Henry Duke came through in royal fashion for the Hamilton Thunderbirds on Monday night. The catcher connected for a two-run homer that helped his teammates down the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-5 and even their opening round senior Intercounty Baseball League playoff series at a game apiece. Game three in the best of seven series goes tonight at 7:30pm at Bernie Arbour Stadium.
Combining with Duke’s plate performances was pitcher Bryan Speck who went five innings to pick up the mound decision. Speck gave up just six hits and allowed four runs.
The Thunderbirds pitching shut down the Maple Leafs who on Sunday victimized Hamilton’s hurlers for 14 hits. Monday night they could finds only seven.
Hamilton, however, reversed their opportunities at the plate and touched Toronto pitching for 13 hits, including two each by Tom Robertson, Andy Steeds and Jeff McGinn. Hamilton left 10 runners stranded on the base paths.
Toronto starter Russ Williams was the loser, allowing seven runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Nildo Puertas led the Toronto attack with three hits and three RBI, while Danny Gibbons added a pair of hits for the Leafs, who stranded 11 runners.
In other playoff games tonight, Barrie Baycats host Oshawa Dodgers, with Barrie leading the series 1-0; Guelph Royals take a 2-1 series lead into their home game against Brantford Red Sox; and London Majors are up 2-0 when they host the Kitchener Panthers.