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The Vaughan Vikings Reporter

Vaughan Vikings Bantam Elite Baseball Club


Vikings Get First Hand Look At Powered-Up Whitby Chiefs

Vikings Lose To Strong Looking Whitby Chief Team
Tuesday September 18th, 2018

The Vaughan Vikings continued their fall ball schedule with a date last Sunday against the Whitby Chiefs.  Whitby a team that has established themselves already as a perennial contender over the past three seasons showed that they were preparing for a real run at the title in 2019 when teams return for the true regular season.

The Vikings arrived short staffed for the game with only 9 players available with Marco DiGiovanni running a fever during the game.   

Karthik Unnikrishnan got the call for his first start of the fall and it took a little time for him to find his rhythm giving up 2 runs in the first inning.  However to his credit he held the Chiefs after that until the 4th inning before Anthony Celar came in from the bull pen.  It was Celar's second appearance of the fall and he continues to impress team management.  In the 6th inning Celar would pitch himself out of a bases loaded jam giving up only one run on a passed ball. 

The Vikings again were able to keep the game relatively close throughout the affair but ultimately the pitching the Chiefs were able to throw at the Vikings was overpowering.  "We struggled to have quality at bats against what looked liked Whitby's best."  said one team official.  The Vikings would be saddled with their second game in a row where they struck out more than 10 times over the course of the game.

The Vikings would be held scoreless over the first seven innings before breaking through in the 8th and final inning with three runs of their own.  Newly signed Viking Lee Grey got his first hit of his AAA career with a bases loaded single to right.  "We only hope its the beginning of many more." commented on team fan.

The Vikings are set to host the North Toronto A's on Thursday at Concord before hitting the road again for a double header against the Leaside Leafs.  The Vikings are looking forward to the return of Owen Brown, Antonio Barberio, James Mariano and Gianluca Hambaz to the lineup.  Jaden Gelman has yet to make his fall ball debut.

- VV Reporter

Vikings Players Impact Pitchers All Time Leaders

Vikings Pitching Staff One of the Best In All Time History
Wednesday September 12th, 2018

The Vaughan Vikings in 2018 built a reputation on pitching and defence for the majority of their success.  With a team batting average of .212 the Vikings had to look to the other side of the game to find success.  With that the Vikings pitching staff for 2018 had a very successful season and with the entire staff returning in 2019 this puts the Vikings once again in a great position for the Elite season.

For 2018 the Vikings saw four of their pitchers make it into the all-time leaders page for earned run average.  Karthik Unnikrishnan in fact tied for 1st place on the board with long time leader Anthony Vavaroutsos with an ERA of 1.39 who held the top spot since 2008 for the Minor Bantam age group.  Right behind Unnikrishnan is now Marco DiGiovanni (1.46) with James Mariano (2.48) and Julian Alvarez (2.80) also making the board.

Both Karthik Unnikrishnan and Julian Alvarez also made it onto the leader-board for most wins in a season.  Its often been compared that one can double the win totals by a player to extrapulate what their season would like like from a major league perspective (162 games).  So with Unnikrishnan's 8 wins he would be a 16 game winner while Alvarez had 6 wins he would be a 12 game winner.  Only three players at minor bantam have reached 10 or more wins in a season to be extrapulated to a 20 win pitcher.   Thus showing just how strong a season leader Zachary Lamperia had when he won 14 games (that's a 28 win season).

Finally, only Karthik Unnikrishnan reached the all-time strikeout board with 60 strikeouts coming in 5th overall.  Interestingly all the Vikings pitchers relied heavily on the defence behind them.  Unlike the season Vavaroutsos had striking out a whopping 137 batters, the Vikings found different ways to be just as effective.  "It was a team effort that the entire team should be proud off," commented Cotgrave.  

It is often said that pitching and defence are what you look for to be successful.  It does require some level of offence to make it effective, but any team going into a new season that can rely on the pitching that the 2018 Vikings have - has got to give you confidence going into 2019.   

- VV Reporter 



Vikings Elite Win First Game Of Fall Ball Schedule

Vikings Overcome Various Injuries For Lob-Sided 11-4 Victory Versus West Toronto
Sunday September 9th, 2018

The Vaughan Vikings turned the page on their 2018 season and opened up their fall ball schedule for the 2019 team with a resounding 11-4 victory over West Toronto.  The Vikings ran out 7 different pitchers over the 9 inning contest holding the Wildcats to just 5 hits giving up 4 runs.  Julian Alvarez started the game with 2 innings of work giving up one run.  While newcomer Joshua Yi got his first taste of OBA ball in 2 years with one inning of work striking out the side while giving up one unearned run on 2 walks.  Gianluca Hambaz made a statement going 3 innings of shutout baseball striking out 5 in three innings.  Anthony Celar struck out 2 in his inning of work.  While Mariano and Donia teamed up for one inning of work before Marco DiGiovanni closed out the game in the 9th.  Once again the Vikings were able to show their strength connected to their depth in pitching. "We are encouraged by what we have in arms that can on any given night can shut down the opposition."

