By Darryl G. Smart
Liam Sutherland stole two bases, while the rest of the offence scored three times in the seventh inning to break a tie to give the Brantford Red Sox a 10-8 win over the Kitchener Panthers last night at Jack Couch Park.
The win gives the Red Sox a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three Intercounty Baseball League quarter-final series.
With things tied up in the fifth inning, Sutherland stole home in dramatic fashion to not only give the Sox a lead, but all of the momentum. They added three in the sixth inning to keep pace with the Panthers, who equaled that output in the bottom half of the inning.
Like many times this season, the Sox struck early, scoring twice in the first and once in the third to have two leads before the seventh-inning exclamation mark.
Jon Dziomba hit a solo home run, and Sutherland singled, doubled and drove in two runs to go along with the stolen bases. Jacob Reid had an RBI, Zach Lampreia drove in two, Nick Burdett knocked in a pair of runs, and Robbie Gauthier went 3-for-5 and scored twice.
Keegan Marsden went 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBI to lead the Panthers. Elliott Curtis singled twice and drove in two, Ryley Davenport had two RBI, Dan Mahoney went 3-for-5 with two runs, and Andy Leader singled twice and scored three times.
Will Langford earned the win in relief, allowing a run on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in two innings. Mackenzie Major recorded the last four outs for the save. Red Sox starter Mike Mueller went five and two-thirds innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Matt Stoddart took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits with two walks in an inning of relief.
Game 2 of the series is Saturday at Arnold Anderson Stadium at 7:30pm. Game 3, if necessary, is Sunday in Kitchener at 2pm.
AROUND THE IBL
In other quarter-final action, the Barrie Baycats defeated the Welland Jackfish 5-3 to strike first in their series, while the Toronto Maple Leafs did the same, beating the Hamilton Cardinals 21-6.