Hamilton ended the 2016 Intercounty Baseball League regular season Friday night (July 29) at Bernie Arbour with a win, defeating the Guelph Royals, 5-4. The win moved the Cardinals into seventh place, a half game ahead of Guelph. The Royals have one game remaining.
Robert Wilson led Hamilton on the mound going six innings while Liam Wilson led the team at the plate with three hits and three runs batted in. For the Royals, five different players had a hit in the game.
Guelph jumped out to an early one run lead in the top of the first. Kingsley Alarcon led off the game with a walk and then stole second base. On the steal the ball got away from the fielders, allowing Alarcon to reach third. Later in the inning Aaron Loder would ground out for the second out but it would allow Alarcon to score.
In the bottom of the third Hamilton would get on the board. Geoff Seto reached base on a fielder’s choice and moved to third on Connor Bowie’s single to center field. Wilson would later hit a two-out single which brought in both runners and gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.
Pat Coughlin would regain the lead for the Royals in the top of the fifth when he hit a two out single down the right field line which allowed Blake Kauer and Adam Rossit to score. However, Hamilton came back with two runs in their half of the inning. Wilson would double to left to bring in Bowie and Jake Foden.
Alarcon would lead off the seventh inning with a walk and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Schmitt. That play would be crucial as Loder would hit a double with two outs to score Alarcon to tie the game at four.
Hamilton retook the lead for good in the eighth. TJ Baker drew a one out walk, then advanced to second when Chris Beer reached base on an error. Nate Mastervick would then load up the bases with a single with just one out in the inning. After a strikeout, Seto would draw a walk to score Baker for the eventual winning run.
For the Cardinals, Wilson allowed three unearned runs on three hits, walked four batters and struck out six. Benson Merritt would pick up the win in relief going two and two-thirds innings, allowing a run on two hits, walking one batter and striking out one. Russ Burroughs earned the save allowing a walk to one of the three batters he faced.
For Guelph, Alberto Rodriguez took the loss going seven and a third innings, allowing five runs, one of which was unearned, on seven hits, walking two batters and striking out six. AJ Mackey went the final two-thirds of an inning, walking one and striking out two.
Hamilton will now do some scoreboard watching to find out who they will face in the first round. A Guelph win over Burlington Saturday would move the Cardinals back into eighth place.