Playoff spot within grasp of baseball T-Birds

thunderbirdsHamilton Thunderbirds, who showed determination on Thursday night, couldn’t find the fire-power 24 hours later and were stopped 4-0 in Brantford by the Red Sox.

In Kitchener on Thursday, the T-Birds came back from a 9-2 deficit for a 10-9 win over the Panthers in Intercounty Baseball League play in the senior circuit.

Friday, Gabe Ribas allowed just three hits over eight shutout innings as the Red Sox improved to 20-10 and moved into sole possession of second place in the IBL, just three games behind the first place Barrie Baycats.

Hamilton’s loss, combined with their win on Thursday left them one game behind Mississauga for the final playoff spot. The Twins (7-22) have a doubleheader against the London Majors tonight (Saturday) and Hamilton (7-24) plays the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Sunday at 2 p.m. The teams play a 36-game regular season.

Ribas struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter, allowing just three singles, in Brantford’s Friday win. Stefan Strecker, the IBL’s earned-run-average leader, tossed a scoreless ninth, allowing just one single with a strikeout, to complete the four-hitter.

Lee Delfino doubled, singled and drove in a pair of runs for the Red Sox, who had eight hits. Jason Gotwalt also doubled and singled, and Joe Colameco tripled and scored a pair of runs for the winners.

Ryan Van Spronsen was the loser. He went five innings, allowing three runs – two earned – with two strikeouts and three walks.

In Kitchener on Thursday, Jordan Windisch’s ninth inning single scored Devon Coburn with Hamilton’s winning run.

Daniel Jagdeo led the Thunderbirds 15-hit attack with three hits and three RBI including a two-run home run in the sixth. Ryan Sharpe, Darnell Duckett, Masa Inoue and Coburn each had two hits for the T-birds while Steve Dowding added a three run homer in Hamilton’s six-run sixth inning.

Winning pitcher Mike Fortuna (2-3) pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief of starter David Huscko. Fortuna allowed only three runs on three hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Ryan Sharpe pitched the ninth, giving up three walks but no runs to earn his fourth save.

Jeff Pietraszko led Kitchener with two hits including a double and an RBI. Mat Taube added a two-run homer in the third inning as the Panthers managed only six hits off the three Hamilton hurlers.

Ron Sweeney (0-1) took the loss in relief, pitching one inning and giving up two hits and one walk. Starter Matt Cockburn went 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs, only four earned, on 10 hits and three walks with one strikeout.