LONDON – IBL batting leader Ryan Lapensee had three hits and drove in a pair of runs as the London Majors knocked off the Burlington Bandits, 5-2, at Labatt Park in Intercounty Baseball League play on Monday (Aug.5).
London (26-15) moved into a three-way tie for second place with Barrie and Kitchener with the victory. All three teams have one game remaining in the season, with the Majors hosting Guelph Tuesday (Aug. 6) and Barrie in Brantford, also on Tuesday.
Burlington (13-29) became the first team to complete its schedule and will play whichever team finishes second in the opening round of the playoffs which open up later this week.
Majors starter Cory Hammond went six solid innings for the win, allowing one run on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Mike DeLong came on in the seventh and pitched three innings of relief for the save, allowing one run on two hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Paul Young added two hits and an RBI and Paul Lytwynec had two hits, scored twice and drove in another run for London. Cleveland Brownlee added an RBI double for the Majors, who scored twice in the first and second innings and were never headed after that.
Burlington starter Evan DiMichele was the loser. He went all eight innings, allowing five runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts.
Sean Molony drove in both runs for the Bandits and had a hit, while Connor Panas had two hits and scored both runs. Brian Sewell also had two hits for the losers.
Lapensee ends the night hitting .422, just ahead of Sean Reilly of Toronto, the league’s home run and RBI leader at .409. Reilly is seeking to become just the third player in IBL history to win the triple crown and first since Phil Turner of St. Thomas in 1981.
Brantford has finished first, Toronto will finish fifth, Hamilton is sixth, Burlington is seventh and Guelph will finish last in eighth place. First round playoff series are all best-of-sevens, with only Brantford vs. Guelph determined as a first round match-up as of Monday night.