Cardinals’ playoff hopes washed away

As they say in sports: There’s always next year.

And so it will be for the Hamilton Cardinals, who will not be involved in the Intercounty Baseball League’s playoffs after losing a 9-2 rain-shortened game to the host Guelph Royals on Tuesday (July 17). The loss ended the Cardinals (5-26) chances of making the post-season.

Hamilton jumped to 2-0 lead after their first at-bats but Guelph scored four times in their first at-bats and added a single run in the second, and two in each of the third and fourth innings. After the Cards were held scoreless in the top of the fifth rain caused a 20-minute delay before the game was called. The loss was the Cardinals’ 11th straight.

Ranta, with a two-run home run, accounted for Hamilton’s scoring while Mark Allen and Steve Coates each had home runs for Guelph.

The Cardinals scoring started when Nathan Smith singled and Ranta’s first home run of the season brought him home.

The celebration, however, was short-lived. Before the Cards could get an out in the bottom of the first, Guelph had taken the lead. Frankie Hare, Chris Robinson and Sean Reilly all singled with Hare scoring on Reilly’s 600th career IBL hit. Allen then hit a three-run home run to give the Royals a 4-2 lead.

The Royals added to their lead in the second as Robinson scored on Reilly’s double. In the third, Coates hit a home run which also scored Nathan Grant who reached base on an error. Guelph scored another pair of runs in the fourth as Robinson came in when

For Hamilton, Brett van Pelt took the loss to run his record to 1-6. Van Pelt went three innings allowing seven runs, six were earned, on six hits, walking one batter, hitting another and striking out one. Benson Merritt pitched the fourth allowing two earned runs on two walks and two hit batters while throwing two wild pitches.

David Hatt pitched five innings in the win for Guelph allowing two earned runs on three hits and striking out three. Hatt’s record now stands at 5-2 on the season.

Hamilton will now travel to Kitchener on Thursday evening to take on the Panthers starting at 7:30 p.m. The Cardinals will return home on Sunday for their last scheduled regular season game of the season when they host the Barrie Baycats on Fan Appreciation Day. The start time for Sunday’s game has been moved back to 7:30 p.m.