Thunderbirds face early exit from Intercounty Baseball playoffs

Hamilton’s senior Intercounty Baseball League season could end Friday if the Thunderbirds lose to Toronto. The Maple Leafs took a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven opening playoff round with a 5-2 win on Wednesday night. The fifth game is scheduled for Friday night in Hamilton at Bernie Arbour Stadium. Gametime is 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday night at Toronto’s Christie Pits, Shayne Ridley had three hits, drove in a run and scored in a rain-shortened five-innings. Also providing offence were Danny Gibbons, who doubled and drove in two runs, and Carl Embro, who had two hits and scored twice.

Winning pitcher Paul Spoljaric allowed two runs and six hits while striking out four batters and walking two in five innings. Taking the loss was Chris Hayes, who gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings. Henry Duke homered and Andy Steeds had a run-scoring single in the first inning for the Thunderbirds.

The score was tied 2-2 until the Maple Leafs scored three runs in the fourth inning.

In other playoff action, Barrie Baycats are one game away from sweeping the Oshawa Dodgers. Barrie scored a 2-0 shutout in Oshawa, a game that was also stopped after five innings because of rain.

That series could conclude tonight in Barrie.

Rain also washed out the Kitchener Panthers-London Majors game which was halted before it was official. It will be replayed in Kitchener tonight.