Thunderbirds flex their muscles in come-from-behind Intercounty baseball win


No one can call the Thunderbirds quitters. On Sunday, the Hamilton senior Intercounty Baseball League squad was trailing the London Majors 9-0 in the fourth inning. The surprising T-Birds produced six runs during their at-bats and went on to beat the Bernie Arbour Stadium visitors 17-9.

It was Hamilton’s second win from three games this week against the third place Majors. Hamilton is second last in the nine-team circuit.

London came to the T-Birds play pen with three consecutive wins under their belts. They defeated the Thunderbirds 10-1 Friday night at Labatt Memorial Park and then took two from the league-leading Toronto Maple Leafs 9-1 and 3-2 on Saturday.

Saturday night in Guelph the Thunderbirds were 9-5 victors took the Royals.

On Sunday, junior Brian Speck, called in to relieve starter Andrew Lafleur, got the pitching victory for the five and one third innings he worked. He allowed two runs on nine hits and five walks and struck out six batters after entering the fray in the second inning. Lafleur worked one and two-thirds innings and was tagged for seven runs on five hits and three walks. Justin Bartkiewicz pitched the final two innings getting a strikeout while allowing two safeties and a walk.

Junior Graterol took the loss in relief of starter Tom Van Kasteren and reliever Brian St. Laurent. Mike Mitro pitched the final three and one third innings and was London’s fourth pitcher.

Graterol entered the game with the Majors leading 9-6. During the inning that he worked Hamilton batters connected for five runs on two hits a London error. He walked three batters.

The Majors pitchers gave up 17 runs on 15 hits while the team made five errors. Hamilton left 10 runners on base. London got nine runs one 16 hits and four Hamilton errors. The Majors stranded 15 of the 25 men left on base in the game.

Scott Wells had a double and triple for Hamilton and two RBI. Adam Strongman added a double and a single while Henry Duke and Dan Jagdeo each singled twice. Jon McGinn had a two run double in the fourth.

Brad McElroy and Chuck Roberts had three hits each for London. Simon Galarraga added a single and double. Kyle Piwowarczyk also doubled.

On Saturday in Guelph, Doug Chrysler (3-2) went 7 1/3 innings allowing all five runs on 11 hits as the Thunderbirds downed the Royals 9-5. Chrysler walked four and struckout five while giving up 11 hits. Andrew Schwalm finished the game and picked up his first save of the season.

Scott Wells had three hits including a triple to pace Hamilton. Chris Hayes had two hits and two RBIs while Geoff Allen had a single and two RBIs.

Rylan Pranger (3-3) went six innings for the Royals, allowing six runs, only three earned, on eight hits. He walked four and struckout four before Alex Baboulas pitched three innings, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out two.

Frank Hare had three hits and an RBI for Guelph while Mark McDonald had two hits and an RBI over his former teammates.