Adam Durfee had two homeruns and five RBIs while Zack Ranta had a solo homerun to power the Thunderbirds past the Panthers for a 9-5 victory for their third win of the season.
The Panthers opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Jeremy Ware scored on a bases loaded walk to Mitch Delaney. Hamilton would get the run back in the top of the third inning. Taylor Vanderlip opened the inning off with a single and moved to second on James Anderson’s groundout. Vanderlip then scored on Mike Gottschalk’s RBI single. Duckett followed Gottschalk with his own single. Durfee stepped up to the plate next and hit a two out, three-run homerun to give the Thunderbirds a 4-1.
Kitchener cut into Hamilton’s lead in the fourth as Mike Andrulis got on base by way of a fielder’s choice followed by Luke Baker’s single. The Panthers would load the bases when Nathan Grant was hit by a pitch. Ware then hit a double to cash in Andrulis and Grant to make it a one run game.
The Thunderbirds quickly regained their three run lead in the top of the fifth. Duckett led off the inning with a single and scored on Durfee’s second homerun of the game. Hamilton added another run in the top of the sixth when Duckett reached base on a two-out error which saw Anderson score and one more run came in on Ranta’s solo homerun in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the eighth, Kitchener cut into Hamilton’s lead by scoring two runs. Delaney scored the first run of the inning on a bases loaded ground out by pinch hitter Brent Mitchell. Shaun Valeriote, who batted for Christian Boghossian, scored on Luke Baker’s sacrifice fly to left field. The Thunderbirds would add another run in the top of the ninth on Duckett’s sacrifice fly to close out the scoring.
David Hucsko started for Hamilton going six innings allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits, striking out two and walking four earning the win. Matt Betts came into relieve Hucsko in the seventh allowing two hits and a walk. Mike Fortuna then came in and pitched two-thirds of an inning allowing two earned runs on one hit and walking one. Nino Fasulo closed out the game going an inning and a third.
For Kitchener, Brandon Farquhar started the game and went four and a third innings allowing six runs, all earned, on eight hits, walking four and striking out three in the loss. Keith Hoefel relieved Farquhar going one and two-thirds innings allowing one unearned run on two hits while striking out three. Andrew Van’t Wout pitched the seventh inning allowing one run on three hits while walking one and striking out one. Mike McGillivray pitched the eighth inning allowing a three hits while and striking out one. Kevin Pigott finished the game for the Panthers allowing one run on three hits.
The Thunderbirds will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday June 10th at Bernie Arbour Stadium, starting at 7:30pm. Fans that can’t make it to the game can listen to all the action on INDI 101FM or online at indifm.ca.