Michael Gottschalk’s walk-off run-batted-in single in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in the winning run, giving the Hamilton Cardinals a wild 6-5 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Intercounty Baseball League affair on Tuesday night (Aug. 6).
Down to their last out in the ninth inning and trailing 4-3, Toronto’s Glenn Jackson reached on an error by Hamilton second baseman Chris Beer. Branfy Arias followed with a run-scoring triple and Jonathan Waltenbury’s single scored him with the go-ahead run.
But Hamilton answered right back in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Beer and another run-scoring single by Gottschalk to give the Cards a win in their last regular season game.
The Leafs got a huge break in that their pitching staff wasn’t taxed as starter Adam Garner pitched a gritty complete game. Garner allowed six runs on 19 hits with five strikeouts and one walk in 8 1/3 innings, throwing 133 pitches.
Toronto (20-21) saw its four-game winning streak snapped.
Hamilton (16-26) also got some good pitching in their finale. Dustin Gooden went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits with three strikeouts and four walks. Kyle Adoranti went 1 2/3 innings, allowing two hits with two strikeouts and one walk, before Jonathan Solazzo allowed the two runs in the ninth but still got credit for the victory.
Dan Jagdeo hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals and Kyle Gappa, Beer and Solazzo all had three hits. Zack Ranta added two hits including a run-scoring single for the winners, while Zack Sardellitti and Gottschalk both added two hits.
Damon Topolie had two hits and drove in two runs for the Leafs, while Waltenbury had two hits and an RBI and Glenn Jackson added an RBI single. Toronto managed just seven hits and was out-hit 19-7 in the game.
The Cards await the results of the game Wednesday (Aug. 7) between Kitchener and Toronto to find out who they will face in the first round of the playoffs. If the Panthers win, Hamilton will play Kitchener. If Toronto wins, the Cardinals will meet the Barrie Baycats.
The seventh-place Burlington Bandits open their post-season activities in London against the Majors on Thursday (Aug. 8).