HAMILTON – The Barrie Baycats took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning and held on for a 3-2 win over the Hamilton Cardinals in game two of their best-of-seven Intercounty Baseball League opening round playoff series.
The series is now tied 1-1 with game three slated for Tuesday (Aug. 13) in Barrie at 7:30 p.m.
The Baycats took a 1-0 lead in the third inning then tagged on two more runs in the top of the fourth to go up 3-0, before the Cardinals got on the board with a single run to trail 3-1 through four complete.
Adam Rowe was the starting pitcher for Barrie and went eight strong innings to earn the win, allowing just five hits and one unearned run with three walks and six strikeouts. Brett Lawson came on to replace Rowe in the ninth and allowed a first-pitch home run to Jonathan Solazzo to cut the Barrie lead to 3-2, but then shut down the Hamilton opposition’s next three batters, earning the save.
Kevin Atkinson had a pair of hits for the Baycats, adding a run scored while Jonathan Fernandez singled and doubled and scored a run. Kyle Gilligan doubled and drove in a run, while Jeff Cowan singled, scored and added an RBI in the win. Kyle DeGrace, Ryan Spataro and Ryan Asis each added hits in the win.
Ryan van Spronsen pitched a complete game nine innings for the Cardinals and suffered the loss, allowing nine hits and three earned runs with one walk and three strikeouts.
The Cardinals committed four costly errors in game two and produced just six hits on the afternoon. Solazzo had two of those hits – a double and a home run – with an RBI and a run scored while Dre Celestijn doubled and walked twice with a run scored. Zack Ranta doubled while Kyle Gappa and Jon Saporsantos each added hits in the loss.
In London, Larry Balkwill opened the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk-off home run to lead the London Majors to a 5-4 win over the Burlington Bandits.
The Majors now take a stranglehold on the best-of- seven series with a 3-0 series lead, with game four slated for Thursday night (Aug. 15) in Burlington at 7:30.
It was a back and forth affair which saw the Majors rebound from a 2-0 deficit after two innings and down 4-3 after five. The Majors tied the game with a single run scored in the seventh, before Balkwill’s heroics in the bottom of the ninth.
Chris Hammond started for London and pitched six innings but it was reliever Mike DeLong who picked up the win, allowing just two hits over three shutout innings with four strikeouts.
The Majors outhit the Bandits 11-9 including three by Paul LaMantia who singled twice and doubled. Parris Austin and Paul Young each singled and doubled with a run scored while Young added a pair of RBI. Chris Stewart singled, tripled and scored, while Adwin Springer singled and drove in a run. Cleveland Brownlee added an RBI and Ryan Lapensee came in to score to round out the London attack.
Michael Vanderlaan came on to replace Alex Gale with one out in the seventh inning and took the loss for the Bandits, allowing the home run to Balkwill plus one other walk and strikeout over his 1 2/3 innings of work.
Phil Steer and Jeff Kosta each had a pair of hits with Steer driving in a run and Kosta coming in to score, while Brian Sewell singled and drove in a pair. Jeff MacLeod and Nick Studer each had a hit and a run scored, while Connor Panas and Daniel Peake each added singles in the loss. Dan Franceschetti had a run scored to pace the Burlington offence.
In Toronto, Bryon Bell hit three home runs and drove in nine runs as the Kitchener Panthers humiliated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 19-1 to tie the best-of-seven affair 1-1 with the lopsided win, one night after the Leafs mauled them 16-10 in Game 1 in Kitchener.
Game 3 in the series is Tuesday (Aug. 13) in Kitchener, with Game 4 back at the Pits Wednesday.
It was all Kitchener in Game 2, as the Panthers scored seven runs in the third inning and poured it on from there, led by a tremendous performance from Bell.
Bell wound up with four hits and four runs scored as well as his nine RBI. Rick Murray also homered for the Panthers and had three hits with five RBI and two runs scored to add to the rout.
Tanner Nivins also had a big day for the Panthers with three hits, four runs scored and an RBI, while Mike Andrulis added three hits and also scored a run for the winners. Mike Glinka added two hits, two runs scored and an RBI, while Mat Taube contributed a hit, an RBI and scored three times for Kitchener.
Once again the Leafs fell short with their pitching, as they have most of the season. Starter Justin Cicatello was the loser, allowing eight runs – six earned – on eight hits in five innings with five strikeouts and two walks. Cam Gray, Adam Garner and Drew Taylor finished up and were all hit hard as well.
Kitchener starter Mike McGillvray pitched seven shutout innings for the win. He allowed three hits with two strikeouts and two walks before two relievers finished the seven-hitter.
Branfy Arias drove in Toronto’s lone run with a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning, but that was all the offence the Leafs could muster. Glenn Jackson had a hit and walk and Rob Gillis had a hit and scored Toronto’s lone run.
The visiting Guelph Royals scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to earn a 2-0 win over the Brantford Red Sox. The eighth place Royals now lead the best of seven series over the first place Red Sox 2-1, with game four slated for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Guelph.
The Red Sox have not been shut out twice in a row this entire 2013 regular season, and have been held without a run in the last 20 innings of this series.
Brantford finished the regular season in first place with a 33-9 regular season record, while the Royals failed to reach the 10-win mark with their 9-33 stamp on the regular season.
Despite being out-hit 7-4 by the Red Sox, the Royals came away with the win, keyed by two hits by Josh Garton who doubled twice, and Tino Silvestri who singled and drove in a pair of runs. Turner Spears singled and scored, while Bruce Yari added a run scored for Guelph in the win.
Brendan Sorichetti started and earned the win for the Royals, allowing seven hits and six walks with four strikeouts over 8 1/3 scoreless innings. Ryan Greco earned the save, registering the final two outs while registering one strikeout.
Nathan Forer took the loss for the Red Sox, coming on to start the eighth inning and allowing two hits and two earned runs with one walk over an inning pitched.
Wayne Forman had a pair of hits, while Lee Delfino walked three times. Tyler Burnell, Todd Betts, Jason Gotwalt and Tyler Patzalek each added singles for Brantford in the loss.