Leafs strike first, lightning finishes game

The Toronto Maple Leafs struck for four runs in the top of the sixth inning en route to an 8-2 win over the Hamilton Thunderbirds. Friday night’s senior Intercounty Baseball League game was called in the top of the ninth inning due to lightning.

Toronto scored first in the opening inning when Raul Borjas hit a two-run homerun off Thunderbirds’ starter Jordell Farquharson. However, Hamilton got one of the runs back with Chris Piano’s solo homerun in the bottom of the inning.

Hamilton tied the game up in the bottom of the fifth. Colin Zwieble hit a two-out single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Leafs’ shortstop Gamin Teague. Graeme Carey then reached base on an error by third baseman Brian Ivan which was followed by a Darnell Duckett RBI double. Unfortunately, that was all the Thunderbirds would get in the game.

The Maple Leafs scored four times in a hit-around sixth inning off of Farquharson. Jeremy Walker and Kyle DeGrace each singled and was followed up by a Borjas walk. Danny Gibbons then hit a three-run double to give the Maple Leafs the lead for good. Ivan followed the Gibbons’ double with an RBI double of his own to close out the inning. Toronto would add two runs in the seventh inning.

On the mound, Drew Taylor earned the win going five innings and allowing one earned run on six hits while striking out three Thunderbirds batters. Ryan Mashinter relieved Taylor for the remainder of the game, allowing one hit, hitting one batter while striking out one.

Farquharson took the loss for the Thunderbirds in five and two-thirds innings of work, allowing six runs on nine hits while walking five Leaf batters, hitting one and striking out two. Justin Volpato came in to relieve Farquharson going one and a third innings allowing one earned run on two hits. Mike Fortuna closed out the game for Hamilton, striking out one batter in one inning of work.

The Thunderbirds play the Mississauga Twins on Sunday (June 6) at Bernie Arbour Stadium with the first pitch at 2 p.m. On Monday at Bernie Arbour, the Thunderbirds will play the London Majors in a game originally scheduled for Sunday, May 2 but postponed because of rain. Game time is 7:30 p.m.