niagara whalers

Niagara Whalers hold tryout sessions

The Niagara Whalers Junior Hockey Club would like to invite all Junior aged players (1993 to 1998 birthdates) to their July tryout sessions.

The sessions will take place on Friday, July 11, 7:30pm to 9:00pm and Friday, July 25, 7:30pm – 9:00pm. The location will be the Vale Health and Wellness Centre in Port Colborne. Information will also be provided on the Niagara Whaler Hockey Club and the Greater Metro Hockey League. Cost for both sessions is $50.00.

You may register online at: www.niagarawhalershockey.com or by email to, Bryan Elliott, VP of Hockey Operations at: belliott3@cogeco.ca

Metros, Royals Split Well-Played Doubleheader

The Niagara Metros and Brampton Royals battled each other, as well as the intense heat, in a very well-played doubleheader at George Taylor Field on Saturday. Pitching and defense were the orders of the day, as the Royals came from behind to defeat Niagara 4-3 in game 1, before the Metros came back to win game 2, by a score of 4-1. As mentioned, the two high-powered offenses took a back seat…as the four starting pitchers and the two team defenses took charge of the twinbill. In fact, the first game took just 2:09 to play, and the second game was finished in just 1:51.

The first game featured an exciting come-from-behind victory by the Royals. Niagara had taken a 1-0 lead in the 3rd, before Brampton tied the game in the top of the 6th. The Metros then plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the 6th, to take a 3-1 into the 7th and final inning. And it seemed as though the game was over, when the home team recorded the 2nd out of the inning with a single runner on base. Undaunted, the Royals recorded 3 straight hits, and plated three runs, to pull out the 4-3 win.

Joe Ferreira went the distance on the hill to pick up the win for Brampton, while Metros’ starter Geoff Strong took a tough loss, going 6 2/3 innings. Strong allowed 9 hits and 4 runs, while walking one, and striking out 5. Brandon Beattie came in to record the final out, but not before allowing the basehit that would drive in the winning run. Offensively, The Royals were led by Steve Hough, who collected 3 hits, including the game-winning single with two out in the 7th. For Niagara, Phil Steer had a big day with a double and two singles, along with an RBI and 3 SB’s. Jordan Grant had an RBI-single, while other hits were collected by Dave Davidson, Ricky Ferri, and Chris Pickles. Brampton out-hit Niagara 10-6 in game one, and there were just 3 errors in the game with the Royals committing two of them.

Game two was eerily similar to game one early on, with both teams struggling to mount much offense. The Metros did manage to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning, on Dave Davidson’s solo HR. They then expanded the lead to 3-0 after scoring a pair of runs in the 3rd, before Brampton scored a single in the 5th to narrow the gap to 3-1. But Niagara scored their 4th run of the game in the bottom of the 6th, and left the rest up to starting and winning pitcher, Dan Veres.

Veres was in total control throughout game 2, going the distance for his 4th win (against 0 losses) of the year. Dan allowed just the one run on 6 hits, while not walking anyone and striking out 2. Zach Sloan pitched well in taking the loss for the Royals, also going the distance. The Metros were led at the plate by Davidson, who, as mentioned homered, while adding a Sac Fly for an RBI, and a walk. Ricky Ferri doubled an singled, while Jordan Grant added an RBI-single. Chris Pickles and Will Nicholson rounded out the Metros’ 6-hit offense with singles. Yannick Rickli collected two of the Royals’ 6 hits, and the RBI. Again Niagara played very sound defense, committing just one error, while Brampton, also solid defensively, committed two.

On Thursday, the Metros put up double digits once again, as they downed the very tough Mississauga Twins 10-1. The home team scored a pair in the first, and added 3 more in the 4th to take a 5-0 lead, before the Twins got their only run in the 5th. However, Niagara answered that with a single in the bottom of the 5th and then scored 3 in the 6th and 1 in the 8th, to win by 9. The Metros outhit Mississauga 13-4, while the Twins made 3 errors to Niagara’s 1.

