The hot-hitting sixth-place Hamilton Thunderbirds surprised the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-3, in senior Intercounty Baseball League play on Tuesday night. The win was the fifth straight for the T-Birds who had spent most of the season in second last spot of the nine-team circuit.
Playing at Bernie Arbour Stadium, Hamilton got its 14th win of the season from Tony Daubert’s game-winning solo homer run in the sixth inning.
Adam Strongman, who has showed his round-tripper prowess of late, hit a two-run homer in the first inning to jump start the Thunderbirds. Geoff Allen picked up the cue and connected for a solo shot in the fourth inning. Hamilton had 14 hits in the game.
In recording his fourth win against two losses, starter Kevin Whyte held Toronto to eight hits and one earned run in seven innings. Kyle Nicoletta finished the game with two scoreless innings of relief for the save.
Hamilton handed Dave Steffler his first loss of the season after he had posted six wins, He gave up five runs and 10 hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Gamin Teague had two hits and stole three bases while Damon Topolie and Shayne Ridley each chipped in with a pair of hits for the Maple Leafs.
The T-Birds look to extend their win streak on Thursday when they travel to Kitchener to play the Panthers.
In the only other IBL game, front-running and last year’s league champions, Barrie Baycats, won their 24th game of the season, 9-6, over the Guelph Royals. Barrie scored six runs in the eighth inning to steal the win.