 5th gave York a lead they would not relinquish. Nick Guglielmo, Rocco Lau, and Manny Rodriguez keyed another strong defensive effort.
June Swoon in Full Bloom
Things started off well with a 9-0 victory over the Vaughan Expos. Mark Pereira collected his first two hits as a Diamond and Eric Foley struck out 11 over 5 innings for his 100th career win. At one point, Foley struck out nine Expos in a row. Steven Szoldra pitched the last two innings for his first save.
In the last eight days, the Diamonds dropped all four games, to the Burlington Bulls 9-7 in extra innings, and 3-1, as well as to the Vaughan Expos by socres of 9-3 and 6-1.
The Bulls showed why they were the class of the league and the three-time defending champs as starter Graham Howden thwarted the York bats two weeks in a row. In the first game, York trailed 4-0 before a Steve Foley home run made it 4-3. The Bulls went up 6-3 before Mark Pereira's two-run single tied it at 6-6. Eric Foley pitched five innings and then Steven Szoldra took over. In the 8th, the Bulls scored three runs, two on a Kyle Pitman single. But York would not quit, scoring one in the bottom of the inning and loading the bases before Cam McKnight came in to shut the door, being aided by a game-ending diving stab by Kyle Pitman.
The much-improved Vaughan Expos received good pitching and timely hitting to pound the Diamonds two games in a row. Both games were close until the end before the Expos took over. Steven Szoldra and Brett Burns both pitched very well in defeat. Dan Roth and Justin Johnson were the winning pitchers, with Chetan Gandhi and Daniel Dodds picking up the saves. York-killer Jeff Murphy continued to dominate Diamonds' pitching.
Last Thursday, the Bulls again came to town and in workmanlike fashion, Howden again shut down the York bats. The big blow was a Nathan Tennant home run. Szoldra pitched an awesome game, but was lacking in run support.
Last night, the young guns from the Vaughan Vikings came to town and Daniel Pelley moved to 4-0 on the season and Eric Foley took the hard-luck loss in a 2-1 ball game. Foley struck out six and allowed 4 hits. York welcomed newcomer Justin Williams to the fold and he was 2-3. The Diamonds actually hit the ball well, amassing 10 hits, but Pelley was dominant once runners got into scoring position.
Overall, the Diamonds have shown flashes of good play and if the bats can get things going, the team may be able to work itself back into playoff contention.
Diamonds Battle for Hard-Fought Split
Game #2 saw the Diamonds finally break their long losing streak at 9th Line as the bats exploded for 16 hits in 5 innings. Steve Foley had 5 RBI, including a grand slam. Hayden Griffin went 4-4 and Andre Contreras made a guest appearance and went 3-3 with a booming double, after not having picked up a bat in over 10 months. Brett Burns continued to smoke the ball as well. Brent Sterling had 2 hits, and thankfully Nick Guglielmo got a hit and now can stop throwing and cracking team helmets.
Josh Barber went to the mound, despite a tender arm, probably owing to the fact that his manager had him warming up 4 times in last night's game. Barber battled through 3 1/3 innings to notch his fist career win. Steven Szoldra also sucked it up despite pitching on only 2 days rest before giving way to closer Steve Foley. Foley induced a double play ball to end the game and earn save #6.
The Diamonds were nursing many minor injuries after the game and this week's record of 3-2 was a major accomplishment amidst all the absences, injuries, and tired arms.
York now sits at 10-6 in OSBA play and the club gets a few days off before the Forest Glen Giants come to town this Thursday at 7:30.
Expos Top Diamonds
York only allowed 4 hits, but some defensive miscues and some timely Expos hits led to the defeat for the home squad. Long-time Diamond killer Jeff Murphy broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning with a ringing double to right-centree field.
The York runs came on an error and a Steve Foley two-run homer, his first of the season. York received some fine defensive plays from Nick Guglielmo, Manny Rodriguez, and Steve Foley.
All three York picthers threw well as Tsukasa Murakoso went the first three innings, Eric Foley the next three, and Steven Szoldra finished up.
As was the recipe during the York struggles last year, timely hits were hard to come by, and untimely striekouts contributed as well.
York and the Vaughan hook up again next Thursday...same time...same place. A new-look batting order may be in place for the struggling Diamonds.
Diamonds Cannot Overcome Cardinals
York starter Dan Fiorita was let down by some horrible defense which resulted in 8 errors. The offense was paced by Brett Burns and Andre Contreras, who each had 2 hits.
Winning pitcher, Duncan Perry, shut down the Diamonds for the third consecutive time, before Brian Dikdan closed things out.
Rob Rivers, Denis Hucal, and Jesse Korona each had 2 hits for the Cardinals, who also proved once again that they are the superior team at advancing and scoring runners as they had a sacrifice bunt, 3 sacrifice flies, 2 RBI groundouts, and 4 stolen bases.
York plays the upstart Metro Jays on Wednesday at Syntex (moved from Saturday) and Thursday at Keelesdale.
Express Come Back to Notch Split
In Game #2, former Diamond Mike Rochon pitched well, and was aided by some fantastic defense, especially by third basemen Jesse Nakayama. Brett Burns battled control problems all night, but gutted it out and almost came away with the victory. York played solid defense as well, and hit the ball on the nose all game long, but ended up falling a bit short. Anthony Vecchiarelli had a big hit to put York up 4-3, but the lead would not stand. Skipper Paul Freeman played in his 500th game as a Diamond and walked in both at bats and had a stolen base.
No rest for the weary as York travels to their favourite locale today to take on the Mississauga Southwest Twins at 3:00 and 5:30. Veteran Will Elliott makes his return to the Diamonds to start in Game #1. The starter for Game #2 will be whomoever can still lift their arm above their head without any pain.
The York Diamonds have made some winter moves to upgrade their roster in preparation for the 2011 OSBA campaign.
Two veterans will return to the club:
Righthanded Pitcher/Catcher Dan Fiorita finally had his shoulder surgery and has been cleared to return to the diamond.
Catcher/Outfielder Rich Freeman comes home to Keelesdale after a 10 year stint with the Ivy Leafs of NDBL.
Five newcomers have been added to the roster so far. They are:
Mark Pereira, an outfielder who previously played with Toronto Playgrounds
Tsukasa Murakoso, a lefthanded pitcher from Japan.
