Game Thunderbirds come close but beaten by Majors

Hamilton went down early to London, made a late comeback, but unfortunately, they came up short in the end as the Majors defeated the Thunderbirds, 8-7, on Pink Ladies Day on Sunday (July 10) at Bernie Arbour stadium.

Shawn Robinson opened the senior Intercounty Baseball League game with a single for the Majors and promptly stole second. Robinson scored on All Cattrysse’s double to give London a 1-0 after half an inning. During the top half of the inning, Cleveland Brownlee nailed a pitch which struck Matt Martinow, the Thunderbirds’ starting pitcher, off the throwing arm. Martinow would leave the game after two-thirds of an inning as a precaution.

In the second inning, London added another five runs. Chris Chambers singled and moved to second when Julio Estrada was hit by a pitch. Chambers scored on Mac Harrison’s single to right field. The Majors followed that up with singles by Robinson and Federico which saw Harrison score. London’s half of the inning was capped off by Cattrysse’s three-run homerun for a 6-0 lead.

The Majors score again in the third as Tyler Graham doubled to open the inning and came home on LaMantia’s double. In the fifth, Graham would score the eventual game winning run on Chambers’ fielder’s choice. Hamilton would get on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Graeme Carey scored on Matt McGraw’s RBI single.

The Thunderbirds got back into the game in their half of the sixth, scoring five times. Jonathan Solazzo started the rally with a single and advanced to second on Adam Durfee’s walk. Jon Saporsantos loaded the bases being hit by a pitch. Carey then stepped to the plate and hit into a fielder’s choice which scored Solazzo. Chris Piano followed that up with a one out, three-run homerun to left field. McGraw finished the score by doubling in Mike Gottschalk who had got on base with a walk.

In the ninth, Hamilton got some momentum going again as Warren Bradley singled to open the inning. Saporsantos then came up with two outs and singled to keep the game alive. Carey then followed that up with an RBI single to make it a one run game. However, that was all the Thunderbirds could get as Taylor Vanderlip, who was pinch running for Saporsantos, was picked off at second base to end the game.

Martinow started and took the loss for the Thunderbirds, going two-thirds of an inning allowing one unearned run on two hits prior to being injured. Matt Betts relieved Martinow going three and a third innings allowing six earned runs on eight hits and striking out two. Bill Langford entered the game to start the sixth inning giving up a run on two hits, walking one and striking out two over two innings. Mike Fortuna would take the mound for the seventh and eighth innings allowing a single hit and striking out one. Nino Fasulo would pitch the ninth inning giving up a single hit and striking out two batters.

For London, Matt Brennan earned the win going five and a third innings allowing five earned runs on seven hits, walking five batters and striking out seven. Mike Arsenault would relieve Brennan going three and a third innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits, walking four and striking out three. Adam Paish entered the game in the ninth with two outs and picked off the final out of the game to get the save.

The Thunderbirds and their fans raised $250 at the game that will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s CIBC Run for the Cure to help create a future without breast cancer. The Thunderbirds begin a six-game road trip starting in Toronto on Wednesday (July 13) when they will face the Maple Leafs. First pitch is scheduled for 7.30 p.m.