No celebration for IBL Cards on home opener

After an extra inning loss in Burlington the day before, the Hamilton Cardinals came home on Sunday to open up their Intercounty Baseball League home schedule against the Guelph Royals. Guelph would spoil the opening day celebrations defeating Hamilton, 9-2.

Frankie Hare opened the game for Guelph with a double and stole third base. Shaun Valeriote followed up with a walk and Jeremy Ware doubled to plate Hare. Sean Reilly’s ground out scored Valeriote and Ware crossed the plate a couple batters later on Kevin Treichel’s two-out single.

A group of Minor PeeWee players from the Hamilton Cardinals Rep Baseball Association prepares for the national anthem during pre-game ceremonies at the home opener of the senior Cardinals of the Intercounty Baseball League.

Hamilton responded in its half of the inning with Matt McGraw and Dan Jagdeo drawing one out walks. McGraw scored on Jon Saporsantos’ RBI single and Jagdeo made it a one run game on Chris Piano’s double. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, that would prove to be their offensive production for the day.

The Royals added two more runs in the third when Ware and Reilly led off the inning with singles followed by Josh Graton’s double to bring in Ware. Reilly scored on Mirek Sharp’s sacrifice fly to right field to give Guelph a 5-2 lead.

The Cardinals looked like they were going to rally in the bottom half of the third but the momentum swung when McGraw was called out for interfering with third baseman Sharp who was trying to field a ball. Both McGraw and Sharp were down for a couple minutes. Sharp would continue to play while McGraw was replaced by Zack Ranta as a precaution.

Guelph extended its lead with three more runs in the fourth and one more in the eighth to make it 9-2.

For the Cardinals, Brett van Pelt started the game and took the loss going five innings, allowing eight runs, five of them earned, on 11 hits, walking two batters and striking out three. Reliever Zach Pearson went two innings, getting all six batters he faced. Mike Fortuna pitched the final two innings allowing an unearned run on two hits and striking out one.

For Guelph, starter Mike Goemans went five innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits while walking five and striking out three batters for the win. Brook Coatsworth took over for Goemans and pitched the sixth and seventh innings allowing three hits, walking one and striking out three. Rylan Pranger and Ryan Greco combined to pitch the final two innings.

The Cardinals, now 0-2, are off until Friday night when they will host the Burlington Twins. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Fans can catch a tape delay of the season opening game, from Saturday afternoon at Burlington’s Nelson Park, on Hamilton’s Cable 14 – noon on Monday (May 14).