Mother Nature came to the aid of the senior Hamilton Cardinals on Monday night (July 23).
The Cardinals defeated the Burlington Twins, 2-1, in a rain-shortened Intercounty Baseball League game that saw Hamilton’s losing streak stop at 13 games. And, Benson Merritt earned his first victory as a Cardinal after weather and a lengthy lightning display caused the game to be called after five complete innings.
Burlington gave the impression the Twins were going to extend Hamilton’s winless streak after Connor Panas hit a one-out solo home run in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead at Bernie Arbour Stadium.
Hamilton tied the game in the bottom of the third when Ryan Taylor opened the inning with a single and advanced to second when Nathan Smith grounded out for the second out of the inning. Justin Malabanan, however, singled to bring in Taylor.
In the fifth, Anthony Rizquez drew a walk and promptly stole second base. With two outs and Malabanan at the plate Rizquez stole third base and crossed the plate on a throwing error charged to Burlington catcher Greg Densem.
Prior to the start of the sixth, the umpires pulled the players off the field and put the game into a lengthy lightning delay before calling the game as the weather and field condition deteriorated.
For Hamilton, Merritt went five innings allowing one earned run on three hits. He gave up three walks, hit one batter and struck out three for the victory.
Kyle Bolton took the loss for Burlington going five innings allowing two runs, only one was earned, on four hits, walking three and striking out seven.
Hamilton will host the Ottawa Fat Cats on Tuesday (July 24) starting at 7:30 p.m. on Fan Appreciation Night.