Panthers claw way to second straight Intercounty win over Thunderbirds

A ninth inning surge by the Kitchener Panthers, capped by a steal home plate, gave them a 7-4 Intercounty Baseball League win over the Hamilton Thunderbirds on Friday night.

The teams started the final inning tied 3-3 with the Panthers scoring in the first, third and seventh innings while Hamilton plated runners in the third, fourth and sixth frames at Bernie Arbour Stadium. The win was the Panthers second in as many nights against the Thunderbirds whose eighth-place record now stands at 6-14. Fifth place Kitchener improved to 10-11 in the nine-team senior circuit.

Part of Hamilton’s undoing included a ninth inning throwing error that allowed Andre Pietraszko to reach third after he had been walked. The Panther then stole home. The throwing error was one of six miscues committed by the T-Birds.

Kitchener’s Lee Witmer pitched a complete game, allowing four runs on seven hits and six walks. He struck out three batters.

Scott Wells absorbed the loss. He entered the game in the third inning after starting pitcher Erik Perez and Thunderbirds General Manager Adeo Calcagni were ejected for arguing a second consecutive balk call. Field manager Jeff Lounsbury was also dispatched for arguing a safe call on Pietraszko’s steal.

On the night, Wells allowed two unearned runs on three hits and five walks. He retired five batters on strikes. Rob Foscarin finished the game.

Byron Bell and Justin Wendt had two hits each for Kitchener. Bell batted in a run.

Ian Choy had two singles for Hamilton.

The Thunderbirds are back in IBL action Sunday (June 24) at Bernie Arbour when the Barrie Baycats visit for a 2 p.m. game.