The Hamilton Thunderbirds have been swept off their feet. And that’s not good.
With Friday’s (July 30) 5-3 defeat to the Brantford Red Sox, Hamilton’s senior Intercounty Baseball League season came to an end. The Sox took the best-of-seven opening round playoff series in four straight games. Brantford advances to the semi-finals against the lowest seeded team remaining in the second round of the playoffs starting next week.
Brantford finished first at the end of regular season play while the T-Birds had the last playoff spot.
Brantford took a quick 2-0 lead scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Josh McCurdy had a lead-off walk, stole second and came home on Chris Emanuele’s single. Designated hitter Hyung Cho base hit advancing Emanuele to second. He would score on Lee Delfino hit into a fielder’s choice.
Hamilton got one of those runs back in the third inning. Jon Saporsantos was hit by a pitch with two out and advanced to second base on Chris Piano’s walk. Saporsantos scampered home on Graeme Carey’s single.
The Red Sox nullified Hamilton run with a single in the fifth. McCurdy had a lead-off base hit and reached third via a stolen base and a throwing error by Thunderbirds’ catcher Tyler Windisch. He scored on Cho’s safety.
The Sox scored their fourth run in the sixth when Wayne Forman crossed home plate on McCurdy’s fielder’s choice.
The game Thunderbirds got within a run of their hosts in the seventh when Jordan Windisch led off the inning with a single and scored on Piano’s one out, two-run homerun.
Alas, in the bottom half of the inning, Brantford picked up another run on back-to-back doubles. Jason Gotwalt came home when Bryon Bell hit his two sacker.
Hamilton looked to strike again in the top of the eighth with the bases loaded and one out. However, Saporsantos and Piano both flew out to end the inning.
Piano would end the night going three-for-four at the plate (a single, double, a homerun). He had one walk, two RBI, and scored once. Jordan Windisch was two-for-four.
Marc-Andre Major earned the win for Brantford going six and two-thirds innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits, striking out nine while walking three and hitting one batter. Brian Speck would get the save going one and two-thirds innings and not allowing any Thunderbirds to get on base. Jordy Alexander would pitch the two-thirds of an inning allowing three hits and striking out one.
For Hamilton, Jordell Farquharson took the loss going five and a third innings, allowing four earned runs on nine hits, walked three, struck out four and threw three wild pitches. Mike Fortuna would pitch an inning and two-thirds in relief of Farquharson allowing one earned run on two hits while striking out two. Nino Fasulo would pitch the last inning for Hamilton, allowing one hit and striking out one.