Thunderbirds rally comes up short in loss to Leafs

Marek Deska’s seven strikeouts over six innings of shutout baseball helped the Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Hamilton Thunderbirds 4-3 in Intercounty Baseball League play on Friday (June 10). The loss puts Hamilton’s record at 3-11 while Toronto is now 6-7.

Toronto opened the scoring in the top of the second inning as Dan Gibbons scored on Raul Borjas’ run-batted-in single with the bases loaded to take a 1-0 lead. The Maple Leafs doubled their lead when Gibbons again scored on Jeremy Walker’s bases loaded groundout. Toronto took a 3-0 advantage in the fifth when Kyle DeGrace connected for a solo homerun. The guests at Bernie Arbour Stadium added one more run in the sixth as Borjas scored on Jordan Castaldo’s single to right field.

The Thunderbirds cut into the Maple Leafs lead in the bottom of the seventh. Zack Ranta singled to open the inning with Jonathan Solazzo drawing a walk to put two runners on base. Both runners scored on James Anderson’s single to right field.

In the next inning, Solazzo hit a two-out solo homerun to right field to make it a one-run game. Unfortunately, for the Thunderbirds that was as close as they could get as they fell to Toronto 4-3.

Solazzo was two-for-three on the night, scored two runs and stole one base. Anderson was one-for-three with two RBI. Darnell Duckett had a double in four trips to the plate

Ryan Van Spronsen pitched seven innings for the Thunderbirds, allowing four runs, two of which were earned, on nine hits, while walking three and striking out six in the loss. Reliever Justin Volpato went an inning and a third allowing two hits and a walk. Colin Buckborough finished the game walking one batter.

For Toronto, Deska allowed four hits and struck out seven batters for the win. Drew Taylor earned the save going three innings allowing three earned runs on four hits, walking one batter and striking out two.

The Thunderbirds will host the Burlington Twins on Sunday (June 12) at Bernie Arbour Stadium, starting at 2 p.m. Cable 14 will broadcast the game on tape delay.