The second place London Majors and the third place Barrie Baycats both advanced to the second round of the playoffs on a busy Thursday night (Aug. 15) in the Intercounty Baseball League’s post-season.
London defeated the Burlington Bandits, 9-6, to sweep that best-of-seven series, while Barrie beat the Hamilton Cardinals, 10-5, to win their series in five games. Meanwhile, the pennant winning Brantford Red Sox, looking for a six-peat, downed the Guelph Royals, 8-1, to take a 3-2 lead in that affair, while the Toronto Maple Leafs avoided elimination with a 17-11 win over the Kitchener Panthers, who lead that set 3-2.
There are no games Friday with Game 6 in both of the remaining series Saturday night in Guelph and Toronto.
In Burlington, Cleveland Brownlee homered and drove in four runs to lead the London Majors over the Bandits. London wins the best-of-seven series 4-0.
The Majors struck early and often, scoring three runs in the first inning and another four runs in the second and were never headed, as they completed the sweep of Burlington, out-scoring the Bandits 26-14 in the process.
Brownlee had a big night at the plate, having two hits including his homer with two runs scored and four RBI, to pace the 14-hit London attack. Ryan Lapensee also had two hits, two runs scored and two RBI for the Majors, who finished second in the IBL during the regular season.
Chris Stewart added two hits and two runs scored, Adwin Springer had two hits and an RBI and Paul Lytwynec had two hits and a run scored, all adding to London’s balanced attack. Paul Young scored a pair of runs and also had a hit for the winners.
Brett Sabourin got the win for the Majors, lasting six innings. He allowed three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and three walks before three relievers finished up to complete the 10-hitter.
Trailing 9-3, the Bandits mustered a late rally with a single run in the eighth and two more in the ninth, but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Burlington starter Kyle Bolton was the loser. He lasted four innings, allowing eight runs – seven earned – with three strikeouts and four walks. Three Bandits relievers allowed just one more London run over the last five innings.
Tyler Fata had two hits including a homer, scored twice and drove in two runs, while Jeff MacLeod added three hits and an RBI for Burlington.
Dan Franceschetti added two hits and an RBI for the losers.
Baycats 10 Cardinals 5
In Barrie, the host Baycats overcame a 5-0 deficit in the top of the first inning to defeat Hamilton in game five, claiming their best-of-seven opening round series 4-1.
The sixth place Cardinals picked up the first win of the series, 13-8, in Barrie, but failed to register another win, being outscored 42-27 in the five games.
The Baycats trailed 5-2 after four innings, then posted four runs in the seventh to take a 6-5 lead, before adding four more in the eighth to secure the 10-5 win. They took advantage of seven costly Hamilton errors.
Brad Bissell was the Barrie starter and earned the win, allowing eight hits and five runs – four earned – with one walk and six strikeouts over his seven innings pitched.
Jordan Castaldo hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning which gave the Baycats the lead, while Ryan Spataro chipped in with three hits and three runs scored in the win. Kyle DeGrace and Jeff Cowan each singled, scored and drove in a run, while Kevin Atkinson and Kyle Gilligan each doubled and scored. Jason Coker and Jonathan Fernandez each added runs scored in the win for Barrie.
Brett van Pelt was the loser for Hamilton, allowing seven hits and nine runs – just three earned – with four walks and five strikeouts.
Dre Celestijn singled twice, doubled and added a run scored for the Cardinals, while Nick Ranta had a pair of hits and an RBI. Zack Ranta and Kyle Gappa each had a hit, a run scored and an RBI while Mike Gottschalk and Johnathan Solazzo each singled and scored a run in the loss.
In Kitchener, Jon Waltenbury homered twice and drove in seven runs as the Toronto Maple Leafs crushed the Kitchener Panthers, 17-11, forcing a sixth game in their opening round playoff series Saturday night at Dominico Field at Christie Pits.
In Brantford, Jamie Richmond pitched seven strong innings to lead the Brantford Red Sox to an 8-1 victory over the upset-minded Guelph Royals.
After losing games two and three to fall behind in the series, the first place Red Sox now take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series and can wrap up a spot in the second round with a win Saturday night in Guelph for Game 6.
Last place Guelph, which finished 24 games behind Brantford in the regular season, stunned the Red Sox with back-to-back shutout wins but Brantford has out-scored Guelph 19-4 in the last two games of the series to take the lead.