Josh VanDeemter, a catcher/infielder/outfielder from Waterloo.
Rob Rivers, a second baseman, formerly of the Forest Glen Giants (OSBA) and the Mississauga Cardinals (MSBL)
Ruben Feliciano, a shortsop from Buffalo.
York will also have the services of a healthy Sean O'Neill, whose season was ended prematurely due to a sore elbow.
The Diamonds had some holes to fill as Rocco Lau, Anthony Vecchiarelli, Hayden Woodley, Shikoh Uchiyama, and Josh Barber will not be with the club in 2011.
The pitching staff will be once again be anchored by Eric Foley. Tsukasa Murakoso will be most likely be the #2 starter. Brett Burns, Steven Szoldra, and Steve Foley all had good moments on the mound and will be counted upon again. The wildcard is the return of former #2 man, Dan Fiorita from a major shoulder injury. Fiorita has begun throwing and should be ready to help out the staff by mid-season. Newcomer Josh VanDeemter and veteran Ernie Morrison round out the staff.
On offense, the Diamonds really struggled to get consistent hitting throughout the lineup and have added some key pieces to help upgrade in this area. Steve Foley was his usual dominant self last season and the Diamonds received productive years from Eric Foley, Manny Rodriguez, Brett Burns, and Nick Guglielmo. Other players chipped in offensively and will be counted on to perform more consistently in 2011. Newcomers Rich Freeman, Mark Pereira, Ruben Feliciano, Rob Rivers, and Josh VanDeemter should add some punch to the offense.
On defense, the Diamonds will miss catcher Shikoh Uchiyama who has returned to Japan. Rich Freeman, Josh VanDeemter, and Brett Burns will do most of the catching.
Ernie Morrison and Eric Foley return at first.
The rest of the infield should be solid with Rob Rivers, Bruce Johnson, Manny Rodriguez, Nick Guglielmo, Ruben Feliciano, and Sean O'Neill.
O'Neill will also see time in the outfield with Steve Foley, Mark Pereira, Brent Sterling, Brett Burns, Paul Freeman, Rick Yez and Marcus Weiss.
Krause and Foley Lead The Way
Krause, who is hitting .636 over his last four games, had two hits a walk and a hit by pitch, and the hits were a line drive single to centre and a 2-run home run to centre. The longball was Krause's second career home run, and his first one not hit in the cozy confines of Sentinel Park. Foley twirled 7 strong innings to up his record to 3-1, as he struck out 10, and allowed only 4 hits and 2 walks. Mike Dymond went the route for the Reds on the mound.
York had 11 hits, with Krause, Steve Foley, Manny Rodriguez, and Anthony Vecchiarelli each having two. Wayne Chinapen blasted a home run into the teeth of the wind to score York's final run.
The Diamonds scored four in the bottom of the second after Brett Burns and Manny Rodriguez singled, Anthony Vecchiarelli cashed in Burns. Paul Freeman then grounded out to score a run and a Josh Barber popup was misplayed which allowed Vecchiarelli and Freeman to score. The Reds made it 4-1 in the top of the fifth before the home runs by Krause (2 run) and Chinapen (solo) capped the scoring. Chinapen also pitched a scoreless 8th inning before closer Steve Foley wrapped things up in the 9th.
Kevin Ebert returned from injury and will be with the club for the remainder of the season.
Next York action is tonight against the Mississauga Cardinals at 9th Line at 7:30.
Diamonds Move to 8-4 In League Play
Foley added 2 more hits and a walk, making him 9 for his last 12. Five other Diamonds had 1 hit each, including Josh Barber who had his first hit of the season and drove in 2 runs. Manny Rodriguez had the other York RBI. Wayne Wickens and Rob Leva had the RBI's for the Dodgers.
Next York action is a home doubleheader on Saturday night vs the Newmarket Express. Game times are 6:00 and 8:30.
Diamonds Capture Multiple Awards
Steve Foley won three awards including: Conference MVP, Conference Silver Slugger, and Centre Field Gold Glove. Steve hit .515 with 3 HR 28 RBI and 12 SB in league play, and he played his usual brand of spectacular defense.
Eric Foley picked up two awards including: Conference Pitcher of the Year, and Pitcher Gold Glove. Eric pitched 82 innings, with a record of 6-4, along with 69 strikeouts and a 2.64 ERA.
Shikoh Uchiyama, who has returned to Japan won the Catcher Gold Glove and was the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Year. Shikoh hit .377 with 9 RBI and played stellar defense.
Paul Freeman and Rick Yez were both in the top four for Eastern Conference Manager and Coach of the Year respectively. Steve Foley finished third in the voting for the Relief Pitcher of the Year.
Complete voting results can be found at
Congratulations to all of the nominees.
Brett Burns Twirls A Gem
Gimpy-legged Steve Foley had 3 hits and 3 RBI for York while carefully maneuvering himself around the basepaths with the aid of a walker and a rather large cane. York had a total of 16 hits as all 11 starters had at least one hit, including 2 each for Matt Krause, Eric Foley, and Wayne Chinapen. Chinapen, Andre Contreras, and Brent Sterling had the other RBI's.
Brett Burns was in control on the mound as Brett Burns allowed only 4 hits and a walk, while striking out 6. Brett Burns moved to 2-0 on the year, and Brett Burns threw Brett Burns' first ever 9 inning complete game as Brett Burns' former league in New Brunswick only played 7 inning games.
The defense behind Brett Burns was pretty good as Karl Boyd and Eric Foley made some nice plays and the outfielders cleanly fielded all 7 fly balls.
Next game is a Saturday night affair as the Diamonds take on the SABL Reds at 6:00 at Keelesdale. Minnesota Wild defenceman Brent Burns will be on hand to sign autographs in the Upper Deck Pavillion area.
Diamonds Finish On A High Note
In Game #1, York was trounced 9-2 by a very "enthusiastic" team of some version of the Clarington Cubs. Starter Brad Binns, of the OBA Markham Pioneers threw a 3-hitter, allowing only a 2 run bomb by Steve Foley that went over the "405" sign in left-centre field. Steven Szoldra took the loss to drop to 2-2. Ernie Morrison had his most effective pitching outing of the season in relief. The Cubs played well as they had many reinforcements from other teams, while the Diamonds chose to bring their regular lineup.
