Maple Leafs hand T-Birds sixth straight loss


Toronto scored 15 times and hit three homeruns en route to 15-2 victory over Hamilton on Wednesday night (July 13) at Christie Pits. The loss is the Thunderbirds’ sixth consecutive in Intercounty Baseball League play and leaves Hamilton a game and a half behind the Burlington Twins who sit in seventh place.

The Maple Leafs jumped out to an early lead, scoring three times in the bottom of the first. Kyle DeGrace opened the game with a single and moved to second on Kern Watts’ groundout. DeGrace would then steal third and score on a wild pitch. Jonathan Waltenbury singled and moved to second when Dan Gibbons was hit by a pitch. Jordan Castaldo singled to score Waltenbury and was followed up by Damon Topolies’ RBI single.

Toronto looked to add more as they loaded the bases with one out but first baseman Zack Ranta turned an unassisted double play to end the inning.

Toronto added to its lead scoring a single run in the second on Waltenbury’s double and two more runs in the third as Castaldo hit a solo homerun to open the inning and Topolie crossed the plate on Rob Gillis’ sacrifice fly. In the fourth, the Maple Leafs got another four runs, three of which came on Jeremy Walker’s homerun.

The Thunderbirds would get on the board in the fifth when Ranta scored on Graeme Carey’s fielder’s choice. However, Toronto would come back in the bottom half of the inning scoring two runs on Gibbons’ double. In the sixth, DeGrace would hit a three-run homerun to extend Toronto’s lead.

The Thunderbirds would get one more run on the board when Carey scored on Chris Piano’s sacrifice fly in the eighth to make it 15-2.

Jordell Farquharson started and took the loss for the Thunderbirds, going four innings and allowing ten runs, six of which were earned, on 11 hits and walking two batters. Justin Volpato relieved Farquharson to start the sixth inning allowing five runs on three hits and three walks. Brett Van Pelt would pitch the final two innings striking out one batter.

For Toronto, Drew Taylor earned the win going six innings allowing one run on three hits, walking one and striking out one batter. Jon Lockwood relieved Taylor and finished the game for the Maple Leafs. Lockwood would allow one run on one hit, walk two batters and strikeout four over the final three innings.

The Thunderbirds will close out the Arcelor Mittal Challenger Baseball Camp on Thursday and then head to Ottawa on Friday where they will play three games over three days, all against the Fat Cats. Game one of the weekend series will go Friday starting at 7:05pm.