That strong and sudden rush of air Mountain residents may have felt Sunday afternoon was not a surprise wind storm that caught meteorologists off guard. It was a collective sigh of relief from the Hamilton Thunderbirds who won their first senior Intercounty Baseball League game after 15 straight setbacks.
The T-Birds pounded out 13 enroute to a 9-6 victory over the Mississauga Twins at Bernie Arbour Stadium.
Hamilton broke open the game with four runs in the sixth inning to finally get its first win of the season before the hometown fans. Mississauga slipped to 5-10 with the loss, leaving the Thunderbirds within 4 1/2 games of eighth spot – and the final playoff berth – despite the rocky start.
Andy Durfey had four hits and four RBI to lead the Thunderbirds’ attack, while John Saporsantos and Devon Coburn each added a pair of hits.
Reliever Ryan Van Spronsen got the win, going two innings. He allowed two runs – one earned – on three hits with two strikeouts and one walk. David Hucsko got the last five outs to pick up the save.
Branson Joseph led the Twins’ offence with four hits, including a triple. Reliever Matt Martinow took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits with three strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings.
Mississauga’s Derek Gordon was ejected in the eighth inning for tossing a bat.
Hamilton came close to picking up their first win on Friday night but the Kitchener Panthers scored what turned out to be the winning run in the top of the eighth inning on their way to a 6-5 win over the Thunderbirds.
Mike Glinka had a solo homer for the Panthers in the fifth inning and Graeme Copeland had two doubles to pace the Panthers 10-hit attack off three Hamilton pitchers.
Brandon Farquhar, the second of three Kitchener pitchers, got the win. He went three innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Wes Koch pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
Van Spronsen was the loser for the Thunderbirds in relief. He went three innings, allowing two runs on two hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Ryan Sharpe had three hits, including a pair of doubles, to lead Hamilton’s 10-hit attack. Darnell Duckett had two hits including a triple for the Thunderbirds, who were hurt by four errors.
Hamilton will go after win No. 2 on Wednesday (June 17) in Brantford for a game against the Red Sox, rescheduled from May 29. Game time is 8 p.m. at Arnold Anderson Stadium. The T-Birds are back home on Friday night (June 19) when the London Majors visit Bernie Arbour Stadium for a 7.30 first pitch game