In Game #2, York played a close tilt with the Whitby Chiefs, with Whitby prevailing 4-2. Steve Harrington pitched well in the winning effort. Brett Burns twirled his finest game for York, going the distance and striking out six. Six York players had one hit each. Former Diamond Evan DePiero had 2 hits for Whitby.
In the third game, which was meaningless for both teams, the York bats finally erupted. In a game shortened to 3.5 innings, York prevailed 17-4. Shikoh Uchiyama got the start and went 3 innings to earn his first win. Steve Foley closed things up in the fourth. Both Foley brothers, as well as Uchiyama had 2 hits and 3 RBI's apiece, with Eric Foley (single and triple) and Uchiyama (double and triple) leading the way. Rookie Steven Szoldra got his first big league hit in the second inning and was immediately besieged by two young autograph seekers in the dugout.
York has a crazily busy week playing five game in four days, beginning with the Brooklin Dodgers this Thursday at Keelesdale at 7:30.
Team Awards Announced
Infield - Bruce Johnson
Outfield – Steve Foley
Silver Slugger – Steve Foley
Comeback Player of the Year – Nick Guglielmo
Most Improved Player– Brett Burns
Unsung Hero Award – Brent Sterling
Rookie of the Year – Shikoh Uchiyama
Pitcher of the Year – Eric Foley
Most Valuable Player – Steve Foley/Eric Foley
Winners will have their likenesses handcrafted out of butter at the team meeting in February.
Diamonds Sweep Pair
Game #1 featured the MSBL's best club, the Mississauga Cardinals. Starters Steve Correia and Dan Fiorita matched each other pitch for pitch and both received strong defensive play behind them. The Diamonds broke on top in the first on Steve Foley's fourth home run of the season into the teeth of a strong wind. In the bottom of the second, the Cardinals took advantage of an error, with the runner later scoring on a Fil Vazzano single. Correia worked into the sixth before being picked up by Marcus Belardi.
In the York seventh, Karl Boyd pinch hit and lined a single. A Brent Sterling sacrifice bunt was misplayed, and then Hayden Griffin ripped his third hit of the game to cash Boyd. Dennis Hucal came on and did an incredible job of preventing any further runs. In the top of the 8th, it seemed like history would repeat itself again as the Cardinals loaded the bases with one out. A sharp ground ball to Brett Burns was fired to the plate in time to force the runner. The next batter grounded out to Brent Sterling to preserve the 2-1 York lead. In the bottom of the 9th, Fiorita was determined to close the deal and the Cardinals got runners to first and third with two out, before a Rob Rivers line drive was snared by Matt Krause in left field to give York a hard-fought 2-1 win.
Fiorita scattered 11 hits and struck out 8 to up his record to 5-0 on the year. Eric Foley nabbed two runners stealing and Brent Sterling was solid at third base. Hayden Griffin had 3 of the 6 hits for the Diamonds. For the Cardinals, Rob Rivers and Fil Vazzano had two hits apiece.
In Game #2, Alex Beauvais of the Metro Jays and Eric Foley of York were locked in another pitching duel. In the first few innings, York squandered numerous opportunities to score before finally counting a run in the fourth, after a Brett Burns single, a Brett Burns stolen bases, 2 groundouts, and then a Josh Barber bloop single cashed Brett Burns. In the fifth Steve Foley walked, stole second, went to third on Eric Foley single, and then scored on the Foley/Foley double steal to make it 2-0.
The Jays kept battling and tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a Bruce Johnson RBI groundout and a Chris Novielli RBI single. York's lack of clutch hitting and execution on offense was causing skipper Paul Freeman to slowly lose his mind while coaching third.
Beauvais and Foley remained locked in a 2-2 tie until there were two outs and nobody on in the top of the seventh. Steve Foley hit a monsterous foul ball to deep left field. A very close 2-2 pitch was called a ball, drawing protests from the Jays., On the next pitch Foley reached out and lined a home run over the right field fence to make it 3-2 and then the floodgates opened. Eric Foley lined a base hit and Ernie Morrison and walked, which brought Brett Burns to the plate. Brett Burns then lined a long home run to deep left field for Brett Burns' second home run of the season to give York a 6-2 lead and bringing about a pitching change. Three straight walks were followed by a Brent Sterling 2 run double, and a Karl Boyd RBI infield single to make it 9-2.
In the top of the eighth, York counted 5 more runs on a Josh Barber RBI groundout, a Brent Sterling sacrifice fly, a Steve Foley walk, an Andre Contreras RBI single, and an Ernie Morrison walk. Brett Burns almost had a second home run before the ball hooked foul, and Anthony Vecchiarelli hit a ball off the fence.
Ernie Morrison pitched the 8th to close out the win. Eric Foley moved to 2-1 on the year, with 7 strong innings, allowing only 2 hits, striking out 9, and picking off 2 consecutive runners. Foley also had 3 hits and 3 stolen bases, Steve Foley had 2 hits and 3 stolen bases, Brent Sterling and Brett Burns had 2 hits apiece. Brett Burns also kept the bench guessing as to what Brett Burns' middle name may be. Guesses included Billy, Bobby, Buford, Brady, Bridget, Brandy, Brock, Bubbles, Binky, Bartholomew, Bucky, Benjamin, Barry, Bosh, Bon Jovi etc...
Special thanks to Bob for letting us use the field and to Jen for the running the scoreboard.
Diamonds Move to 8-2
Starter Rich Singh kept York off-balance all night before the Diamonds finally broke through in the last inning. Eric Foley had 2 hits and 3 RBI for York, and Matt Krause also has 2 hits. The Diamonds stole 5 bases on the night.
Defensively, York buckled down and received some excellent plays from Manny Rodriguez, Brent Sterling, and Josh Barber.
Barber made his first start on the mound and looked good before tiring in the third. He retired the first 7 hitters, including 6 by groundout. Steve Foley entered with the bases loaded in the third and quickly retired the next two batters. Foley then went the final four innings, fanning 8 and allowing only an infield single to finally notch his first win in a York uniform in his 24th pitching appearance.
Next game is a doubleheader vs the Cardinals and Jays on Saturday at Meadowvale.
