Henry Duke drove in three runs as the host Hamilton Thunderbirds closed in on a playoff spot with an 11-8 win over the visiting Baycats.
Hamilton (9-24) moved 2 1/2 games ahead of idle Stratford for the final playoff spot in the senior Intercounty Baseball League with the win which ended the Baycats’ (22-11) chances of claiming the league pennant.
Duke had a two-run double and Scott Wells and Randy Rausch both added two hits for the Thunderbirds, who won the game with a three-run eighth inning and took advantage of four Barrie errors.
Reliever Aaron Boag got the win with 2 ½ hitless innings of relief, walking just one batter. Starter Rob Foscarin allowed four runs on 13 hits over his 6 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking four.
Reliever Chris England was the loser for Barrie, allowing three runs on two hits in the eighth inning, striking out two and walking one. Starter Angus Roy allowed four runs – all unearned – on six hits over five innings as the Thunderbirds scored a total of eight unearned runs in the game.
Jared McCord had four hits for the Baycats, while Randy Schwartz had two hits, including a three-run homer, and drove in four runs. Ryan Spataro, Ian Choy and Glenn Jackson all had two hits for Barrie.