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NIAGARA METROS "AAA" MAJOR BASEBALL CLUB 2011

Here are all of the Niagara Metros game reports from the 2011 Central Ontario "AAA" Major Baseball League season.

Game Reports

May 12
Mississauga - 8 Niagara - 3
Record 0-1

With a ton of "winter rust" built up, and virtually no time on the field to get ready, the Mississauaga Twins and the Niagara Metros took to Community Park in St. Catharines last night for the Metros' season opener. But despite the situation, the Twins looked much more ready than the Metros did, as they soundly beat the home team 8-3. The Niagara pitching staff walked 8, the defense made 3 errors, and the offense managed just 5 hits...while Mississauga played error-free ball and collected 10 hits, en route to the win.

The Metros started 19 year-old rookie Andrew Neustaedter on the hill, and the youngster pitched well in his first C.O.M.B.L. game. He went the first 3 innings and allowed 1 run on 1 hit while walking 4 and striking out 1. Dustin Turner came in and pitched one inning, taking the loss. The veteran Turner allowed 4 runs and 4 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2. Lefty Brandon Beattie pitched the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings, and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits. He walked 2 and struck out 3. Dan Proctor finished up and allowed an unearned run in his 2 innings. He gave up 1 hit and 2 walks, while striking out 5. Andrew Foster picked up the win for the Twins, pitching 5 innings in relief of starter Max Picinni. Between them, they allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, while striking out 5.

Mississauga's big men at the plate were Anthony Fantauzzi, Stephen Kulchyk, and Max Christiansen who all collected two singles. Christiansen added a pair of RBI's. Geoff Strong led the Metros offense with a pair of singles and an RBI. Joe Roach added an RBI-double, while Jonathan Paul, and Jono Marcheterre rounded out the offense with singles.

The win moves the Twins to an early 2-0 record in the C.O.M.B.L. while, as mentioned, the Metros drop to 0-1. Next up for Niagara is a road date with the Oakville A's on Monday...before returning home to face the defending league champion Glanbrook Grizzlies on Thursday. First pitch at Community Park is 7:30.



May 20
Niagara - 12 Brampton - 5
Record 1-1

The rain finally left southern Ontario long enough for the Metros to travel to Brampton and play their first road game of the season on Friday evening. And the new-look Niagara club put together a solid effort and downed the Battlecats by a 12-5 count. The Metros were out-hit by Brampton 9 - 8, but took full advantage of 11 walks issued, as well as 3 costly errors by the 'Cats. Niagara did all of their damage in two innings, as they scored 8 runs in the 5th inning to erase a 2-0 deficit...and then added 4 more in the 8th on an Evan Baglieri Grand Slam HR.

Newly-signed Brian Kusey got the start and the win for Niagara in his first appearance at the Senior level. The 19 year-old tossed a solid 4 innings, allowing 2 runs (0 earned) on just 1 hit. He walked 3 and struck out 3. Brandon Beattie pitched 3 innings in relief, and gave up 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 2. T.J Tavender pitched his first inning of the year in relief of Beattie, and allowed just one walk, while striking out 2. Andrew Neustaedter finished up, getting nicked for a pair of runs on 2 hits and a walk, while striking out 1. Starter Mike Burke took the loss for Brampton.

As mentioned, the big blow of the game came from Baglieri, who added a single and an RBI to his Grand Slam, for a 5-RBI night in his first game back from U.S. College ball. 18 year-old rookie Taylor Anderson collected a pair of hits and an RBI, while veteran Jonathan Paul added a two-run single. Chris Pickles had a single and an RBI, Geordan Dennahower and Neil Campbell added singles, and Andrew Sorochan chipped in with an RBI on a bases-loaded walk. Dan Proctor had a nice game with 3 walks, a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base. Ken Appleby had a pair of singles to lead the 'Cats.

The win evens Niagara's record to 1-1 on the very young season, while Brampton drops to 1-1, after an opening game win in Burlington. And speaking of Burlington, they are the next opponent of the Metros, as they come to town on Thursday night at Community Park...first pitch scheduled for 7:30. Niagara's busy week continues on Saturday, as the Etobicoke Rangers make their only visit to St. Catharines in the 2011 season, for a doubleheader. First game at Community Park is at 12:00 noon.



May 28
Etobicoke - 6 Niagara - 5
Record 1-2

Game two was a see-saw affair, which had the lead change hands 4 times, before ending in a 4-4 tie. The Rangers took a 3-1 lead in the 5th, scoring 3 unearned runs on a costly Metros error. But the home team scored 1 in the bottom of the 5th and two in the 6th to take a 4-3 lead, before giving up the tying run in the 7th. The Metros got the winning run to 2nd base with one out in the 7th, but couldn't cash him in.

Dustin Turner pitched very well in his second start of the young season. He went 4 innings and allowed 0 runs on just 2 hits, walking 3 and striking out 6. Brian Kusey relieved Turner and pitched the final 3 innings, allowing 4 runs (just 1 earned) on 5 hits. He walked 5 and struck out 2. Tim Lawrence, Brian Molloy and Peter Saweczko pitched for Etobicoke.

Once again Niagara outhit Etobicoke by a 9-6 count, with newcomer Anthony Vacca leading the way, going 3 for 3 with a walk. Evan Baglieri collected a pair of hits and 2 RBIs, while Jonathan Paul hit an RBI-double and added 3 walks. Neil Campbell, T.J. Tavender, and Kusey all added singles for Niagara. Quinn Ellerbeck collected two hits and the game-tying RBI in the 7th for the Rangers.

With the result of Saturday's doubleheader, the Metros now have a record of 1-2-1 on the young season, while Etobicoke goes to 2-1-1. Niagara is right back in action on Monday, as the Glanbrook Grizzlies come to town for the makeup of an earlier rained out game. They then return to the yard on Thursday for their regular weekly home game, with the Oakville A's providing the opposition. Both games are at Community Park beginning at 7:30.



June 2
Niagara - 10 Oakville - 4
Record 2-2-1

Rob Nixon, having just been named a second-team All-American for his great season at Adelphi University, showed the Niagara Metros why, last night at Community Park. The 22 year-old Welland native, who had already pitched 113 innings this year, added 9 more to his total with a complete game 7-hitter, as the Metros downed the Oakville A's 10-4.

Nixon (pitching in his first game for the Metros since 2008) walked 4 and struck out 12 in the game, and despite some defensive lapses behind him (all 4 Oakville runs were unearned) kept his composure and earned the win. A's starter Mark Tourangeau also pitched well, going 5 innings and allowing a run on 4 hits...but the Metros got to reliever Alex Hawley scoring 3 times in the 6th inning, handing him the loss. Niagara finally broke open a close 4-3 game in the bottom of the 8th, with a big 6-run outburst keyed by Jonathan Paul's 2-out bases-loaded double, and Neil Campbell's 3-run HR.

Paul added a single to his double, for 3 RBI's to lead the Metros' 9-hit attack, while Dan Proctor and Anthony Vacca added two singles and an RBI each. As mentioned, Neil Campbell added 3 RBI's with a HR, while Andrew Sorochan hit a 2-run double and Taylor Anderson singled. Marc Walton singled and doubled to lead the A's 7-hit attack.