House of Horrors
York made 4 errors and the Cards came up with some timely hits hits to once again prove why they are the class of the MSBL. York starter Eric Foley was the hard luck loser and fanned 7 over 6 innings. Duncan Perry picked up the win and Kevin Horton got the save.
York's lead was created by two-run home runs by Andre Contreras and Steve Foley, and an Ernie Morrison sacrifice fly. Eric Foley had a single and double for the Diamonds. Rick Boutilier and Marcus Belardi has two hits apiece for the winners.
Diamonds' Hall of Fame third baseman, Neil Parekh, made a surprise appearance for the Diamonds and acquitted himself well in his first action in almost 4 years.
Skipper Paul Freeman could be heard muttering to himself about some sort of curse and was looking for live roosters or a voodoo doctor to try and destroy the curse of 9th Line.
Game 2 was mercifully rained out in the first inning as the summer of torrential rain continued.
York Wins Well-Played Game 5-0
York counted two in the first on an Andre Contreras single and 3 more in the second as an Eric Foley single plated two runs and as Foley was tagged out in a subsequent rundown, another run came in. After that, Saucedo and Fiorita were dominant the rest of the way.
York only tallied 4 hits, but took advantage with 8 walks and 6 stolen bases. Jimmy Gonzalez had 3 hits for the Expos and Mike Rochon added two of his own.
The Diamonds also received excellent defense, particularly from Brett Burns, Brent Sterling, and Andre Contreras. Anthony Vecchiarelli was solid behind the plate.
Next York action is a Sunday doubleheader at 9th Line starting at 6:00 against the Mississauga Cardinals.
York Sweeps at Wishing Well
In the nightcap, the Diamonds overcame a sloppy first inning to beat the Red Sox by a count of 11-4. Steve Foley had another double and another homer to pace the offense. Ernie Morrison and Andre Contreras each had 2 hits. Jesse Kugler pitched the first inning, before Eric Foley went a strong five in relief to pick up his first win of the year. Karl Boyd and Ernie Morrison finished up on the mound.
Thursday's game vs the SABL Reds was rained out, so next action will be this Thursday vs the Vaughan Expos.
York Splits Two Games
Friday night marked a rematch with two-time defending MSBL champion Mississauga Cardinals. Starter Eric Foley was dominant (1 hit, 8 K's) over 6 innings, but some porous York defense (7 errors and numerous misplays) hurt the cause. Brett Burns pitched 2+ solid innings of relief and Steve Foley took the hard-luck loss. Dennis Hucal picked up the win with 3 dominant innings for the Cardinals.
York fell behind 3-0 in the first after committing 3 errors in the frame and allowing a Fil Vazzano two run single. Karl Boyd cranked a long two run homer in the bottom of the frame to narrow the gap to 3-2. The Diamonds tied it up 3-3 in the third on an Eric Foley groundout Two more York errors led to another Cards' run in the 4th. York countered with Ernie Morrison's run scoring single in the 5th to knot things at 4. In the bottom of the 6th, York finally took the lead at 6-4 on RBI's from Boyd and Steve Foley.
It stayed 6-4 until the bottom of the 9th when Ryan Donnelly, Dennis Hucal, and Steve Correia came up with clutch hits to give the Cardinals an 8-6 lead. A rally in the bottom of the 9th netted one run, but the Cards held on for the 8-7 victory.
Steve Foley, Matt Krause, Ernie Morrison, and Hayden Griffin all 2 hits for York. Steve Correia had 2 hits for the Cardinals. Next up is a rematch with the Cardinals next Thursday at Keelesdale.
York Wins Again
Burns went 6 innings and struck out 9, and Foley went the final 3 hitless innings.
York's offense was led by Manny Rodriguez who had 3 hits and drove home 5. Matt Krause, Josh Barber, and Dan Fiorita had 2 each, and Foley, Burns, Paul Freeman, and Anthony Vecchiarelli each had 2 RBI.
The York defense was not very good, committing 8 errors but the pitchers were able to persevere and limit the damage.
Diamonds Win 5-1
In the 4th, Hayden Griffin walked and Matt Krause doubled him to third. Steve Foley launched a 2-run double, which was followed by a Karl Boyd run scoring single as York took a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the 5th, a Krause RBI was followed by Steve Foley getting plunked with the bases loaded to make it 5-1. York's pitching and defense made the lead stand up.
Offensively, York has 6 hits, including two from Brett Burns. Steve Foley had 3 RBI's and leadoff man, Hsyden Griffin, walked in each of his three plate appearances.
Derek (DK) Kimmerly got his first start of the year and allowed one unearned run over his 2 innings. Ernie Morrison went two scoreless frames to pick up the win and Dan Fiorita went the final 3, striking out 5 to notch his first save.
Defensively, Manny Rodriguez made an outstanding diving play, Hayden Griffin made a nice running catch, and Karl Boyd turned two first-rate double plays.
Next York action is Sunday night at 7:00 pm at Vaughan Grove.
Diamonds Start Season On The Right Foot
The game remained 4-2 until the bottom of the 6th when a Karl Boyd single and a bases loaded intentional walk to Steve Foley plated two more. In the 7th, Ernie Morrison had a RBI double and Hayden Griffin hit a long sacrifice fly to make 8-2. In the bottom of the 8th, John Raddi's RBI groundout, and Andre Contreras single made the final 10-2.
Starter Eric Foley left with a minor injury after the first and Dan Fiorita got the win twirling 3 effective frames. Rookie Ernie Morrison picked up the save with 4 scoreless innings and he struck out 7. Offensively, Steve Foley had 2 hits and 4 RBI, Andre Contreras had 2 hits, and rookie Karl Boyd had 2 singles and a double. Boyd, Morrison, and Griffin all picked up their first offical York hits.
Next game is a 7 inning affair at Keelesdale next Thursday (7:30 pm) vs the SABL Royals.
Newcomers Lead the Way!
Offensively, the trio of Burns, Morrison, and Boyd led the way, with Boyd and Burns homering, and Morrison hitting a long RBI double. Andre Contreras had a 2 run double and Steve Foley knocked in 2 runs, with Eric Foley and another new player Jesse Kugler driving home the other 2 York runs. A fifth rookie played for the Diamonds as Kevin Ebert turned in the fielding gem of the afternoon from third base. Manny Rodriguez also made a fine barehanded play to nip a runner at first.
