By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Hard work has paid off for the U16 elite Legionaires. The Oshawa club dominated in its home opener at Kinsmen Stadium, swatting off the Hamilton Cardinals with a 10-2 victory.
The Cardinals would strike, first earning a single run to open the game, but the Legionaires would respond in a big way.
After a first inning of adjustment the Legionaires tallied eight runs in three innings to take a commanding 8-1 leading into the fifth inning following big hits from Ethan Duggan and Braden Babcock.
The Cardinals would add a run of their own in the fifth, but Babcock would strike out a pair to end the inning and stop any offense from getting started.
The Legionaires would add two more runs in the bottom of the fifth which would end up being the final runs of the game as the Oshawa club sealed the 10-2 victory.
For head coach Ken Babcock, it was a well earned opening victory for his team that has been training since January for the start of the regular season. The team also took advantage of a spring training trip to Florida for 10 days and also organized a series of pre-season exhibition games to get ready for the opener.
“We were vey excited to see that outcome for our home opener,” Ken says. “We played very well, pitching was strong, defense was strong and we hit the ball. So, when those three things go well, you get a win.”
Along with the strong offense, Ken says the club’s defensive efforts, which went error-free through the game, was the underscoring factor in the victory, adding that was a focal point during spring training.
“We worked equally hard on defense as anything else,” he says.
The Legionaires are back at Kinsmen on Thursday, May 19 when they take on the Stouffville Yankees. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.