Red-hot Jordan Grant led the way at the plate with 3 hits and an RBI for Niagara, while Anthony Vacca collected a double, single and an RBI. Phil Steer added a pair of singles and 2 RBI’s, while Evan Baglieri chipped in with a 2-run double. Ricky Ferri (RBI), Jonathan Paul (RBI), Chris Anderi, Chris Pickles, and Will Nicholson rounded out the offense with singles. John Broll collected 2 hits for the Twins.

Paul McKenna tossed 7 innings of 4-hit ball to pick up his 3rd win of the season for Niagara, on the mound. McKenna was in total control, giving up the 1 run, while allowing just 1 walk, and striking out 6. Lukas Burch and Matt Watson finished up, tossing a scoreless inning each. Burch allowed 3 walks, while Watson walked 1 and struck out 1. Billy Hurley, the first of 3 Mississauga pitchers, went 4 innings to take the loss.

The doubleheader split leaves Niagara’s season record to 10-5-1, good for a 5 point lead over the Milton Red Sox in the Johnson Division standings. Brampton moves to 6-11-1 on the season. Next up for the Metros, they have the makeup of a previous rainout on Monday evening, as the Erindale Cardinals come to town. Then, the regularly schedule Thursday home game features the Oakville A’s, as the visitors. Both Monday and Thursday games are at George Taylor Field, with first pitches set for 7:30.

(Submitted by Niagara Metros)

Metros Run The Table At Vaughan Invitational

The Niagara Metros won 6 straight games against some of the top teams in the province, to win the Vaughan Invitational AAA Tournament, this past weekend. And they did it in convincing fashion, reaching double figures in runs 4 times and outscoring their opposition 66-20 over the 6 games. Niagara won the tourney on the strength of a powerful 11-3 victory over the highly-ranked Strathroy Royals in the finals.

 

Niagara – 11 Leaside – 4

The tournament started out on a high note for the Metros as they knocked off the province’s 5th-ranked team, the Leaside Leafs 11-4. The Metros batted around and scored 6 in the 2nd inning, to take a 6-2 lead, before scoring 4 more times in the 7th, to put the game away. The Metros outhit Leaside 9-7, but also took advantage of 4 walks and 4 hit batters by Leaf pitchers, and 3 errors by the defense to win going away. Ricky Ferri (4 RBI’s), and Phil Steer (2 RBI’s) led the Metros at the plate with a pair of hits each. Evan Baglieri, Jonathan Paul, Jono Marcheterre, Jordan Grant, and Chris Anderi all added singles, while Grant, Anderi and Andrew Sorochan picked up RBI’s. The Metros’ Paul McKenna picked up the win on the mound as he tossed the complete game. McKenna allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 4 walks, while striking out 8.

 

Niagara – 20 North London – 0

No, that’s not a typo. In game 2, the Metros destroyed the North London Bats by a score of 20-0, and set a team record for the greatest margin of victory in a game. The one-sided affair, called after 5 innings by the tournament’s mercy rule, saw Niagara score at least 3 runs in every inning, as they collected 15 hits and 12 walks from the Bat’s pitchers. Jordan Grant led the way for Niagara in this one, as he collected a pair of singles and 5 RBI’s. Evan Baglieri (3 RBI’s), Jono Marcheterre (2 RBI’s) and Phil Steer (RBI) all doubled and singled, while Anthony Vacca chipped in with a pair of hits and 2 RBI’s. Chris Pickles added a pair of hits, while Taylor Anderson, Chris Anderi, and Ricky Ferri, who added 3 RBI’s, all singled. The offensive outburst may have overshadowed but did not diminish the great work of rookie AJ Clark on the mound for the Metros. Clark, in his first start after 5 relief appearnces, was brilliant in tossing a complete game shutout. The young righthander gave up just 2 hits and 4 walks, while striking out 7…for his first win as a Metro.

