If the pattern holds true, Hamilton Thunderbirds could find themselves behind the eight ball in their senior Intercounty Baseball League quarterfinal playoff series.
Hamilton won the opener in Kitchener, 10-2, on Thursday night only to lose 6-5 at home on Friday night. The Panthers, by virtue of their third place finish after the regular season schedule finished, have the extra home field game in the best-of-seven series against the Thunderbirds. With the affair knotted at a game apiece, the series resumes tonight (Saturday) in Kitchener with Game 4 scheduled for Hamilton’s Bernie Arbour Stadium on Sunday (July 29) at 3 p.m..
Byron Bell was the big man at the plate for the Panthers on Friday, planting the ball over the right field fence, 335 feet from home plant. That homerun produced three runs in the seventh inning and erased a 4-3 Thunderbirds’ lead.
Robby Foscarin took the loss going six and two thirds innings while allowing six earned runs on eight hits and three walks. Andrew Schwalm completed the game in relief.
Lee Witmer picked up the mound decision, going eight and one-third innings while allowing five runs (four of them earned) on eight hits and four walks. He struck out four batters before Mike Andrulis came on in relief
In addition to his homerun, Bell singled and doubled. Kirk Zimniewicz had three hits with Terrell Alliman and Scott Schmidt adding a triple and double apiece.
Adam Strongman connected for a single, double and one RBI for the Thunderbirds. Derek Gordon added two hits including a double, and Scott Wells had two hits and one RBI for Hamilton.
In other IBL playoffs, Brantford Red Sox lead the London Majors, 2-0, Oshawa Dodgers and Toronto Maple Leafs are 1-1, and Guelph Royals have a 2-0 edge over the Barrie Baycats.