The Hamilton Thunderbirds got off to a promising start to their senior Intercounty Baseball League tilt on Sunday but finished with a less than favourable result.
The visiting Guelph Royals chipped away at the 2-0 lead the Thunderbirds took in the first inning, scoring single runs in the second, sixth and ninth inning to leave Bernie Arbour Stadium with a 3-2 win.
To give Hamilton its first run, Darnell Duckett, who would finish 2-for-four at the plate, singled and moved to third on Matt McGraw’s double to left field. A wild pitch by Chris Nagorski allowed Duckett to score and McGraw advanced to third. Graeme Carey grounded out to short but plated McGraw (2-for-four) to give Hamilton a two-run lead.
Guelph cut the lead in half in the top of the second when first baseman Mark Allen scored from second on a Brian Brown single up the middle of the field. The Royals tied the game in the sixth. Bryan Comdotta led off and was hit by a pitch. He then stole second base and advanced to third on Jeremy Ware’s fly out to left field. Sean Reilly would bring in Comdotta when he reached base on an error.
Guelph would take the lead for good as Frankie Hare, pinch running for Kevin Hinton, stole second base and later scored on Brian Brown’s single.
Meleti Melehes got the win for Guelph in relief of Nagorski. Melehes went four innings, allowing one Thunderbird to reach base on a single and striking out six. Nagorski pitched the first five innings allowing two earned runs on four runs while walking three.
For Hamilton, Ryan Van Spronsen took the loss pitching three innings in relief of starter Matt Martinow. Van Spronsen allowed one earned run on four hits, walked one batter and struck out two. Van Spronsen also picked off a runner in the seventh and eighth innings. Martinow went six innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits, walked one and struck out four Guelph batters.
The Thunderbirds are home on Friday (June 18) when the London Majors visit. Game time is 7:30 p.m.