It’s over. The Hamilton Thunderbirds senior Intercounty Baseball League season came to a halt last night when the Toronto Maple Leafs beat them 7-3. The win gave Toronto the best-of-seven opening round playoff series four games to one.
Playing at Bernie Arbour Stadium, the Maple Leafs Gamin Teague hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning that gave the visitors 7-0 lead. Although the Thunderbirds answered with two runs in their half of their inning, Hamilton couldn’t generate any offence.
Dave Steffler, who won his second game in the series, held the Thunderbirds to just five hits while giving up three runs. Steffler struck out six Hamilton batters and walked two in the six innings he pitched. Darryl Craig struck out four batters in two scoreless innings of relief and Doug Dimma finished the game with an inning of relief.
In addition to Steffler’s hit, Shayne Ridley had a pair of hits and drove in a run while Danny Gibbons tripled and drove in two runs.
Taking his second loss in the series was Kevin Whyte, He allowed four runs, one earned, and gave up seven hits in four innings before Andrew Schwalm gave up two runs and three hits in five innings of relief.
At the plate, Tony Daubert doubled as did Adam Strongman, who also had an RBI.
The two teams combined for seven errors.
In the only other playoff game night, London Majors beat Kitchener 8-3 and won its series 4-1. Simon Gallaraga belted a couple of late-inning home runs to spark the Majors. Josh Palmer picked up his first win while Ian Hagan suffered his second loss of the series.
With London leading 1-0, Gallaraga belted a solo homer in the eighth inning and added a three-run blast in the ninth inning to help London open up an eight-run lead.
Bryon Bell homered and Jeff Pietraszko added three hits for Kitchener.