T-Birds leave the Nation’s Capital empty handed

The Ottawa Fat Cats completed a three-game weekend sweep of the visiting Hamilton Thunderbirds with a 16-9 win on Sunday (July 17). With the loss, Hamilton falls three games behind Burlington for seventh place with four games remaining in the senior Intercounty Baseball League’s regular season.

Hamilton would hold a three-run lead through two and a half innings before Ottawa scored 11 times over the next four innings on their way to the victory. Ottawa scored an 8-0 win on Friday night and had a 3-1 victory on Saturday.

For the second straight game Hamilton jumped to an early 1-0 lead. Jon Saporsantos and Chris Piano led the game off by each drawing walks. Matt McGraw would then reach base on a fielder’s choice that saw Saporsantos advance to third and later score on Dan Jagdeo’s single. Ottawa tied the game in the bottom half of the first when Hamilton’s starting pitcher Ryan Van Spronsen was called for a balk with runners on first and third.

In the third inning, Piano opened the inning for the Thunderbirds by drawing his second walk of the game and moved to second when McGraw was hit by a pitch. A walk to Jagdeo loaded the bases for Hamilton. Adam Durfee was hit by a pitch to score Piano. Mike Gottschalk singled in two runs to give Hamilton a 4-1 lead.  The Fat Cats would get one run back in their half of the third on Kevin Dietrich’s double that brought in Ivan Cherwinski.

Ottawa would tie the game in the fourth as Mathieu Joly singled to bring in LaDale Hayes who also singled and stole second to open the inning. Joly would also score in the inning on Cherwinski’s single. The Fat Cats would take their first lead of the game in the fifth scoring three times. Charrette led off with a double and scored on Dietrich’s RBI single.  Dietrich would later score, along with Howroyd, when Hayes reached base on an error. Ottawa added five more runs in the sixth to take a 12-4 lead.

Hamilton got one run back in the seventh as McGraw singled and advanced to second on an error to start the inning. Jagdeo singled in McGraw for Hamilton’s fifth run of the game.  Ottawa would add to its lead in the bottom half as Hayes doubled in Charrette and Howroyd to make it 14-5.

In the eighth, Gottschalk would score when Graeme Carey grounded into a double play. However, Ottawa would score two runs in their half of the inning on two singles by Cody Mombourquette and pinch hitter Kyle O’Brien. Hamilton would add three more runs in the ninth on Johnathan Solazzo’s three-run homerun to make the final score 16-9.

Ryan Van Spronsen started the game for the Thunderbirds, going three and two-thirds innings allowing four runs, three were earned, on seven hits while walking one batter and striking out four. Justin Volpato relieved Van Spronsen in the fourth going an inning and a third allowing three runs – only one was earned – on three hits and a walk for the loss. Colin Buckborough then took to the mound to start the sixth. He would allow five runs on four hits and a walk. Nino Fasulo relieved Buckborough after just five batters and went two innings allowing two runs on three hits, a walk and striking out three. Brett Van Pelt finished the game for Hamilton allowing two unearned runs on two hits and striking out two in an inning of work.

For Ottawa, Brett Sabourin started and went two and two-thirds of an inning allowing four earned runs on two hits, walking five and striking out one batter.  Josh Soffer would get the win in relief of Sabourin going five and a third innings allowing two runs, one of which was unearned, on four hits, walking three batters and striking out three.  Cody Mombourquette finished the game on the mound in the ninth, moving from second base.  Mombourquette allowed three runs on two hits, one walk and a strikeout.

The Thunderbirds will host their annual baseball camp starting Monday (July 18). The camp will run all week at Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium. Hamilton will next play on Thursday, July 21 in Barrie starting at 7:30 p.m.