Weekend play could decide T-Birds playoff hopes

The Hamilton Thunderbirds are pulling out the book of clichés: Backs against the wall; no tomorrow; do or die.

And with good reason.

Losing a heartbreaking 1-0 senior Intercounty Baseball League contest in London to the Majors on Friday night, the Thunderbirds find themselves two games behind the Mississauga Twins, who hold the final playoff spot. Hamilton plays its final – and must win – regular season game on Sunday. The Twins have three remaining games and for the Thunderbirds to have a chance to enter post-season play, Mississauga must lose all three. That would result in a one-game sudden death tie breaker between the two clubs for the eighth playoff spot.

Saturday, the Twins are home to the second place Brantford Red Sox and play the seventh place Panthers in Kitchener on Sunday. The Twins have a make-up game remaining.

Hamilton has a re-match with the fifth-place Majors at 2 p.m. Sunday at Bernie Arbour Stadium.

In London on Friday, Craig Bate pitched a complete-game three-hitter for the Majors.

Bate was brilliant, striking out 13 and walking three, as the Majors improved to 20-14 as they try to get home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

Will Richards had a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to account for the only run.

Jordan Dreiling had two of London’s four hits. Hamilton starter David Huscko was the hard-luck loser, allowing one run on three hits over six innings. He struck out five and walked four.