HAMILTON – Marek Deska's seven strikeouts over six innings of shutout baseball helped the Toronto Maple Leafs defeat the Hamilton Thunderbirds 4-3. The loss puts Hamilton's record at 3-11 while Toronto is now 6-7.
Toronto opened the scoring in the top of the second inning as Dan Gibbons scored on Raul Borjas' RBI single with the bases loaded to take a 1-0 lead. The Maple Leafs doubled their lead as Gibbons once again scored on Jeremy Walker's bases loaded groundout. Then in the fifth, Kyle DeGrace hit a solo homerun to give Toronto a 3-0. The Leafs would get one more run in the sixth as Borjas scored on Jordan Castaldo's single to right field.
The Thunderbirds cut into the Maple Leafs lead in the bottom of the seventh. Zack Ranta singled to open the inning with Jonathan Solazzo drawing a walk to put two runners on. Both runners would score on James Anderson's single to right field. In the ninth, Solazzo hit a two-out solo homerun to right field to make it a one run game. Unfortunately, for the Thunderbirds that was as close as they could get as they fell to Toronto 4-3.
Ryan Van Spronsen pitched seven innings for the Thunderbirds, allowing four runs, two of which were earned, on nine hits, while walking three and striking out six in the loss. Justin Volpato came in for Van Spronsen and went an inning and a third allowing two hits and a walk. Colin Buckborough finished the game walking one batter.
For Toronto, Deska allowed four hits and struck out seven batters for the win. Drew Taylor earned the save going three innings allowing three earned runs on four hits, walking one batter and striking out two.
The Thunderbirds will host the Burlington Twins on Sunday June 12
th at Bernie Arbour Stadium, starting at 2:00pm. Cable 14 will be showing the game on tape delay.
Winning Pitcher: Marek Deska (4-0)
Losing Pitcher: Ryan Van Spronsen (1-2)
Save: Drew Taylor (1)
Dan Gibbons – 4 for 5 (3 Singles, Double, K, 2 Runs)
Raul Borjas – 2 for 3 (2 Singles, Fielder's Choice, Hit by Pitch, RBI, Run)
Kyle DeGrace – 1 for 5 (Solo HR, RBI, Run)
Jonathan Solazzo – 2 for 3 (Single, Solo HR, BB, K, SB, RBI, 2 Runs)
James Anderson – 1 for 3 (Single, K, 2 RBIs)
Darnell Duckett – 1 for 4 (Double)
Tickets for all Hamilton Thunderbirds home games are available at the Bernie Arbour Stadium Box Office on game day. For more information on Thunderbirds season tickets visit www.hamiltonthunderbirds.org.
<i>* courtesy Mike Marasco, Hamilton Thunderbirds</i>