All in all a good start to what looks to be a promising season.
2009 Season Preview
York lost some key players over the winter as Chetan Gandhi, Owen McLaughlin, and Victor Miranda have all moved on. As well, veterans Bob Corn, Greg Shannon, and Rudy Naraine will most likely not be returning. Pete Zakkak is still pondering his return.
The Diamonds made a conscious attempt to get younger this season and have added six new faces.
Kevin Ebert is a righthanded pitcher from Sarnia who will add depth to the staff.
Ernie Morrison is a pitcher, catcher, and corner infielder from Nova Scotia.
Brett Burns is a pitcher, catcher, infielder, outfielder from New Brunswick.
Karl Boyd is an infielder who played at Wexford and spent the winter playing down in Florida.
Hayden Griffin is an infielder/outfielder who has spent time in Orangeville and in New York State.
Jesse Kugler is a lefthanded pitcher from Toronto who was a teammate of Dan Fiorita's at Queen's University.
With the new addtions, the pitching staff should have plenty of arms to choose from as stalwarts Eric Foley, Dan Fiorita, John Raddi, Josh Barber, and Derek Kimmerly also return.
Behind the plate Anthony Vecchiarelli, Fiorita, Burns, and Morrison will all see time.
Andre Contreras returns at first base, while Morrison, Foley and Dave Wiseman should also see action.
Manny Rodriguez returns to anchor second base.
The left side of the York infield will have a new look as Boyd takes over at shortstop and Morrison, Burns, and Brent Sterling will all see some time at third. Hayden Griffin will also provide depth. If Pete Zakkak does return, he would provide a veteran presence.
In the outfield, Sterling, Steve Foley, and Matt Krause all return. Paul Freeman, Rick Yez, Burns, and Griffin will help out as well.
Clarington Tournament Champions
In the first game, the team defeated the Brooklin Dodgers 10-0 behind the pitching of Dennis Hucal. Manny Rodriguez had 2 hits and 2 RBI, and Chris Micolino and Brian Dickdan also added 2 RBI apiece.
In the second game, York/Cards defeated the Burlington Bandits of the Golden Horseshoe Baseball League by a count of 13-3. Derek Kimmerly got the win and Rudy Naraine and Manny Rodriguez added 2 hits and 2 RBI each.
Game 3 was more diificult as the team lost to the Mississauga Stars 8-4. Brian Dickdan pitched well but his defense let him down. Steve Correia and Chris Micolino had 2 hits each.
In the semifinal, York/Cards drew the OSBA champion, Burlington Bulls but the club had their hitting shoes on and produced a 12-2 win. Eric Foley got the win and Steve Correia had 2 hits, Steve Foley had 2 hits, Brian Dickdan had 2 hits and 3 RBI, Fil Vazzano had 2 hits, Dennis Hucal had 2 hits, and Chris Micolino had 2 hits including a long home run.
The final produced a rematch with the Mississauga Stars. York/Cards took a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning on RBI groundouts by Eric Foley and Rob Rivers. But the Stars took a 4-2 lead in the fourth. The dramatics occurred in the bottom of the 5th, after Rudy Naraine was hit by a pitch, Dennis Hucal singled and Manny Rodriguez reached on an error. Rob Rivers and Steve Correia scored the runners and York/Cards led 5-4. Kevin Horton made the lead stand up with a gutsy performance as he had injured his throwing arm early in the day. The final score was 5-4 and the MSBL entry was the champion. Kevin Horton was named tournament MVP.
Congratulations go out to the following players
Rudy Naraine, Steve Correia, Steve Foley, Dennis Hucal, Dave Wiseman, Fil Vazzano, Derek Kimmerly, Dan Fiorita, Rob Rivers, Manny Rodriguez, Chetan Gandhi, Brian Dickdan, Eric Foley, Kevin Horton, Chris Micolino, Paul Freeman
Thanks to Rod and Steve from OSBA for welcoming us and running a good tournament.
Cardinals Tie it Up
In the first game, the Cardinals jumped out to an early 5-0 lead before the Diamonds began to come back. In the bottom of the third, Rudy Naraine had a 2-run single, which was followed by an RBi single from Andre Contreras, and an RBI groundout from Anthony Vecchiarelli. Pitchers Dennis Hucal and Eric Foley both settled in and the Cards led 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh. Reliever Duncan Perry came on and was followed by Chris Micolinno as York tallied 3 runs to take a 7-5 lead as Manny Rodriguez had an RBI, Brent Sterling walked with the bases loaded, and then Steve Foley was hit to force in another run. Eric Foley made the lead stand up, in going the distance and fanning 6.
Game #2 was a wild one with York leading 11-3 after 7 innings, as they scored in each of the first 5 innings. Duncan Perry shut down the Diamonds over the final frames as the Cards got 4 in the 7th and 4 in the 8th to knot the game at 12. Steve Foley homered and pitched out of trouble in the 8th and 10th innings, which included two bases loaded situations. York is outhitting the Cardinals 17-15 heading to the 11th inning. UPDATE: After both teams could not score for three innings, in the top of the 14th, York loaded the bases and scored a run on a Manny Rodriguez RBI single to lead 13-12. Steve Corriea then got the next three outs and left the bases full. In the bottom of the inning, Chetan Gandhi allowed a one out walk, followed by a James McNeil double, setting the stage for Jesse Korona's two run walkoff single to give the Cardinals a dramatic 14-13 win.
In Game #3, Eric Foley notched his 9th win of the year in going 8 shutout innings. Chetan Gandhi picked him in the 9th. York received some great outfield throws to nail runners from Steve Foley and Matt Krause. Foley also homered again and had 3 hits. Andre Contreras, Manny Rodriguez, and Rudy Naraine all had two hits and Bob Corn had a clutch pinch hit single. Trung Duong pitched well for the Cardinals and Steve Correia had 3 hits, while Ryan Wakelin added 2 singles.
