Thunderbirds still looking for elusive first win

thunderbirds1The Hamilton Thunderbirds lost their 14th straight game as the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied for an 11-8 win over the winless Thunderbirds.

Jeremy Walker hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to snap an 8-8 tie and give the Leafs the hard fought win over the hard luck Thunderbirds. Walker got a hold of a pitch from reliever Ryan Sharpe and drilled a long shot to right field to give the Leafs the win in the at times sloppy game, as Toronto took advantage of three costly Hamilton errors.

Walker wound up with two of the Leafs 10 hits and scored twice, while Dan Gibbons and Raul Borjas both contributed two hits and an RBI. Kern Watts scored twice, had a hit and an RBI while Kyle Morton added a two-run shot in the second inning for the Leafs.

Masa Inoue and Steve Dowding each had two of the Thunderbirds 11 hits and drove in a pair of runs, while Sharpe, who started the game in left field and went in to pitch, also had two hits.

Toronto reliever Mark Sikorski went three scoreless innings for the win, allowing four hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Starter Jason Pilkington was hammered for six run in 2 2/3 innings. Sharpe went 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on just one hit, but he walked four.