 

Niagara – 5 Strathroy – 3

At 2-0 in the round robin, the Metros had clinched a position in the quarter-finals. But coming up against the Strathroy Royals, the 2012 Provincial runners-up, provided an opportunity to see how they measure up against one of the best teams in Ontario. And, once again, the Metros put together a solid game…winning by a score of 5-3. This time they had to come from behind, as they found themselves down 3-1 after 4 innings. But Niagara scored 2 runs in the 5th to tie it up, and then won it in the 7th, scoring 2 more…the big hit coming from Dave Davidson, as he clouted a pinch-hit HR. The blast made a winner of starter Brandon Beattie, who was also making his first start of the season, after 4 relief outings. Beattie was very impressive in going the distance for his first win of the year, as he gave up just 2 earned runs and 7 hits against the powerful Royals lineup. He walked one, and struck out 4.

Niagara managed 8 hits against Strathroy starter Jason Schneider, who took the loss. Phil Steer led the way in this one, as he collected a double and 2 singles, scoring 3 times. Davidson, as mentioned had the game-winning RBI with his solo HR, with Ricky Ferri (RBI), Jonathan Paul, Jono Marcheterre, and Andrew Sorochan rounding out the offense with singles.

 

Niagara – 11 Vaughan – 6

The Metros’ 3rd game on Saturday was the quarter-finals, which saw the team matched up against the host team of the tourney, the Vaughan Vikings. And once again, it was Niagara’s powerful offense that stole the show, as they scored 3 in the first, and 6 in the 2nd to take a 9-0 lead. But the pesky Vikings wouldn’t go away, and rallied to narrow the margin to 9-6 by the 5th inning. However, the Metros scored 2 more in their half of the 5th, and left the rest up to closer Justin Ayles, who picked up the win. Dan Veres started on the hill for Niagara, but uncharacteristically had trouble finding the strike zone. Veres, who is known for his pinpoint control, allowed 6 walks (and 5 hits) in his 3 2/3 innings, which led to 5 Vaughan runs. Lukas Burch came in and quelled a 4th-inning uprising, only to run into control trouble himself, in the 5th. Burch gave up a run on a hit and 3 walks in his inning of work, before Ayles came in and closed it out. Ayles earned the win going 2 1/3 innings, and allowing 0 runs, 1 hit and 0 walks, while striking out 4.

Meanwhile, the Niagara offense was clicking on all cylinders, as they collected 11 hits (including 4 for extra bases). Evan Baglieri broke out in a big way to lead the Metros. He picked up a 3-run HR and a bases-loaded triple, to drive in 6 runs in his first two AB’s. Anthony Vacca added a pair of singles and 2 RBI’s, while Will Nicholson chipped in with a pair of singles. Phil Steer hit an RBI-triple, Chris Pickles doubled, and Ricky Ferri (RBI), Jonathan Paul (RBI) and Jordan Grant all added singles.

 

Niagara – 8 Erindale – 4

The quarter-final win over Vaughan put Niagara into the tournament semi-finals, where they ran into a familiar foe…the Erindale Cardinals from their own COBA Major Baseball League. And this game was a battle, which went into extra-innings, before it was decided. When the dust had settled, the Metros had scored four 8th-inning runs, to emerge with an 8-4 victory. Niagara held a 2-0 lead early, before Erindale rallied for 3 unearned runs in the 3rd, to take a 3-2 lead. But the Metros scored a pair of runs in the 4th, and then tried to make the 4-3 lead stand up. But the never-say-die Cardinals scored a run with 2-out in the 7th, to force extra-innings…where the Metros scored 4 times, to win 8-4.

