Dre Celestijn and Zack Ranta each went three-for-three at the plate but Jon Saporsantos was the hero when he delivered an eighth inning solo home run to complete a Hamilton Cardinals 5-4 comeback win over the visiting London Majors. Sunday’s (July 7) Intercounty Baseball League win, coupled with Toronto’s loss, tied the Cardinals and Maple Leafs for fifth place again with 11-15 records.
London jumped to an early lead, scoring three times in the top of the first inning. Parris Austin and Paul LaMantia each drew one out walks with Austin scoring on an error. Cleveland Brownlee singled and moved LaMantia to third base. LaMantia scored on Adwin Springer’s single and Brownlee came home on another Hamilton fielding error, giving London a 3-0 lead.
The Majors scored their final run for a 4-0 margin in the fourth inning when Jon Celestino singled and advanced on Paul Lytwynec’s sacrifice bunt. Celestino moved to third on a passed ball before Ryan Lapensee’s sacrifice fly brought him home.
The Cardinals finally got going in the sixth inning when Celestijn led off with a single, advanced to second on Dan Jagdeo’s safety, and scored on Ranta’s single. Saporsantos hit a one out single that delivered two more runs to make it a one run ball game.
Celestijn started a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh with a single and moved to second on an error. Jagdeo joined Celestijn on the bases after drawing a walk on four pitches. Ranta followed with a singled to plate Celestijn to make it a four-all game and set the stage for Saporsantos’ heroics in the eighth with a leadoff home run for the 5-4 victory.
For Hamilton, Time Krawczyk started the game and went four innings allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on three hits, walking eight batters and striking out one. Tomas Rincon pitched the fifth inning and only allowed a walk over the four batters he faced. Ryan Van Spronsen got the win in relief, evening his record at 3-3, going four innings, allowing three hits, a walk and striking out two.
For the Majors, starter Cory Hammond went five and a third innings, allowing three runs on six hits, walking two and striking out two. Taylor Carr was charged with the loss going two and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs; only one was earned, on four hits, walking one and striking out three.
Hamilton travels to Kitchener to face the Panthers starting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday (July 8).