Like two gunmen in a western movie, the Hamilton Cardinals and Kitchener Panthers came out shooting on Thursday night. And when it was all over and 27 runs had crossed home plate and 37 hits had peppered the field, the Cardinals lay mortally wounded, 18-9.
With the loss Hamilton’s Intercounty Baseball League record falls to 12-20 the season and the Cards remain a game and a half behind Toronto (13-18) for fifth place. The fourth-place Panthers improved to 8-14 with their second straight win.
Tanner Nivins led Kitchener’s assault by hitting for the cycle and knocking in three runs.
Hamilton’s Dre Celestijn got the first hit of the game with a one out double in the top of the first and then moved to third on Dan Jagdeo’s Single. Zack Ranta singled to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Kyle Gappa added another single before Jon Saporsantos hit into an inning ending double play.
John Solazzo added another run for Hamilton when he led off the second inning and took a full count offering out of the park. In the third Jagdeo started the inning with a single and scored on Ranta’s home run for a 4-0 lead for the Cardinals.
Kitchener got on the board in the bottom of the third. Mike Glinka reached on a double and scored on Mitch Delaney’s RBI double. Nivins hit a two-run home run to make it a 4-3 game and in the fourth Rick Murray opened with a walk and moved to second on Iggy Villalobos’ sacrifice bunt. Murray scored on Keith Kandel’s single and moved to third on an error.
Glinka then singled to score Kandel to give the Panthers a 5-4 lead. The Panthers then score three runs in the fifth and six in the sixth to go up 14-4 on Hamilton.
Hamilton would cut into the Panthers’ lead in the seventh. Celestijn opened the inning with a single and scored on Jagdeo’s two-run home run. Ranta drew a walk and advanced to second on Anthony Rizquez’ single. Solazzo would follow Rizquez with a double to score the third run of the inning. Rizquez crossed the plate when Zack Sardellitti grounded out for the second out of the inning. The Cardinals final run of the game would come in when Mike Gottschalk reached base on an error.
Kitchener responded in the bottom of the seventh when Brian Burton, who doubled to open the inning, crossed the plate on Glinka’s groundout to second base. Nivins would complete the cycle in the eighth with a one out triple. He would then be joined on base by Mat Taube who drew a walk before they were both cashed in on Burton’s three-run home run.
For the Cardinals, Tim Black took the loss going four and a third innings, giving up eight runs on 12 hits, walking one batter while hitting another and striking out three. Benson Merritt took over the Black and went two-thirds an inning allowing five runs on three hits while walking five batters. Kyle Adoranti then came in for two and a third innings give up five runs, four of which were earned, on five hits, walking three and striking out two. Dustin Godden went the last two-thirds of an inning getting one of the two batters he faced to strikeout.
For Kitchener, Adam Echlin got the win going six innings, allowing four runs on 12 hits with one walk and one strikeout. Matt Vickers would relieve Echlin to start the seventh inning and lasted only a third of an inning. Vickers gave up five runs, four of which were earned, on four hits with a walk and one strikeout. Shawn Slemko and Bryon Bell combined to pitch the final two and two-thirds innings allowing a hit while striking out three.
Hamilton will look to end its two-game losing streak when they return home Friday (July 19) to host the Brantford Red Sox at Bernie Arbour Stadium starting at 7:30 p.m.