IBL: Thunderbirds Edge Twins for Victory

Bronson Lake on the mound
in his winning effort.

HAMILTON – Bronson Lake’s five and a third innings of relief pitching along with Zack Ranta’s RBI single in the bottom of the fourth propelled Hamilton to a 6-5 victory over the Burlington Twins in front of a season high 218 fans on Canadian Diabetes Association Day. The Thunderbirds end the regular season with a 7-28 record and will take on the Baycats in the first round of the IBL playoffs.

Hamilton would get themselves into trouble in the top of the first committing two errors on the first two batters. Burlington capitalized on the errors as Matt Spillman scored when Peter Bako reached base on one of the errors. Branson Joseph and John Slattery each singled with Bako scoring on Slattery’s hit. Jeff MacLeod then drew a two out walk to load the bases. Jeff Kosta would then bring in two runs on a single to give the Twins a 4-0 lead.

The Thunderbirds got one run back in the bottom of the first. Zach Elbirt led off with a single and promptly stole second and third base. Elbirt would later score on Dan Jagdeo’s single to make it 4-1. Hamilton would cut Burlington’s lead to one in the second inning. Graeme Carey got on base by way of a fielder’s choice and was followed by Elbirt’s second single of the game. Both Carey and Elbirt then scored on Chris Piano’s two out triple.

In the third Hamilton would take the lead when they loaded the bases with three consecutive walks to James Anderson, Jon Saporsantos and Steve Martinow, all with two outs. Carey then took four straight balls to advance to first on a walk and score Anderson. Saporsantos would also score in the inning on a wild pitch.

Burlington responded in the top of the fourth tying the game at five when Spillman scored on Bako’s RBI single. However, the Thunderbirds got that run back in the bottom fourth when Piano led off the inning with a single and moved to second on an error and subsequently scored on Ranta’s RBI single for the eventual game winning run. From that point on, the pitchers of both teams took over the game combining for 9 strikeouts over the final four and a half innings.

Ryan Van Spronsen started the game for the Thunderbirds going two innings allowing four unearned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out two Twins. Lake relieved Van Spronsen to start the third inning, going five and a third allowing one earned run on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts for the win. Mike Fortuna would take to the mound going two-thirds of an inning getting both batters he faced to fly out and ground out to end the eighth. Nino Fasulo finished the game for Hamilton pitching the ninth getting one of three batters he faced to strikeout.

Bill Ralston took to the mound for Burlington going three innings allowing five earned runs on four hits and six walks while striking out two. Luis Castillo relieved Ralston to start the fourth allowing one earned run on one hit facing only one batter taking the loss. Dave Hatt and Jeff MacLeod would pitch the final five innings combining to allow five hits, three walks and striking out eight Thunderbirds.

The Hamilton Thunderbirds and their fans raised $500 at today’s game in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association. Hamilton will open up the first round of the 2011 IBL playoffs on Tuesday night in Barrie where they will face the Baycats in game one of the best of seven series starting at 7:30pm.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Burlington 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 9 2
Hamilton 1 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 x 6 9 2

Winning Pitcher: Bronson Lake (1-1)
Losing Pitcher: Luis Castillo (0-2)
Save: Nino Fasulo (3)

Burlington Hitters
John Slattery – 3 for 4 (3 Singles, Run, RBI)
Branson Joseph – 2 for 4 (2 Singles, K, Caught Stealing, Run)
Peter Bako – 2 for 5 (2 Singles, Reached Base on Error, Run, RBI)

Hamilton Hitters
Zack Ranta – 2 for 4 (2 Singles, BB, RBI)
Chris Piano – 2 for 5 (Single, Triple, Reached Base on Error, BB, K, Stolen Base, Caught Stealing, Run, 2 RBIs)
Zach Elbirt – 2 for 5 (2 Singles, 2 Ks, 2 Stolen Bases, 2 Runs)

Tickets for all Hamilton Thunderbirds home games are available at the Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium Box Office on game day.

* Game Stats
* courtesy Mike Marasco, Hamilton Thunderbirds

About Jason Nason 2044 Articles
I'm the editor of Hamilton-Today.com and I love the city of Hamilton. From sports to entertainment, local events and the politics of the city, I will try to bring it here to you!

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