Game two of the best of seven quarter-final series between the Kitchener Panthers and Hamilton Cardinals was played Saturday night at Bernie Arbour Stadium in Hamilton. The Panthers jumped out to an early lead but the Cardinals rallied to tie the game up before Kitchener took the game 8-4. Connor Bowie had a pair of hits and two-runs batted in for Hamilton while former Cardinal Sean Reilly had a pair of hits for the Panthers, including a solo home run that was the eventual winning run.
The first three batters would get on base for Kitchener to open the game before Yulexis LaRosa singled with the bases loaded, scoring two runs. The Panthers would add another run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Mike Gordner.
Jake Foden would lead off the Hamilton fourth with a double which was followed by a walk to Chris Beer. A couple batters later, Bowie would hit a high fly ball to center field which dropped in for a two-run triple when the fielders lost the ball in the sky. Logan Stewart then doubled to score the tying run on a high fly ball which the fielders lost again in the sky.
Kitchener regained the lead in the sixth when Gordner singled with the bases loaded to right field scoring the go ahead run. The Panthers looked to add another run on the play but Bowie gunned down the runner at the plate to end the inning. In Hamilton’s half of the inning, Mike Hart hit a solo home run to once again tie the game.
However, Reilly would hit a solo home run of his own that just barely made it out of Bernie Arbour to give Kitchener the lead for good. The Panthers added three more runs in the eighth on their way to an 8-4 victory.
Chris Lazar got the start for Hamilton, allowing four runs, one of which was unearned, on six hits, walking five batters and striking out three. Ben Reid relieved Lazar to start the seventh and went an inning and two-thirds, taking the loss by allowing four runs on three hits and walking three while striking out two. Benson Merritt pitched the final inning and a third, allowing two walks and striking out two batters.
For the Panthers, Matt McGovern pitched seven innings, allowing four runs on four hits, walking two and striking out five for the win. Mike Schnurr and Noelvis Entenza each would pitch an inning in relief, with Schnurr picking up a strikeout and Noelvis giving up a hit and striking out one.
Game three of the series goes Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM at Jack Couch Park with the Panthers leading the series two games to none.
Source: Mike Marasco