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Battle at the Falls tourney championship is a special one for the U16 Niagara Nationals

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 July 2018 at 8:39 am

Contributed Photo – Niagara Nationals u16 players and coaches celebrate after winning the Battle at the Falls Tournament on Sunday. In front are Chris Goyette, Mitchell Holtz, Hunter Briggs, Carson Harper and Aiden Johnston. In the back row are Coach Chris Goyette, Coach Vinny Dell’Oso, Trevor Luthart, David Belsito, Joe Dell’Oso, Liam Ward, Sam Murphy, Korey Canton, Coach Lee Briggs and Coach Dave Belsito.

Avenging their only loss of the weekend, the Niagara Nationals defeated the Burlington, Ontario Bulls 9-2 Sunday in the championship game of the Battle at the Falls Tournament’s Ken Griffey Jr. Division.

It was a special title victory for this squad of u16 National players who were playing their final tournament together after competing together for seven years at several age group levels. Ironically, this group’s first tournament championship together as a Nationals team also came a the Battle at the Falls tourney seven years ago.

In the title contest the Nationals used a big 7 run second inning scoring burst to key the victory over the Bulls and avenge a narrow 3-2 loss in the preliminary round on Saturday.

Dave Belsito had a two-run triple and Trevor Luthart an RBI double to highlight that big uprising which also included singles by Chris Goyette and Liam Ward and an RBI sac fly by Joe Dell’oso. Belsito had a total of 4 hits.

Korey Canton picked up the win on the mound scattering 7 hits and striking out 12 in 6 innings of work.

In the semifinals, the Nationals nipped the West Toronto, Ontario Wild 6-5.

All 6 runs came in the decisive third inning and included a two-run double by Sam Murphy, an RBI triple by Goyette, a double by Mitchell Holtz and singles by Dell’oso, Belsito and Ward.  Goyette, Ward and Aiden Johnston each had a pair of hits.

Goyette earned the win on the mound allowing 8 hits and striking out 5 in 6 innings. Dell’oso pcked up the save retiring the Wild in order in the seventh inning.

In the quarterfinals, the Nationals blanked the Niagara Expos 8-0.

Dell’oso pitched four innings giving up 2 hits and striking out 5. Ward hurled 3 frames allowing no hits and fanning 5.

Again it was a big third inning uprising that broke the game open as Dell’oso, Belsito, Carson Harper and Hunter Briggs all had singles and Ward a sac fly.  Briggs, Belsito and Ward each finished with a pair of hits.

The Nationals went 2-1 in the preliminary round on Friday and Saturday defeating the Brighton Barons 8-3 and the Warriors 10-0 and losing to the Bulls 3-2.