Thunderbirds can’t figure out defense for 3rd straight loss

Hamilton Thunderbirds were defeated by the Kitchener Panthers 10-6 for their third consecutive loss. In each of those losses Hamilton has given up ten or more runs.

Kitchener opened the scoring in the top of the first inning. Luke Baker started the game off with a double down the third baseline before scoring two batters later on Jeremy Ware’s sacrifice fly to centre field. The Panthers extended their lead in the second innings as Mitch Delaney scored on an error to the Thunderbirds’ second baseman Steven Hubbs. Shaun Valeriote would then score on Baker’s RBI single which also saw Mike Winter score on a throwing error.

The Thunderbirds would get on the boards in the bottom of the second inning. Jon Saporsantos lead off by being hit by a pitch. Saporsantos would then get moved over to second on Graeme Carey’s two out single and later score on Zach Elbirt’s RBI single to make it 4-1. Hamilton then cut the Kitchener lead to one run in the bottom of the fourth as Mike Gottschalk scores on Elbirt’s RBI single while Steven Hubbs was awarded home on a thrown ball that went out of play.

Kitchener got two runs back in the fifth inning when Delaney and Valeriote had back to back two out RBI singles to bring in Ware and Jeff Pietraszko. The Panthers then added another run in the sixth as Baker scored on Brian Burton’s RBI single. They would then score three more runs in the seventh to take a 10-3 lead.

Hamilton looked to get back into it in the eighth. Saporsantos got on base being hit by a pitch for the second time in the game and then advanced to third base by a Gottschalk single. Saporsantos would then score on Steven Hubbs’ ground out. Gottschalk later scored on a throwing error. The Thunderbirds added one more in the bottom of the ninth but it wasn’t enough.

Matt Martinow started for Hamilton going five innings allowing six runs, four of which were earned, on eight hits, walking three batters and striking out two for the loss. Colin Buckborough came in and pitched an inning and a third allowing four runs, all earned, on five hits walking one and striking out one. Mike Fortuna then took to the mound going one and two-thirds innings allowing one hit and striking out two. Nino Fasulo pitched the ninth for the Thunderbirds walking one batter and striking out one.

For the Panthers, Joey Ellison started the game going five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, walking two batters, hitting one batter and striking out five for the win. Mike McGillivray relieved Ellison going one inning striking out two batters. Adam Echlin then entered the game pitching the seventh striking out all three batters he faced. Mike Vanderlaan pitched the eighth inning allowing two runs, one of which was unearned, on one hit, walking two, hitting one batter and striking out one. Phil Hinton entered in the ninth inning allowing one run and walking two batters before an out was recorded. Kevin Pigott finished the game facing three batters getting all three outs on the bases.

The Thunderbirds will travel to Kitchener on Thursday for a return match against the Panthers starting at 7:30pm.