Falcons take home 15U championship
The Niagara Falls Falcons came through in the clutch to take home an Ontario Baseball Association 15U AA championship.
The Falcons topped Waterloo 6-3 in the championship game after winning four of their first five games to advance to the final.
“After winning a draw to get into the finals, the boys were well rested,” coach Mike Teso said.
The Falcons fell behind early before rallying to take the lead.
Anthan Ballan collected a timely hit for Niagara while Kaden Falardeau squelched a rally in the bottom of the seventh in relief of starter and winning pitcher Jake Millar.
The Falcons got off on the right foot with a 9-3 win over Sudbury behind the arms of starter Matthew Donnison and Millar in relief.
“Both pitchers shut down the powerful bats of the Sudbury Wolves,” Teso said. “All players played outstanding defence and our bats came alive in the third and fourth innings.”
The Falcons then rallied to edge London Tecumsehs 8-7 after falling behind 7-1 after three innings.
“Ours boys fought and clawed our way back the remaining four innings while shutting the door down,” Teso said. “The final out was a play at the plate from our first baseman (Ballan) to our catcher Joe Vertrone, who laid a perfect tag on the runner.”
The Falcons then dropped a 5-2 decision to Tecumseh.
“Niagara Falls was quiet during this game as we couldn’t mustard up much offence,” Teso said. “Tecumseh pitchers were throwing well and their bats just seemed to find open areas all game long. A triple late in the game with bases loaded scoring three was deciding factor.”
The Falcons rebounded with a convincing 13-2 triumph over Thornhill.
Andrew D’Angelo tossed a complete game, throwing 84 pitches in five innings.
“By him throwing a complete game, it helped the Falls save arms going into championship day,” Teso said. “The bats came alive knowing it was win or go home, and going home wasn’t an option.”
Niagara Falls again faced Tecumseh and came home with a 6-3 win.
“In a rematch from Game 3, the boys wanted to win from the beginning,” Teso said. “With our ace Donnison on the bump, the boys were relaxed and ready to go. Another win or go home situation and the boys battled to the very end. Millar came into relief and end the game throwing only 37 pitches.”
The Falcons were playing without head coach Darrel (Dawk) Kemp who had to be hospitalized and wasn’t able to attend. Before the start of Game 1. The boys all wrote “42 Dawk” on their caps.
“This tournament and this championship was for him. The boys wanted to bring the title back for him,” Teso said. “Without Dawk, this team wouldn’t have been possible. He has been coaching pretty much the same group of kids from the early age of seven and eight up until now.”
Members of the team are: Millar, Falardeau, Austin Stangl, Jake Passmore, Ballan, Vertrone, Daniel Noble, Dylan Rush, Colter Naphin, D’Angelo, Jack Kemp and Donnison. Marcus Allen acted as bat boy.
Teso, Geoff Allen, Jay Falardeau and Kemp comprised the coaching staff.
On the right side of our web site, you will notice a yellow SUPPORT US button.
We are asking anyone who finds value in our work and is able to financially help us to click on the button and contribute whatever amount you feel is appropriate and can afford. There is no set amount. Any amount is appreciated.
The funds collected will be used to enhance and offset the expenses of running the web site.