Metros’ starter Geoff Strong deserved a better fate than his “no decision”, as he was brilliant in going 6 2/3 innings, and holding the Cards to just 3 hits and 3 unearned runs. He walked 4 and hit a batter, while striking out 9. Justin Ayles came in to record the save, but allowed the game-tying hit to Steve Gallant, before recording a 3 up-3 down 8th inning, to pick up the relief win. Dan Estey pitched 7 solid innings for Erindale to also pick up a “no decision”. Niagara recorded 14 hits in this one, with the big one coming off the bat of Jordan Grant, who clubbed a 2-run double to give the Metros the lead in the extra inning. The rookie infielder also added a triple and 3 RBI’s in total. Anthony Vacca added a double and two singles, along with an RBI, while Ricky Ferri chipped in with 3 singles and an RBI. Taylor Anderson also collected 3 hits, while Jono Marcheterre added 2 hits and an RBI. Dave Davidson singled, and Phil Steer had an RBI-Sac Fly to round out the offense.

 

Niagara – 11 Strathroy – 3

The nail-biter over the Cardinals put Niagara in the finals, for a rematch of their game 3 round-robin contest. And this one was not nearly as dramatic. Niagara got a pair of runs in the 1st and added 4 more in the 2nd, to take a 6-0 lead. Strathroy got a pair in the 3rd to narrow the gap to 4 runs, but the Metros scored 3 in the 5th, and 2 in the 7th to win going away. The final was 11-3. The Niagara club piled up 17 hits in the 7 innings, and were led this time by Phil Steer, who had 3 hits including a double, along with 3 RBI’s. Ricky Ferri also had 3 hits, and collected 2 RBI’s, while Evan Baglieri and Jordan Grant doubled and singled for a pair of RBI’s each. Jono Marcheterre (RBI) and Taylor Anderson singled twice each, while Anthony Vacca had an RBI-double, Dave Davidson an RBI-single, and Chris Pickles a single.

All the offense made a winner of starting pitcher Justin Ayles, who won his 3rd game in 3 appearances during the tourney. Ayles was solid, going 5 innings, and giving up a pair of runs on 9 hits. He walked one and struck out 2. Paul McKenna pitched the final two innings and gave up one run, on a hit and two walks, while striking out two.

 

The Metros now get a few days off to recover from the gruelling 6 games in 3 day event. The team returns to league action on Thursday, as they play host to the Mississauga Twins at 7:30. They will then host a doubleheader on Saturday, as the Brampton Royals come to town for the twinbill, beginning at 12:00 noon. All the games are, of course, at George Taylor Field.

(Submitted by Niagara Metros)

Thunderhawks Finish Season Strong – Play-off Bound

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Jr. B Thunderhawks Lacrosse Club ended their Regular Season with a 13-5 win over the Hamilton Bengals.

Rookie, Johny Wagner playing in his first game of the season turned the trick scoring 3 times to lead all goal scorers. Brennan Ferguson chipped in 2 with singles going to Austin Wright, Ryan Wagner, Brad Thomas, Zac Dubuc, Connor Overstrom and Max Antone. Set-up man, Blade Garlow added 7 assists.

The T-Hawks record of 16 wins and 4 losses earned them a 4th place finish in the 14 team Western Conference. They will host the Elora Mohawks in the first round of the play-offs which will likely start Friday June 27 at the Meridian Credit Union Arena. (see Arena board for exact time and date).

(Submitted by Niagara Thunderhawks)

Metros Trounce A’s In Mercy-Shortened Game

The Niagara Metros finally put it all together last night in Oakville, and blasted the Oakville A’s 11-1, in a mercy-shortened 7 inning game. The Metros, who at times had shown flashes of great play this season, finally got their offense, defense, and pitching all clicking together in a very impressive display against a tough opponent. Niagara put up 3 runs in the first, 1 in the 2nd, and 3 more in the 3rd, to take a 7-0 lead. The A’s got one back in the bottom of the 3rd, but the Metros plated two each in the 5th and 7th to put the game away. Niagara outhit Oakville 12-6 on the game, and did not make an error.

