It took 11 innings but the Hamilton Cardinals Major Bantams prevailed in Inter-County Baseball Association play against the host Guelph Royals, 2-0.
Cardinals’ Ty Porter reached with a solid hit in the top of the 11th and Owen Angus-Yamada brought Porter home with a stand-up double. After an infield out, Angus-Yamada crossed the plate after Michael Singh’s RBI single.
The Cards took the two run lead into the bottom of the eleventh and after giving up a lead off walk, Angus-Yamada and the Card “D” held the Royals and that was the ballgame.
To get to the extra inning affair, the Royals started their pitching ace, Nick Interisano. After giving up a walk to lead-off hitter Grant Preece, Interisano struck out the next two batters and Preece was nailed trying to steal second.
The Cards countered with their No. 1 pitcher, lefty Justin O’Reilly.
O’Reilly and his supporting cast kept the Royals off the scoreboard in the bottom of the first.
Hamilton loaded the bases in the top of the second but failed to score, stranding all three runners. O’Reilly took out the Royals in order in the bottom of the frame.
The Cards threatened again in the third when they got three runners on board. After a pop up, two runners were picked off.
O’Reilly struck out the next three Royals in the bottom of the third.
Interisano and O’Reilly put on a pitching clinic in the fourth and fifth innings keeping the game scoreless.
The Royals sent out Bombino, their lefty closer in the sixth. The Cards left two stranded and failed to score. O’Reilly retired the Royals in order in the bottom of the sixth.
The Cards went out in order in the top of the seventh. O’Reilly with strong defensive support shut down the Royals in the bottom of the seventh.
Bombino and the Royal defence returned the favour by shutting down the Cards in the top of the eighth. With one away and one onboard, O’Reilly surrendered the mound to lefty closer Owen Angus-Yamada in the bottom of the eighth. Angus-Yamada retired the next two Royals to end the inning.
Once again, Bombino shut down the Cards in the top of the ninth. Angus-Yamada took out the Royals one, two, three in the bottom of the inning.
Bombino grounded the Card offence in the top of the tenth. Angus-Yamada silenced the Royal’s offence in the bottom of the tenth setting up the 11th inning dramatics.
“Now that was a pitcher’s dual,” said coach Mike Raco of the Royals.
Card coach Rich Minken agreed, “The pitchers were outstanding.” He added, “The real winners were the fans tonight.”
O’Reilly allowed one walk, four hits, no runs and struck out nine. Interisano walked five, hit one batter, allowed two hits, no runs and struck out four. Bombino allowed two walks, two runs, five hits and struck out seven. Angus-Yamada allowed one walk, no runs, one hit and struck out four.