Meanwhile the Vikings scored 11 runs with their new look lineup.  With the help of Wildcats struggles on the defensive side the Vikings were able to score one of their highest offensive outputs dating back to the 2018 season.  Most notably, newly aquired Joshua Yi was all over the scorebook (4-4, 2 RBI, R) demonstrating his speed and ability to put the ball in play.  For the Vikings it was something they could dearly use, "we need to find more offensive threats and Yi showed how he can do to a game." commented Manager Mark Cotgrave.  

Meanwhile a number of players are coming away from the game with various injuries.  "Perhaps it was the inactivity, but something was working against us tonight," commented Cotgrave.  Most notably, James Mariano was hit by a come-backer on the mound in the 8th inning.  Mariano went down quickly and in considerable pain.  "It was scary at first," commented on team official.  Reports from the Vikings medical staff was that Mariano was walking on his own and did not seem to be in too much discomfort.  Further Antonio Beltrame was hit by a pitch in his last at bat in a odd location around the rib-cage and reports now indicate that he needs to be checked out in the coming day.  "Well he's in some pain at the moment," commented on team official.  "Were hopeful and expecting to hear nothing major, but his status has been downgraded at the moment."

Not in the lineup for the Vikings were Karthik Unnikrishnan and Jaden Gelman.  They hope to make their fall ball debuts in the upcoming games before the final tournament of the season at the end of September.  

- VV Reporter

Vikings Announce Roster For 2019 Bantam Elite Program

Original Roster Set To Return For Another Run - Vikings Add Two New Players
Wednesday September 5th, 2019

The Vaughan Vikings announced recently the roster for the 2019 season on the verge of the team's first step into a fall ball program.  The Vikings move from the AAA level to the Elite level with a fully returning roster.  The Vikings entertained a number of various different players and scenarios that might have lead to changes but inside sources indicated that Viking Management decided that the players that gave the team's best result in the last three seasons (in 2018) were worthy of another run in 2019.  One inside source indicated simply, "we like our guys and appreciate everything they have done for this organization.  We believe in them."

Still, the Vikings increased their roster size in the process from 12 to 14 allowing for the addition of two new players.  Joshua Yi comes to the Vikings after a season with Team Ontario and two previous seasons where they had an eye for the Vikings team.  "Joshua has taken his game to a whole new level and we couldn't wait to add him into our mix.  It was great that we were able to make it work," commented Manager Mark Cotgrave.  Team sources indicated that the Vikings plan to use Yi as a pitcher along with looking at him both in the infield and outfield. 

Next, the Vikings encountered what every team hopes for - the beloved walk-on player.  "You always hope some big time player with great size and potential will come to your tryout, but it rarely happens." commented Cotgrave.  However, to their great delight Lee Grey Jr arrived.  Grey would arrive for the team's second tryout and make a statement in regard to what he could bring to the Vikings.  "Well it was an easy decision to add Lee to our roster.   He has an outstanding arm and overall power that we certainly can't wait to harness for his development."  commented Manager Mark Cotgrave.  As for where he fits into the overall development of the team that continues to be determained with certainty that he will find time behind the plate as a catcher and on the mound as a pitcher. 

Meanwhile, the Vikings continue to look for answers on the offensive side of the game.  "Were going to keep working on it and hope that many of our returning players have a breakthrough in 2018 at the plate.  They are getting bigger and stronger and with the addition of Joshua and Lee it all should lead to better results offensively."  The Vikings certainly hope so because with the return of one of the strongest pitching staffs and defensive teams in the OBA - great things could be ahead for this group.

Vaughan Vikings 2019 Elite Bantam Roster
Anthony Celar
Matt Donia
Karthik Unnikrishnan
Marco Digiovanni
Jaden Gelman
Antonio Beltrame
Luca Carozza
Antonio Barberio
James Mariano
Owen Brown
Gianluca Hambaz
Julian Alvarez
Joshua Yi
Lee Grey Jr

Around The League - Minor Bantam Edition (v. 22)

Little Known Windsor Stars Win Minor Bantam OBA Championship
Tuesday September 4th, 2018

Reports coming out of Etobicoke have confirmed that your new OBA Champion for 2018 are the little known Windsor Star organization.  The Stars are a well respected organization down near the border who were rarely seen throughout the OBA tournament schedule.  Yet, with the win they unseeded the defending North York Blues who had won the 2017 title.  The final saw the Windsor Stars defeat a well respected Milton team in the final. 

Still, what might be most notable were the teams that were not in the final.  Such notable teams include North York, Brampton, Oakville, Whitby, not to mention host Etobicoke and the two YSBA teams of Barrie and Markham. 

Reports also indicate that this is in fact the last games for the North York Blues organization with the team in dire jepardy of folding before the start of the 2019 season. 

In other news and notes reports indicate that a number of new teams will be coming into the 2019 Elite league and will be made evident in the fall portion of the upcoming schedule in September ...   


Coutdown To Guelph Tournament
Friday, September 28, 2018   6:00 PM
Online Poll

With the Vikings Set To Play a Total of 9 games in the fall, what do you think their record will be?


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