Diamonds Head into Finals on a Positive Note
The teams then joined forces (7 Diamonds + 4 Expos) to defeat the Oshawa Talons 12-3 in an exhibition game on Labour Day. The Expos (Jimmy Gonzalez, Mike Rochon, Chuck Simpson, and Richard Peach) combined for 9 hits (including a Peach home run) and pitched 3 strong innings to lead the way. All 11 players had hits as John Raddi pitched very well, Paul Freeman got the win, Josh Barber looked good behind the plate, Chetan Gandhi reached base 3 times, Manny Rodriguez had a bases clearing double, Brent Sterling had 2 hits, and Andre Contreras pitched well.
York now gets ready to face the Toronto Cardinals in a best-of-7 final and the Diamonds will be looking to avenge last year's four game sweep at the hands of the Cards.
The schedule is as follows:
Sept. 11th at home (win 7-5)
Sept. 17th at Cards (lose 14-13 in 14 innings)
Sept. 18th at home (win 8-0)
Sept. 21st at Cards (lose 6-1)
Sept. 25th at home
Sept. 28th at Cards
Sept. 30th at Cards
York Goes Up 2-0
York received solid infield defense from Greg Shannon, Andre Contreras, and Brent Sterling as the Diamond pitchers induced 17 ground ball outs.
Steve Foley had 4 hits while Eric Foley had 2 hits and 4 RBI. Owen McLaughlin had 3 hits and Matt Krause had 2. Richard Peach and Mike Rochon had 2 hits for the Expos and Darryl Spencer knocked in 2 runs.
Game 3 goes Thursday night at Keelesdale.
Strong Pitching Leads to Controversial Win
The Expos jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning, after walks to Ron Chatzissavas and Richard Peach, Evan DePiero bunted for a base hit and the ball was thrown wildly down the right field line scoring the first run. A double steal plated run #2, and then Jeff Murphy hit a clutch 2-out double to score DePiero. In the bottom of the third, Matt Krause hit what look to be a run-scoring single but the ball caromed off the pitching rubber meaning the runner had to stop at third. Steve Foley then flew out deep to left field and the game remained 3-0. In the bottom of the 4th, York had runners on second and third with no one out, but good defense kept them off the board.
In the fifth, Scott Rogers walked and was scored by a Darryl Spencer sacrifice fly to make it 4-0. That was all the Expos would get off of Eric Foley, who became stronger as the game progressed. In the bottom of the fifth, the Diamonds finally scored, after two were out, Matt Krause singled and stole second, Steve Foley walked, and Eric Foley delivered a run scoring single to make it 4-1.
In the sixth, the controversy occurred as Anthony Vecchiarelli broke yet another bat and singled. Victor Miranda hit a towering fly ball down the left field line which was ruled a 2-run home run, even though replays might have shown otherwise. Mike Holian composed himself and got out of the inning, limiting the score to 4-3 for the Expos.
In the bottom of the seventh, York again had a runner on third with one out, but had another runner thrown out at the plate. Bob Corn then hit what appeared to be headed for a 2-run single but the ball somehow struck Holian in the leg...Holian then crawled after it and threw out Corn at first to preserve the Expos lead. In the bottom of the eighth history seemed ready to repeat itself, as pinch runner Josh Barber was at third with no one out. Third baseman Rich Getty provided solid defense and kept Barber at third. With two outs and a full count Rudy Naraine lined a clutch RBI single into left field to tie the game. Unfortunately Naraine was injured as he attempted to steal and his status is unknown.
The game went into the ninth tied 4-4. Foley cruised through the top of the inning and former Diamond, Mike Rochon came in for the Expos. Matt Krause continued his torrid hitting by lining a base hit. After a wild pitch and two intentional walks, it set the stage for the game-winning heroics of Owen McLaughlin, who lined a single to centre field to plate Krause and end a wild game.
Skipper Paul Freeman had brief comments after the game, admitting that the Diamonds may have got the benefit of a call on the home run ball although, it was hit so high that it was a tough call. Freeman was pleased with the team's effort in all facets and especially proud of how they kept battling even when runs were hard to come by.
Regular Season Winds Down
Game 1 saw York face the Brooklin Dodgers with a few Pickering Pirates thrown in. Starters Eric Foley matched each other pitch for pitch in an 8 inning 3-3 tie. The Dodgers tied it with two outs in the seventh and then Foley pitched out of a bses loaded jam in the eighth to preserve the tie. Anthony Vecchiarelli wielded a hot bat for York. In the nightcap the Diamons were elimated 10-2 by the Ajax Indians with a few Durham Chiefs thrown in. The Indians pounded the ball all over the park en route to a convincing victory. The weekend marked the return to the lineup of York first baseman, Andre Contreras.
Last Thursday, a veal mitzvah took place after the game as young Josh Barber was introduced to the veal sandwich by York food editor John Raddi. The Diamonds defeated the Mississauga Jays 17-4 behind the pitching of Owen McLaughlin and Chetan Gandhi. Manny Rodriguez had 4 RBI and Matt Krause had 3. Krause, Steve Foley, Rudy Naraine, Pete Zakkak, and Paul Freeman each had 2 hits.
On Sunday, after a great effort by the Cardinals to get the field read, York took Game #1 of a twinbill by a 6-4 score. Dan Fiorita went the route, striking out 5. Eric and Steve Foley combined for 5 hits, and Victor Miranda also had 2. Jesse Korona and Rick Boutilier homered for the Cards. The Diamonds did not committ an error. Unfortunately, in the nightcap, starter Derek Kimmerly was victimized by 8, yes count them, 8 errors, as York gave up 9 runs in the last inning to lose 13-5. Steve Foley hit a 3-run blast for home run #11, but the bats were quiet aside from that. Trung Duong picked up the win in relief. Eric Foley and Vic Miranda added 2 hits each for the Diamonds.
Foleys Would Play for Peanuts
The York Diamonds moved to 10-5 in MSBL play and 13-5 overall with a pair of wins over the Mississauga Jays last week.
On Thursday, ageless wonder Ken Dicken got the call and pitched well for 3 innings. Derek (D.K.) Kimmerly picked him up and struck out 7 over his 5 innings of work and allowed only one hit in notching his second win of the year in a 10-3 victory. Dicken turned in a defensive gem as he raced to cover first base and took a perfect throw from Bob Corn to nip a Jays' baserunner. Offensively eight different Diamonds drove in runs, and the hit parade was led by Steve Foley and Brent Sterling with 3 apiece and Rudy Naraine, Pete Zakkak and Owen McLaughlin with two each. McLaughlin doubled off the wall and then hit his first York home run to cap the scoring. Daniel Dodds had a pair of hits for the Jays and Jared Levinsky threw a complete game.
