Hamilton Thunderbirds will open their Intercounty Baseball League playoffs against the third place Kitchener Panthers on Thursday night.
Hamilton nailed down a sixth place finish on Monday night, beating the second place and defending league champion Brantford Red Sox 6-5 in the last game of the IBL regular season. Hamilton finishes the 36-game schedule with a 16-20 mark. The Thunderbirds-Panthers best-of-seven series will open in Kitchener. The other IBL playoff matchups are first place Toronto playing the eighth place Oshawa Dodgers, the Red Sox taking on the seventh place London Majors, and the fourth place Guelph Royals meeting the fifth place Barrie Baycats.
On Monday night, Geoff Allen’s fifth inning solo home run was enough to give the Thunderbirds their win. Hamilton was ahead 5-3 when Allen connected. The Red Sox managed to score two runs in the bottom of the inning but winning pitcher Nibaldo Acosta shut then down the rest of the way.
Acosta went nine innings for the victory, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits and three walks. He had four strikeouts. Colin Buckborough started for the Red Sox and went four innings allowing five runs on two hits and five walks while positing one strikeout. Aaron Boag, the losing pitcher, came on in fifth and pitched three innings allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk. He also had a strikeout. Stefan Strecker finished the game and struck out three batters.
In addition to his round-tripper, Allen also had a double for the Thunderbirds.
For Brantford, Al Stephens had a home run and two RBI with Lee Delfino adding two singles and a home run plus two RBI. Jason Gotwalt singled twice for the Red Sox. Brantford out hit Hamilton 9-5.
First Round Playoff Schedule
Thursday July 26th in Kitchener 7:30pm
Friday July 27th in Hamilton 7:30pm
Saturday July 28th in Kitchener 7:30pm
Sunday July 29th in Hamilton 3:00pm
Wednesday August 1st in Kitchener 7:30pm (if necessary)
Friday August 3rd in Hamilton 7:30pm (if necessary)
Saturday August 4th in Kitchener 7:30pm (if necessary)