Just like real thieves working under the cover of night, the Burlington Bandits snuck up on the Hamilton Cardinals and stole a 10-9 senior Intercounty Baseball League win from their hosts on Tuesday (July 22).
The Bandits scored five runs in the eighth inning to erase a 6-5 Hamilton lead. Robert Tavone’s three-run homerun and Tyler Fata’s two run double robbed the Cardinals of victory when Hamilton’s three-run reply in their half of the inning fell short.
The Bandits led 5-1 at one point in the game but the Cards refused to give up. What was on the line for the two teams is a one-game wild card encounter to determine which team makes the playoffs. Hamilton holds that seventh-place position but with the win on Tuesday, Burlington is just one game back.
The two teams meet for the final time in regular season play on Thursday in Burlington at Nelson Park.
The teams combined for 29 hits – 16-13 for Burlington – as a parade of pitchers took a pounding.
Burlington opened the scoring in the first inning when Peter Bako singled and moved to second on a passed ball. Tyler Hardie’s two out RBI base hit brought him home. Burlington extended the lead in the second when Fata, who had a 3-for-5 night, singled to start the inning. He advanced to second on Dan Fraceschetti’s walk and both runners move up a base when Brad Bedford laid down a sacrifice bunt. Bako doubled to bring in both runners. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Tavone to make it 4-0.
Hamilton got on the scoreboard in the third when Marcus Dicenzo singled with one out and moved to second on an error. Andris Rizquez hit a two out single to score Dicenzo.
That lone run was countered the next inning when Bako again started things going for Burlington. He drew a lead-off walk and scampered to third on Jeff MacLeod’s safety. Tavone hit into a double play that allowed Bako to score and regain Burlington’s four run lead.
Dre Celestijn tripled to open the Hamilton half of the sixth and was followed up by walks to Dan Jagdeo (2-for-four) and John Solazzo to load up the bases. Cam Wilkie (2-for-four) singled up the middle to score two runs. Zack Sardellitti kept the ball rolling as he doubled to bring the Cardinals within a run of Burlington and put Wilkie on third base. A walk to Dicenzo loaded the bases and Chris Beer’s deep fly to left field allowed Wilkie to tie the game at five.
Hamilton would take the lead in the seventh as Celestijn, who had doubled to start the inning, scored with two outs on an error as the Bandits over threw first base on Wilkie’s single.
The lead was short lived as Burlington sent 10 batters to the plate in the eighth, scoring five times thanks to Tavone and doubles Jordan Boston and Fata.
In the eighth the Cardinals chipped away at the Burlington lead. Facing two outs, Rizquez singled and stole second before scoring on Celestijn’s safety. Jagdeo doubled to bring in Celestijn. Solazzo singled to push Jagdeo across the plate to make it a one run game. But in the ninth the Cardinals left the bases loaded without scoring.
For the Cardinals, Brett van Pelt went three and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs on 11 hits, walking two and striking out one. Kyle Adoranti would relieve van Pelt and go three and two-thirds innings, picking up the loss. Adoranti gave up four runs on three hits, walking three and striking out four. Matt Betts went one third of an inning, allowing a run on two hits and striking out one. Tanner Guindon and Dustin Godden would each pitch two-thirds of an inning to finish off the game with Guindon walking one batter, hitting another and striking out one. Godden would face three batters and allow a walk.
For Burlington, Jack Dennis went five and a third innings, allowing five runs, one of which was unearned, on six hits, walking three batters and striking out three. Steven Dressler picked up the win in relief of Dennis, going an inning and two thirds, giving up an unearned run on two hits, walking two and striking out two. Dylan Perego came in to pitch to start the eighth and went an inning and two-thirds, allowing three runs on five hits, a walk and striking out one. MacLeod picked up the save, facing two batters, walking one and striking out one.