Armed with likely the best local team ever to compete at the OFSAA Baseball Championships, certainly one with the deepest pool of pitching talent, the St Charles College Cardinals proved they could compete with the very best in the province in 2022 - even if they did not reach their ultimate goal of qualifying for the final four.
The Cards opened play at the West Regionals last week with a 15-7 win over the St Aloysius Gonzaga Bulldogs from Mississauga, as Scooter Rienguette belted a pair of home runs, providing ample offensive support for the more than solid start from veteran Yanick Loiselle.
With Rienguette on the mound for game two, St Charles went toe to toe #1 seeded St Thomas of Villanova Wildcats (Lasalle - just outside of Windsor), deadlocked in a 2-2 draw heading to the bottom of the seventh and final inning.
The Cats reinforced their ranking, executing a flawless suicide squeeze to secure a 3-2 win, forcing St Charles down through the bottom of the double elimination bracket on day two.
With Braedan Pakkala following directly in the footsteps of his fellow hurlers, the SDSSAA/NOSSA champs doubled the St Anne's Eagles from Clinton by a score of 4-2, setting the stage for a wild affair in game four.
Facing the Nelson S.S. Flames from Burlington, the northern lads spotted their opponents leads of 4-0 and 8-5, surging from behind in recording a 9-8 triumph in a barn-burner.
Needing a win to advance to the Final Four and battle it out with the two East Regional qualifiers, St Charles sat even at 0-0 with the A.N. Myer Marauders from Niagara Falls after four innings of play.
Unfortunately, their well-rested opponents would pull away in the end, leaving the Cards one victory shy of a historic performance at OFSAA.
The 2022 roster for the St Charles College Cardinals features Cole McPhee, Cole Goudreau, Scott Rienguette, Hudson Fletcher, Cody Jalbert, Braedan Pakkala, Jack Gouchie, Ethan Morris, Gavin Roy, Joe Gouchie, Luke Foulds, Yanick Loiselle, Ben Fowke, Justin Lancup, Devan Madore, Jacob Lariviere, Cam Bauer, Dominic Pugliese and Nico Signorile.
The SCC coaching staff includes Jean-Gilles Laroque, Rob Zanatta, Darren Michelutti, Chris McPhee and Braedan Gobbo.