The Hamilton Cardinals went into Jack Couch Park on Thursday night in IBL action on the verge of being eliminated from the 2017 playoffs by the Kitchener Panthers. However, Mike Hart and Nate Mastervick had home runs and Chris Lazar would go the distance to get the win in game five and keep Hamilton alive for another day. Tanner Nivins would have the only extra base hit for the Panthers.
Hamilton looked to jump out to an early lead as Hart drew a two-out walk in the top of the first. Hart then moved to third when Connor Bowie doubled. However, both runners would be stranded when Logan Stewart grounded out to the pitcher.
It would take until the fourth before either team would put a run up on the board. Hart led off the inning for the Cardinals with a line shot that cleared the fence in center field for a solo shot. Then in the fifth, Greg Marco and Mastervick hit back to back singles before Chris Beer hit into a fielder’s choice that allowed Marco to score and give Hamilton a two-run lead. However, Kitchener would get that run back on a Yorkis Borroto RBI single.
Cal Murphy and Marcus Dicenzo would hit back to back singles following the first out of the sixth inning. Then with two outs of the inning Mastervick took the first pitch he saw out of the park to put the Cardinals up by four. Hamilton would commit and error in the bottom half of the inning which allowed the Panthers to score their second run of the game.
Kitchener would get runners on base in each of the final three innings, including loading the bases in the eighth, but they were unable to score as the Cardinals hung on to force game six in the first round playoff series.
For the Cardinals, Lazar would allow two runs, only one was earned, on six hits, walking six and striking out two for the complete game victory.
For Kitchener, Noelvis Entenza took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out seven over six innings. Ian Rendon came in to start the sixth in relief of Entenza, getting all three batters out that he faced. Mike Schnurr pitched the final two innings, allowing a walk and striking out two over seven batters.
Game six of the quarter final series will be played at Bernie Arbour stadium on Friday night starting at 7:30 PM. Hamilton will look to force a game seven with a win tomorrow night.
Source: Mike Marasco