The following evening featured a pitchers duel between York ace Eric Foley and Jays' righthanders Elmer Benitez Jr. and Vince Novielli. Foley went the route, allowing only two hits and striking out 13, with a tidy 108 pitch effort. Benitez struck out 6 in his 5 innings of work and Novielli worked 4 shutout frames. All the York runs scored on two Steve Foley home runs. Paul Freeman and Eric Foley also had two hits. Pat McEnroe had a double and two walks for the Jays.
This Thursday, York gets another shot at the Vaughan Expos and unfortunately the sixth inning peanut race has been canceled. The first five fans will get free dinner recommendations from the esteemed York culinary expert team of Wiseman & Raddi.
Diamonds Take 2 of 3 From Expos
On Thursday, Eric Foley went five strong innings, striking out ten and allowing only three hits. Josh Barber and Chetan Gandhi each threw an inning in relief. Eric also went 3-3 with 3 RBI and Steve Foley also had 3 hits and 3 RBI. Manny Rodriguez and Owen McLaughlin each had 2 hits for the Diamonds, with McLaughlin driving in 4 runs. Dave Wiseman had his first base hit since the 1997 season. Chuck Simpson took the loss for the Expos.
In Sunday's first game, McLaughlin struggled with his command a bit but still twirled six innings of 2 run ball. He also added 3 hits, while Steve Foley had 3 hits, including home run #6. Brent Sterling and Paul Freeman had two hits apiece. Former Diamond Mike Rochon was charged with the loss bat battled hard to go the distance. Another fromer Diamond, Evan DePiero had 2 hits, as did Mike Holian and Jimmy Gonzalez.
In the nightcap Holian opposed Diamonds righty Dan Fiorita. Both pitchers had to deal with a tiny, but consistent strike zone, which yielded many walks early in the contest. While Fiorita pitched well, Holian was even better, allowing only 3 hits, two by Josh Barber and one by John Raddi. Richard Peach had 2 hits for the Expos and Ron Chatzissavas and Rich Getty each had clutch 2 run singles with 2 outs.
Diamonds Win Pitchers' Duel
Chris Micolinno, Fab Vazzano, and Rob Rivers each had two hits for the Cards, while Steve Foley and Eric Foley had three hits piece for the Diamonds, with Steve belting his fifth home run of the campaign.
Next Diamonds' action is tonight (july 3rd) versus the Vaughan Expos.
Fiorita Eats Veal, Throws Gem
Mike Holian and Dan Fiorita both threw great games and were let down by some poor defense at times. Fiorita went 8 innings and struck out a career high 8 batters. Holian went the route and deserved a better fate. Rudy Naraine and Steve Foley both had 3 hits for the winners.
York scored first as a fly ball was misplayed in right field. The Expos countered with a run of their own on a Jimmy Gonzalez single, an error, and a long Chris Clark single that was misplayed in left field. York scored again on an errant double play throw, and got another run on a Steve Foley double. The Expos scored three in the eighth to take 4-3 lead as Evan DePiero, Jimmy Gonzalez, Darryl Spencer, and Matt Hermberger all singled. York got two in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead at 5-4 after Matt Krause's fly ball was dropped in left field.
Owen McLaughlin came on to pitch the top of the ninth and with two out, Rudy Naraine made an incredible stop on a hard hit ground ball, but his throw was high to first. It appeared Eric Foley tagged the runner as he went by, but he was ruled safe. However Foley reacted quickly and tagged out the runner who was ruled to have made an attempt to go toward second base. In the meantime the tying run was crossing the plate. After a consultation the umps let the play stand as called and it was 5-5.
In the bottom of the 9th, Owen McLaughlin lined out and Steve Foley hit a towering fly ball that was misplayed and went for a double off the bottom of the centre field fence. Eric Foley was hit by a picth, setting the stage for the heroics of Manny Rodriguez, who blooped s single to right ending the game. Owen McLaughlin got the win to move to 2-0.
The Expos turned three double plays and the Diamonds turned one. York made a few baserunning mistakes and mental errors that potentially took them out of some big innings.
Next game is Sunday at 9th Line at 7:30 versus the league leading Toronto Cardinals. The first two fans will get to share a veal "sangwich" with Diamonds righty Dan "I'm Not An Old Man On This Team" Fiorita.
To the Diamond Jacks credit, they were only using 6 of their own players and needed to save some of their pitching for a doubleheader against Oshawa tomorrow.
Eric Foley was masterful on the mound as he went 6 shutout innings, scattering 3 hits, and striking out 9 to bring his career total to 1022. Steve Foley picked up save #2 as he went the final 3 frames. Steve had a home run and 5 RBI's to pace the offense. Eric had 2 hits and an RBI to help his own cause. Ageless wonder Greg Shannon had 3 hits, while Dan Fiorita and Manny Rodriguez had 2 apiece. Pete Zakkak and Victor Miranda had their first hits of the season, with Miranda hitting a double to straightaway centrefield. Paul Freeman went 1-1 with a sacrifice bunt and 2 walks as well as a fine running catch in left field late in the game. Marty Patience and Ellison Chan reached base twice each for the Diamond Jacks.
A special thanks to Zak for having the field in fantastic shape and for being at the park all day to get it ready for the game.
Hopefully the Diamonds and Diamond Jacks will meet again in Peterborough or somewhere else down the road with full lineups intact as it would be quite a game. The Diamonds appreciate the Diamond Jacks coming down to Keelesdale to play and would definitely like to return the favour by travelling to Newmarket in the future.
Foley Has Huge Night
Foley was aided in the win, by brother Steve who had 3 hits and Matt Krause who had 3 hits and 4 RBIs. Anthony Vecchiarelli and Derek Kimmerly scored 4 runs each. Josh Barber had his first two hits as a Diamond and picthed a scoreless final inning. York had 16 hits and 16 walks in the contest.
