Surprise. And so much for regular season records.
The Hamilton Thunderbirds, who finished in eighth place or second last, in the senior Intercounty Baseball League’s regular season, left that notation in the dressing room, and stunned the pennant winning London Majors 2-1 Sunday (July 27) to open their playoff series.
The series was to have started Saturday in Hamilton but wet grounds at Bernie Arbour Stadium sent the series to London. Game two in the best-of-seven affair will be played tonight (July 28) at Bernie Arbour with the first pitch scheduled to go at 7.30 p.m.
Hamilton (10-26) finished 17 games behind London (27-9) in the regular season.
Coogie Freedman pitched a complete game for the Thunderbirds, holding the Majors to just five hits. He struck out five batters and issued three walks. London’s lone run came when Freedman was called for a balk in the eighth inning.
Mike Bonanno had a run-scoring double for the T-Birds in the fourth inning and Richard Rausch’s run-batted-in single in the sixth produced the game-winning score. Geoff Allen, Tim Hebner and Matt Bekar completed Hamilton’s five-hit effort.
Josh Palmer also pitched a complete game for the Majors. He struck out eight and walked three. Mason Reilly had two hits for London.
The series will return to London on Tuesday (July 29), 7:30 p.m and comes back to Hamilton the following night, 7:30 for Game 4. Remaining dates have yet to be set.