T-Birds vacate the cellar with back-to-back wins


The Hamilton Thunderbirds downed the Brantford Red Sox, 3-2, in Intercounty Baseball League play on Sunday. The win was Hamilton’s second in a row.

Playing at Hamilton, Brantford would open the scoring in the top of the first inning when Hyong Cho scored on Chris Emanuele’s single to right field.

Hamilton tied the score in their half of the inning. Matt McGraw got on base after the Brantford centre fielder dropped an easy fly ball and was followed by Adam Durfee who singled to right field. McGraw was already going on the pitch and scored when the right fielder tried to get him at third base. The throw eluded all the infielders and went into the Thunderbirds’ dugout which moved Durfee to third.

The Thunderbirds would take their first lead of the game in the second inning off of Jon Saporsantos’ solo homerun to left field.

The Red Sox tied the game at two in the fourth when Emanuele, who led off the inning with a double, scored on first baseman Chris Piano’s error that allowed former Thunderbird Mike Banano to get on base and advance to second.

The Thunderbirds would get the run right back as Darnell Duckett hit a one out solo homerun to the exact same spot that Saporsantos did.

That was all the Thunderbirds would need as they only allowed two Red Sox to get on base in the final five innings.

Hamilton’s starter, Mike Gottschalk would go five innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits, walking two and striking out two batters for the victory. Reliever Ryan Noak went one and two-thirds inning only allowing a walk in the seventh inning. Mike Fortuna would then take the mound for an inning and a third getting all four of the batters he faced to fly out or ground out. Nino Fasulo earned the save pitching the ninth inning, allowing a single and striking out.

Steve Murray took the loss going seven innings, allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits, walking one and striking out three Thunderbirds. Stephan Strecker would go one inning allowing a walk in the four batters he faced.

Hamilton’s next game is Wednesday night at Bernie Arbour Stadium starting at 7:30 p.m. against the Mississauga twins.