Next game is Thursday night against the Jays and then a Saturday night exhbition game against the Ontario Diamond Jacks at 6:00 at Keelesdale. The first 10 fans on Thursday we will receive autographed casual pants and one lucky winner will get a personalized 3-in-1 fondue set signed by Diamonds' star right fielder Brent Sterling.
On Saturday, Chetan Gandhi will be signing copies of his new book entitled "Swinging with Chetan -- the Life and Times of a .400 Hitter Who Is Never Allowed to Bat".
Diamonds Begin To Hit Their Stride
Last Thursday saw the return of a number of veterans as Dave Wiseman returned from a leg injury and Rudy Naraine, Greg Shannon, Pete Zakkak, Bob Corn, and Ken Dicken all returned to the team. Owen McLaughlin twirled a masterful one-hit shutout as York defeated the Meadowvale North Jays by a score of 10-0. Steve Foley led the offense with 2 home runs.
On the weekend, York travelled to the Niagara Region to take on the OBA's Thorold Mariners. After having their first game postponed, the Diamonds took the opener by a count of 9-5. Andre Contreras contributed yet another long double to blow the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning. Anthony Vecchiarelli and Chetan Gandhi each had 2 hits and Paul Freeman scored three times. Gandhi pitched a complete game and struck out 8 along the way. York sported a new defensive allignnment as Matt Krause was at shortstop while Eric Foley patrolled centre field.
In the finale on Sunday there were some memorable moments as 58 year old righthander Ken Dicken took to the mound. Dicken pitched well and left with a 5-4 lead. Nineteen year old Patrick Vecchiarelli made his York mound debut and recorded the win, twirling 3 hitless frames and fanning 4. Matt Krause pitched a scoreless 2 innings to notch his fist career save as York pulled away to an easy 15-4 win.
Incredibly, Dicken batting for the first time in two season reached base in all 5 appearances, including 2 walks and 2 long singles. Patrick Vecchiarelli had his first hit as a Diamond. Matt Krause was 3-3 with a triple and 4 runs batted in. Owen McLaughlin had 2 singles and scored 4 times, John Raddi had a single and 3 batted in and caught the first few innings behind the plate. Paul Freeman reached base 4 times and scored 3 runs.
An even stranger defensive allignment took place, as Krause again played short, and turned a sweet double play with new second sacker Eric Foley, who later moved over to short when Krause went into pitch.
The Diamonds would like to thank the people of Thorold for the warm welcome and the management would also like to thank the players for making the trek out for the weekend.
Rochon scattered 5 hits and worked into the 6th inning before giving way to Mike Holian who picked up his first save of the campaign. Diamonds' pitchers allowed only 5 hits but walked 7. Chuck Simpson had 3 hits for the Expos.
For York, Eric Foley returned from last season's injury to throw a pain-free 3 innings. Foley took the loss but was hampered by some poor luck and some poor defense. Newcomer Owen McLaughlin pitched two strong innings and singled in his only at bat. Rookie Josh Barber looked good in his debut and Matt Krause finished up with a scoreless inning and a third.
Andre Contreras added two hits and Steve Foley had a hit and 2 stolen bases.
Six Diamond errors and a few mental blunders were the teams undoing in the contest.
Skipper Paul Freeman didn't have much to say in his post game news conference in the recently beer-free clubhouse as he mumbled to the assembled press corps "Not a particularly good night all around. The Expos got great pitching and good defense. Our pitching was pretty good, but the defense looked a little rusty and we were a little flat. It's only one game and we will get better."
Freeman then had to flee the dressing room before parched teammates took out their thirstiness on him as they tried to launch him into the gurgling Black Creek behind left field.
Next game is next Thursday versus the defending champion, Toronto Cardinals. The first 254 fans will receive coupons for a life-sized poster of the "Iron Andre", which is not available in stores.
The York Diamonds have had another busy offseason. After flirting with a league change, the team is back in a 4-team MSBL for the 2008 campaign.
The team has undergone a bit of a facelift as manager Dave Quennell has departed for the warm weather of Michigan. Former skipper, Paul Freeman reclaims the reins. Also moving on are Evan DePiero and Mike Rochon who were key moembers of the last few York squads. Veteran Bob Corn announced his retirement from the MSBL. Corn is guaranteed to be a first-ballot hall-of-famer when he becomes eligible in 2028.
York has added 4 newcomers this year to fill in for the departed players; including righthanded pitcher Josh Barber of Kingston, lefthanded pitcher Jesse Kugler of Toronto via Queens University, lefthanded pitcher/outfielder Owen McLaughlin of Orillia, and infielder Gord Anderson who last played for the Milton Red Sox.
A quick preview of each position shows the depth that the team has built up.
In the outfield - Steve Foley will again man centre field and captain the York offense. Brent Sterling returns after a 'sterling' season to play one of the corners. Joining Sterling will be last year's rookie sensation and baserunning kamikaze, Matt Krause, and newcomer Owen MacLaughlin. Paul Freeman and youthful veteran Greg Shannon round out the corps.
At third base, young up-and-comers Pete Zakkak and Victor Miranda will man the hot corner, to be ably assisted by Dan Fiorita and Gord Anderson. At shortstop, team prankster Rudy Naraine returns to solidify the infield. Anderson, Fiorita, and Derek Kimmerly provide depth.
At second base, the league's hottest hitter in the second half, Manny Rodriguez returns, and will be assisted by the Anderson, Kimmerly, Fiorita trio.
Over at first Eric Foley and Andre Contreras will see duty along with Dave Wiseman, John Raddi, and Vic Miranda.
Behind the plate, Anthony Vecchiarelli is back for his sophmore campaign and a motley crew of backups including Dan Fiorita, both Foleys, Rick Yez, John Raddi round out the corps.
On the mound, returnees Eric Foley and Dan Fiorita are a formidable one-two punch. Derek Kimmerly and newcomer Owen McLaughlin could crack the rotation as well. The middle relief staff will include Jesse Kugler, Kimmerly, John Raddi, Josh Barber and if needed Steve Foley and Matt Krause. Closer Chetan Gandhi returns after an injury-plagued 2007 season.
All-in-all if team chemistry is right and major injuries are avoided the Diamonds should challenge the defending champion Toronto Cardinals for the title. The new look Christie Pitts Jays and a crew of former Sentinel Devil players should make for a competitive and hard-fought campaign.