Cards losing streak stretched to seven games

Jon Waltenbury’s grand slam capped a six-run second inning to power the host Barrie Baycats to an 11-4 Intercounty Baseball League win on Saturday (July 7).

The loss was Hamilton’s seventh straight and left the Cards 5 ½ games back of the Burlington Twins who hold the final playoff position. Barrie is 7 ½ games out of first place.

Barrie opened the scoring in the first inning when Kyle DeGrace and Robert Recuenco, who each drew walks, each stolen a base. Ryan Spataro drove in DeGrace on a sacrifice fly to deep centre field and Recuenco raced home after centre fielder Matt McGraw’s throw-in was off the mark.

In the next inning, Matt Richardson reached base after being hit by a pitch and was followed by walks to DeGrace and Recuenco to load the bases. Spataro singled to plate Richardson. Matt Logan reached base on a fielder’ choice, as the Cardinals unsuccessfully tried to get Recuenco at the plate. With the bases still loaded Waltenbury stepped to the plate and with a full count hit his grand slam for an 8-0 lead.

Hamilton got on the board in the top of the sixth after Ryan Taylor and Chris Redfern each reached base on errors to open the inning. McGraw’s second single of the game brought in Taylor. Jon Saporsantos hit into a double play which allowed Redfern to score Hamilton’s second run.

Barrie got those two runs back plus one more in the sixth as Recuenco doubled and was brought in on Spataro’s triple. Spataro scored on Matt Logan’s sacrifice fly. The Baycats final run would cross the plate on Mike Reeves’ single to take an 11-2 lead.

The Cardinals added to their total in the eighth. Taylor reached on a fielder’s choice and then moved to third as McGraw reached base and advanced to second on an error by Barrie’s DeGrace. Both runners scored on Steve Martinow’s double to close the gap to 11-4 but that would be all the game’s scoring

For Hamilton, Benson Merritt started the game and took the loss, his third since joining the team. Merritt went five and a third innings on the mound, allowing all 11 runs which were earned, on 11 hits while walking four and striking out six. Neal Lambert pitched the final two and two-thirds innings allowing four hits.

For Barrie, Ryan Dillabough got his first win of the season going six innings allowing two unearned runs on four hits while striking out three. Jake Hines relieved Dillabough and went two innings allowing two unearned runs on two hits and striking out three. Justin Atkinson pitched the ninth for the allowing a hit, a walk and striking out two batters.

Hamilton returns home Sunday (July 8) to play their fifth game in five days. League leading Brantford Red Sox play the Cards at 2 p.m. on Pink Ladies Day. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Breast Cancer Support Services. Montana’s will also be at the game with a food truck selling chicken, ribs and mini donuts.