By Darryl G. Smart
The Brantford Red Sox were hoping to kick off the second half of the shortened Intercounty Baseball League season with a bang.
They certainly did on Wednesday night at Arnold Anderson Stadium. That is, until the Kitchener Panthers showed why they are battling for top spot, as they rode a six-run fifth inning to beat the Red Sox 9-6.
Everything seemed to be going the Red Sox way for the first four innings, with team strikeout leader Kevin Lev on the mound, throwing four innings of shutout ball. Offensively, the Sox gave him support in the form of a four-spot in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to a two-run double by Zach Lampreia and a Gianfranco Morello RBI single.
Unfortunately the Panthers came alive, knocking in six runs on six hits in the top of the fifth inning, chasing Lev from the game. The Panthers, who trail the London Majors by .5 games for the IBL lead, added one in the sixth and two more in the seventh to seal the win.
The Red Sox did reply with two more runs in the fifth inning.
Lucas Diluca and Carter Arbuthnot each drove in two for the Panthers. Adam Leader went 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Jett Jarvis, Keegan Marsden, AJ Karosas, Stephen Whalen and Blake Jacklin all drove in a run.
Morello led the Red Sox offence with three hits, while Jesse Fishbaum went 2-for-3 and scored twice, and Nick Burdett and Liam Sutherland both drove in a run.
Panthers’ pitcher Liam Devine started and allowed four runs on four hits over four innings. He walked four and struck out six. Luis Grisanti earned the win in relief, giving up two runs on two hits in two innings, walking one and striking out four. Matt Stoddart earned his second save with three scoreless innings of one-hit relief. He walked one and struck out three.
Lev gave up six runs on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout, while Nick Davies ook the loss, giving up three runs on two hits in three innings. He walked three and struck out five.
The Panthers improve to 10-3 on the season, while the Red Sox drop to 4-12. Friday is Country Night at Arnold Anderson Stadium, when the Red Sox host the Toronto Maple Leafs at 8pm. Saturday the Sox host the Majors at 2pm, on Brantford Minor Baseball Day. BMBA players wearing their jersey get in free, and have a chance to throw out the first pitch.