KITCHENER – Kitchener would hit four homeruns including two from Luke Baker but it wasn’t enough as Hamilton won the game 11-8 with homeruns from Chris Piano and James Anderson. The win by the Thunderbirds ends an 11 game losing streak.
Hamilton opened the scoring in their first at bat of the game. Zach Elbirt opened the game by reaching base on an error and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Elbirt would then score when Zack Ranta grounded out for the second out of the inning. Dan Jagdeo kept the inning alive with a double and scored on Warren Bradley’s single. Darnell Duckett and Anderson would also single with Bradley scoring on Anderson’s hit to give the T-Birds an early 3-0 lead.
It didn’t take Kitchener long to respond as Luke Baker took the second pitch of the bottom half of the first out of the park for a solo homerun while Jeff Pietraszko hit a two-run homerun three batters later to tie the game at three.
The Thunderbirds would regain the lead in the second on Piano’s two-out solo homerun. However, the lead was short lived once again as Brent Mitchell, who was hit by a pitch, scored on Baker’s RBI single to tie the game for a second time. Kitchener would take their only lead of the game when Mike Winter hit a solo homerun with two outs in the fourth inning.
Hamilton would once again take the lead, this time for good, in the fifth. The Thunderbirds would load the bases then Duckett singled to bring in two runs. Bradley then came in on a pass ball. Duckett would then score on Steven Hubbs’ single to give the T-Birds an 8-5 lead.
James Anderson added to the lead in the seventh as he hit a three-run homerun which scored the eventual game winning run. Hamilton looked to add to their totals in the same inning, once again loading the bases, but was unsuccessful. The Panthers would get two runs back in the bottom of the seventh off of Baker’s second homerun of the game and one more in the ninth when Winter scored on a wild pitch.
Matt Betts started the game for the Thunderbirds, earning the win in eight and a third innings of work. Betts allowed eight runs on ten hits and struck out four Panthers. Mike Fortuna would get the save pitching two-thirds of an inning, walking one batter and striking out another.
Mike McGillivray took to the mound for Kitchener going six innings allowing eight runs, only three were earned, on nine hits, two walks and striking out three. David Canavan relieved McGillivray to start the seventh and only went two-thirds of an inning allowing three earned runs on two hits while walking three batters. Andrew Vant Wout finished the game for the Panthers going two and a third innings allowing four hits.
The Thunderbirds will close out the regular season at home on Sunday when they host the Burlington Twins starting at 2pm on Canadian Diabetes Association Day. Fans attending the game are encouraged to bring any clothing and/or household items to help support the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Clothesline Program.
Winning Pitcher: Matt Betts (1-3)
Losing Pitcher: Mike McGillivray (5-3)
Save: Mike Fortuna (2)
Luke Baker – 3 for 4 (Single, Solo Homerun, 2-Run Homerun, BB, 2 Runs, 4 RBIs)
Jeff Pietraszko – 2 for 4 (Double, 2-Run Homerun, Run, 2 RBIs)
Mike Winter – 2 for 4 (Double, Homerun, K, 2 Runs, RBI)
James Anderson – 3 for 5 (2 Singles, 3-Run Homerun, K, Run, 4 RBIs)
Chris Piano – 3 for 5 (Single, Double, Solo Homerun, BB, Run, RBI)
Warren Bradley – 3 for 5 (3 Singles, Fielder’s Choice, 3 Runs, RBI)
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