The Metros’ top hitter continued to be red-hot Ricky Ferri, who singled twice and hit a 2-run HR, for a 3-RBI night. It was the first home run in his 4-year Metros career. Jonathan Paul added a pair of singles and 2 RBI’s, while Anthony Vacca also singled twice and chipped in with an RBI. Taylor Anderson (RBI), Evan Baglieri, Andrew Sorochan, Jono Marcheterre, and Chris Anderi all added singles for Niagara, while Phil Steer had a nice night at the dish with 3 walks, a Sac Fly, 2 Runs and 2 RBI’s. Mike Modestino led Oakville at the plate, going a perfect 3 for 3 with a double, while Andrew Kotulak had a single and the A’s RBI.

All the offense made things easy for Metros’ winning pitcher, Justin Ayles, who tossed a nice game to improve to 2-1 on the season. Ayles went 5 innings, and allowed 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5. Lukas Burch was impressive in relief, going 2 innings, and allowing a hit and a walk while striking out 4. Oakville starter, Josh Spagnoletti, went 3 innings and allowed 7 runs, to take the L.

With the win, Niagara improves to 8-4-1 on the season, and in so doing extends their lead in the Johnson Division to 6 points over the Milton Red Sox. Oakville fell to 4-8-1 with the loss. Niagara is now off until the weekend, when they travel to North Toronto to take part in the Vaughan Invitational Tourney. The Metros face the Leaside Leafs in game 1 of the tourney on Friday evening, before coming back to play a doubleheader on Saturday, versus North London and Strathroy. Should they qualify, the team would then play a quarter-final on Saturday evening, and again if all goes well, they would move on the the semis and finals on Sunday.

(Submitted by Niagara Metros)

 

Mother Nature Wins In Milton

The Niagara Metros and Milton Red Sox played a great game last night at the Milton Sports Center, but in the end the winner was Mother Nature. The two teams battled through 8 innings in a well-played game, that had the score standing at 3-3. In the top of the 9th, Niagara struck for a pair of runs, to take a 5-3 lead…but it seemed that at the very moment Dave Davidson (who delivered the 2-run single) touched first base, the skies opened up. After 10 minutes of a torrential downpour the game was called. And since the Sox did not get their turn to bat in the 9th, the score reverted back to the 8th inning, which left the game tied at 3’s. Niagara and Milton exchanged runs in the 1st inning, before the Metros took a 2-1 lead in the 2nd. Then, Milton scored a pair of unearned runs in the 6th, before Niagara tied it in the 7th. It stayed that way until the fireworks (literally, with all the lightning) in the 9th.

The Metros got an outstanding pitching performance from Paul McKenna, who deserved a much better fate than his “no decision”. McKenna tossed a complete game (the first one for the Metros this season) and allowed the 3 runs (just 1 earned). The righthander gave up 7 hits and just 1 walk, while striking out 8, and seemed to be in total control of the game…except for the 6th inning. In that one, the Sox strung together 3 singles (paired with a couple of Metros throwing errors) to score the 2 unearned runs. For the Sox on the mound, they used 7 pitchers in total, with Scott McTrach getting the start. Combined, the Milton staff gave up 3 runs, 8 hits, and 4 walks, while striking out 5.

Offensively, Niagara was led by Evan Baglieri, who doubled and singled to drive in a run. Ricky Ferri had a good night at the plate, collecting a pair of singles (not counting the 9th-inning double that was wiped out by the weather), while Jonathan Paul chipped in with an RBI-double. Chris Pickles added an RBI-single, while the other hits were collected by Anthony Vacca and Andrew Sorochan. As mentioned, Dave Davidson had a 2-run single erased by the 9th-inning downpour. Donnie Smith and Chris Pittaway had two hits and an RBI each, for Milton.

The tie leaves Niagara with a record of 7-4-1, still good for a 2-game lead in the Johnson Division over the 2nd place Red Sox, who are sitting at 5-6-1. The Metros try it again tonight (weather permitting), as the Erindale Cardinals are scheduled to come to George Taylor Field for their first visit of the year. First pitch is set for 7:30.

(Submitted by Niagara Metros)