League leading Brantford Red Sox needed extra innings before they dispatched the visiting Hamilton Cardinals, 5-4, in Intercounty Baseball League play on Wednesday night (June 19).
Hamilton got out to an early lead on Brantford but couldn’t hold on to it as the Red Sox stopped the Cardinals two-game winning streak and drops their record to 6-11, ten games out of first place and a game out of fifth. The Red Sox win gives them an 18-3 record on the season and a half games up on London.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the top of the fourth. Dre Celestijn hit a one out double and moved to third on Zack Ranta’s single. Celestijn crossed the plate on Kyle Gappa’s sacrifice fly to give Hamilton a 1-0 lead.
Hamilton extended its lead in the sixth. Jon Saporsantos got on base by being hit by a pitch and then Ranta and Gappa each singled with Saporsantos scoring on Gappa’s hit. John Solazzo doubled to cash in Ranta and Gappa for a 4-0 lead.
However, Brantford showed why they are the defending IBL Champions. Lee Delfino doubled to open the bottom of the seventh and scored on Steve Lewis’ two-run home run to cut the Hamilton lead in half. In the eighth, Josh McCurdy scored on a pass ball to make it 4-3.
The Red Sox tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. Jeff Hunt singled to open the inning and moved to third base on two consecutive groundouts. He scored when Joe Colameco tripled but was thrown out at the plate trying to score.
Brantford completed the comeback in the bottom of the 11th as Hunt scored on McCurdy’s single to win the game.
For Hamilton, Matt Martinow started the game going seven innings allowing three runs, two were earned, on five hits, walking three and striking out seven. John Solazzo would come in during the eighth from third base to pitch and went three innings allowing one run on three hits, walking one and striking out one. Dustin Godden would take the loss going a third of an inning allowing one run on a hit and walking two.
For the Red Sox, Chris Chavez started and went six and a third innings allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits and striking out eight. Tom Boleska would relieve Chavez and go one and two-thirds innings allowing a hit, a walk and striking out three. Adam Arnold would enter the game to start the ninth allowing a hit, a walk and striking out three. Stefan Strecker would pick up the win, striking out two in one inning of work.
Hamilton’s next game is Thursday night when they face their cross bay rivals the Burlington Bandits at Nelson Park in Burlington staring at 7 p.m. The Cards next home game is Friday at 7:30 p.m. when the Kitchener Panthers visit Bernie Arbour.