Red Sox strike early to defeat Cardinals

The Hamilton Major Bantams didn’t have a whole lot of time to savour their opening game win in the InterCounty Baseball Association.

Twenty four hours after a come-from-behind win over the Cubs in Cambridge, the Cards opened their home portion of the season at Mahoney Park with the Brantford Red Sox as their guests.

Braden Johnston steals second against the Red Sox (Photo: Hamilton Cardinals)

Perhaps the Cards wanted to play gracious hosts because when the party was over, the Red Sox returned to Brantford with a 5-2 victory.

Pitcher Marlon Krupa got the starting assignment for the Cardinals and was roughed up early, allowing two runs on two hits as the Red Sox took a 2-0 early lead. Krupa settled down and retired the Red Sox in order in the top of the second and would himself cash in an RBI to come to within one in the bottom of the second.

Ty Porter replaced Krupa on the mound to start the fourth. He would allow an earned run and with a couple of walks to load the bases.

The Card defence would turn a double play thanks to a running diving catch by centre fielder Braden Johnston, whose powerful throw to first also got the base runner before he could return to the bag. The Cardinals bats, however, went down in order in the bottom of the fourth.

Card’s Jeremy Holmes drove in a run to cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth.

Porter was pulled in the top of the sixth after giving up two runs and loading the bases with a couple of walks. Spencer Edwards came in with one away and allowed a run on a walk. He retired the next two Red Sox and left the runners stranded. Once again the Cardinals offense could not score in the bottom of the frame.

Edwards and the Card defense held the Red Sox off the score board in the top of the seventh. But the Red Sox defense responded by holding the Cards scoreless in the bottom of the seventh for the win.

Krupa allowed two walks, five strikeouts, three hits and two runs although one of those runs was a result of a Cardinal infield error. Porter allowed four walks, five strikeouts, four hits and three runs. Edwards issued three walks, two strikeouts, and one run.

Hamilton bench coach Osmar Nunez saw a lot of improvement for the Red Sox. “They hit the ball well and we failed to keep the Red Sox runners close to the bags but it was a good game.”