Hamilton Thunderbirds had their three-game senior Intercounty Baseball League winning streak stopped by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday at Bernie Arbour Stadium.
Rawlings’ Player of the Week pitcher Paul Spoljaric picked up his fifth win against no losses while holding T-Birds to three hits in his six innings of work that paved the way for Toronto’s 12-3 route.
The loss left Hamilton with a 3-5 record while the Maple Leafs improved to 8-2.
Spoljaric, a lefthander and former major leaguer, allowed the T-Birds one run – a home run – while striking out six of
the 25 batters he faced.
Third baseman Kevin Mailloux sent one of Spoljaric’s pitches 410 feet to clear the centre field fence in the fourth inning. The bases were empty.
Hamilton starter Eric Perez took the loss, yielding six runs on nine hits including two home runs and a walk through the first two innings. He had relief help from Rob Forscarin and Doug Chrysler.
Shortstop Kyle Gilligan led the Leafs 20-hit outpouring with two home runs (345 feet to left field in the second and a two-run blast that travelled 350 feet to left field in the fifth) and a double. Right fielder Nildo Puertas connected on a Perez pitch for a two-run 355-foot homer to left in the opening inning. Catcher Damon Topolie hit three singles, scored twice, and had two RBI. Leftfielder Kyle Degrace had four singles, and Sean Travers, Joe Colameco, and Jeremy Walker added a double each.
For Hamilton, Mailloux also had a single and shortstop Marcel Champagnie hit a two-run triple in the ninth.
On Thursday, first baseman Geoff Allen uncorked a 391-foot blast to clear the left-centerfield fence in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Hamilton an 8-6 win over the Stratford Nationals.
The walk-off homerun came with two men on and the Nationals leading 6-5.
The game at Bernie Arbour was a makeup contest for the game postponed on May 25 because of severe storm activity. Reliever Jesus Chourio, the last of four Hamilton pitchers, got the victory after the Thunderbirds had fallen behind 6-5 in the top of the ninth, after leading 5-2 entering the final frame. Chourio gave up the lead run on three hits and an intentional walk in the frame while striking out two.
Hamilton starter Mark Tourangeau went seven innings allowing two runs on seven hits, and became the second Hamilton pitcher to record nine strikeouts in a game at Bernie Arbour this season.
Stratford reliever Shawn Gillespie took the loss yielding the three-run blast to Allen. He worked three and two-thirds innings taking over from starter Justin Pennell in the sixth. Gillespie allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out two.
In addition to Allen, Scott Wells had two hits including a double and batted in four runs for Hamilton. Henry Duke added a double.
For Stratford, Justin Randall and Pennell connected for two doubles each, and Steve Friese added three hits including a two-base hit.