Cards show early fire power, but fizzle in second game

The Hamilton Major Bantam Cardinals split an InterCounty Baseball Association doubleheader with the London Badgers, taking the first game handily, 11-1, but falling 3-1 in the second half of the twin bill.

Braden Johnston opens the flood gates with a 3-run double in the 3rd. (Photo: Yukio Yamada)

The home team Cardinals were held scoreless until the top of the third when they loaded the bases with two away, Braden Johnston slammed a three-run double and scored on a Christian Nunez single. Marlon Krupa stroked a safety to plate Nunez. Krupa scored on Ty Porter’s hit to give the Cards a 6-0 lead going into the fourth.

Following a pitching change in the fourth, the Cards would again load the bases but with nobody out this time. Hamilton would send four more across home plate to increase the lead to 10-0.

Marlon Krupa steals second and Christian Nunez steals home in the third. (Photo: Yukio Yamada)

To start the fifth inning, the first Badger had a solid hit for a double off starting pitcher Justin O’Reilly. This runner stole third and scored on a balk. But O’Reilly and the defence retired the next three Badgers.

London allowed Hamilton to load the bases a third time in the bottom of the fifth and the Cardinals produced the final run.

O’Reilly kept the Badger batters grounded with four strikeouts, two walks, and three hits.

“They handed us our hats,” said coach Steve Cochrane of the Badgers.

In the rubber match, the Badgers shut out the Cards in the opening frame. Card’s Jeremy Holmes took to the mound and gave up a run in the bottom of the first. O’Reilly tied the score in top of the second with a groundout RBI. The Badgers got the go-ahead run in the bottom of the second.

Cardinals pitcher Justin O'Reilly and 1st baseman, slugger Braden Johnston (Photo: Yukio Yamada)

London would put another across the plate and took a 3-1 to end the fourth.

The Cards were held scoreless stranding one in the top of the fifth and would load the bases in the top of the seventh but failed to score.

Holmes walked two, struck out three, and yielded six hits and three runs.

Reliever Owen Angus-Yamada allowed three walks, struck out two, no hits and no runs.

“We were better mentally prepared for this game.” said coach Cochrane of the Badgers. Cardinal assistant coach Osmar Nunez said, “It was a good game. We seemed to be more laid back than the first game – not as hungry.”