TORONTO – Toronto Maple Leafs scored in six of the eight innings they batted in on their way to a 14-6 win over the Hamilton Thunderbirds.
Chris Piano got Hamilton on the board first with a two out homerun in the top of the first. However, Toronto got that back run back in the bottom half of the inning as Dan Marra, who singled at his at bat, scored on Damon Topolie’s two out single.
In the second inning the Thunderbirds started off with back to back singles by Adam Durfee and Johnathan Solazzo. Solazzo’s single put him on base for a league high eighth consecutive road game. Hamilton then loaded up the bases on Taylor Vanderlip’s one out single. Graeme Carey then stepped to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Durfee. Hamilton’s newest addition Zack Elbirt added to Hamilton’s lead when he doubled in Solazzo and Vanderlip to give the Thunderbirds a 4-1 lead.
But Toronto again responded in their half of the inning as Jordan Castaldo scored on Brian Ivan’s double. Ivan would later score on a wild pitch to cut Hamilton’s lead to one.
In the fourth, Dan Gibbons led off the inning with a double and moved to third on Jeremy Walker’s groundout to second base. Kern Watts would then draw a two out walk and stole second base. Castaldo cashed both runners in with a single to give the Maple Leafs their first lead of the game. Toronto would add to their lead in the fifth inning as Gibbons scored for the second time of the game, this time on Castaldo’s sacrifice fly to left field.
The Maple Leafs added three runs in the sixth and five more as they sent ten batters to the plate in the seventh.
Hamilton would get two runs back in the eighth. Steven Hubbs came in and hit for Dan Jagdeo and was hit by the first pitch of the inning. Solazzo then drew a one out walk. Hubbs then scored when Mike Gottschalk reached base on error by Jarrod Ivan at second base. Solazzo would then score on Graeme Carey’s RBI, two out single.
David Hucsko started for the Thunderbirds going two and two-thirds innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits, while walking two batters and striking out one for the loss. Bronson Lake relieved Hucsko going one and a third innings allowing one earned run, one hit and striking out two. Colin Buckborough came in next also pitching an inning and a third allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits, walking two and fanning one. Justin Volpato took to the mound next for Hamilton pitching two-thirds of an inning allowing four earned runs on one hit and three walks. Matt Betts pitched the seventh inning allowing one earned run on two hits, walking one and striking out one. Mike Fortuna finished the game for the Thunderbirds striking out one of three batters he faced.
For Toronto, Brett Lawson earned the win going seven innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits, walking two batters and striking out ten. Roberto Suppa pitched the eighth inning for the Maple Leafs, allowing two unearned runs on one hit, walking one and striking out two. Samuel Jew closed out the game allowing one hit and striking out two in the ninth inning.
The Thunderbirds next game will be Friday June 17th as they host the London Majors at Bernie Arbour Stadium starting at 7:30pm.
Winning Pitcher: Brett Lawson (1-2)
Losing Pitcher: David Hucsko (1-1)
Jordan Castaldo – 2 for 3 (2 Singles, Sac Fly, BB, K, 3 RBIs, 2 Runs )
Dan Gibbons – 2 for 3 (Single, Double, Fielder’s Choice, Sac Fly, BB, RBI, 3 Runs)
Damon Topolie – 3 for 5 (3 Singles, K, 4 RBIs)
Taylor Vanderlip – 1 for 2 (Single, BB, K, Run)
Zack Elbirt – 2 for 5 (Single, Double, K, 2 RBIs)
Chris Piano – 2 for 5 (Double, Homerun, Run, RBI)
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.