For the T-Birds there’s always next season

Zack Ranta had a single and a three-run home run for Hamilton but Barrie would once again come from behind to defeat the Thunderbirds, this time by a final score of 13-8. For the second straight season Hamilton was swept from the first round of the Intercounty Baseball League playoffs.

The Baycats, who finished as regular season champions, opened the scoring in the first as Ryan Spataro, who started the game with a single, scored on Sean Reilly’s two-out single. Reilly, however, was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

Hamilton responded quickly as James Anderson doubled and scored on Ranta’s single. The Thunderbirds would take the lead in the bottom of the second when Mike Gottschalk scored on Jon Saporstanos’ RBI single.

However, the lead didn’t last long as Spataro tied the game with a solo homerun over the right field fence. Barrie took the lead in the top of the fourth after Reilly led off with a single, moving to second on Matt Logan’s single and to third when Sean Mattson hit into a double play. Dave Latour singled to bring in Reilly.

The Thunderbirds would tie the game in their half of the fourth when Warren Bradley hit a solo homerun to right field.

In the fifth, Barrie scored a single run as Jeff Cowan scored when Spataro reached base on an error. But Hamilton would score four times in the bottom of the fifth with three of the runs coming off of Ranta’s three-run homerun. The Baycats would get one run back in the sixth on a Latour sacrifice fly to make it 7-5.

Hamilton would get one more run in the game Anderson led off the bottom of the seventh inning with his third double of the game and scored on Graeme Carey’s double to give the Thunderbirds a three run lead. Barrie then came back and scored seven times in the eighth including a three-run homerun by Trevor Pippin. The Baycats would add one more run in the ninth to give them a 13-8 victory.

Matt Martinow started the game for the Thunderbirds and went five innings allowing five runs, four of which were earned, on eight hits and two walks. Mike Fortuna relieved Martinow in the sixth inning, taking the loss, going two and two-thirds innings allowing four earned runs on three hits, three walks while striking out one. Brett van Pelt would take the mound, pitching one-third of an inning allowing three unearned runs on two hits. Nino Fasulo pitched the final inning for Hamilton giving up one unearned run on one hit while striking out one batter.

Adam Garner started the game for Barrie going four and a third innings allowing seven runs, only one was unearned, on 11 hits while striking out three. Greg Byron took to the mount to relieve Garner and went two and two thirds innings allowing one run on two this and striking out five Thunderbirds. Jamie Arneson would get the win for the Baycats, pitching one inning and only allowing a walk. Chris England pitched the ninth inning, striking out one of the final three batters of the game.

The Hamilton Thunderbirds would like to thank their fans, sponsors and broadcast partners, INDI 101FM and Cable 14, for their support throughout the entire 2011 IBL season. A special thank you goes out to the radio voice of the Thunderbirds, Greg Balloch, who is leaving the organization after two seasons to move to British Columbia in the offseason.