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Maple Leafs let it go late in ballgame

May 13th, 2012 · 1 Comment

BARRIE BAYCATS 7, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 2

By Mike Radoslav

The top of the order for the Barrie Baycats were too much for the Toronto Maple Leaf ball club on Sunday, as Toronto was handed their second loss of the weekend at Dominico Field.

Barrie’s lead-off hitter, Robert Recuenco, opened the scoring for Barrie with a two-run home run in the  third inning, and Jeff Cowan, hitting second in the lineup, capped it off with a two-run blast of his own in the ninth inning to seal the 7–2 win.

The Baycats opened the scoring in the third, but Toronto was quick to respond. Following a triple by centre fielder Glen Jackson in the bottom of the third, he scored on a sacrifice fly. Jackson also drove in Jesse Bartle in the fifth inning to even the game up at 2 runs apiece.

“I’ve been working really hard on the basics of my stance and my swing and it’s all coming together,” Jackson said. “I’ve been putting good wood on the ball and putting the ball in play, which is I think what we need.”

“It’s still early, I think the rest of the lineup will all get going in different spurts, that’s how baseball is,” he added.

The game unravelled for Toronto side in the eighth inning. While Maple Leaf starter Marek Deska lasted seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits, four strikeouts and three walks, Toronto’s bullpen ran into difficulty closing out the game.

Toronto’s Adam Garner was charged with three runs off of four hits in his inning. The Baycats added two more runs in the ninth off of Matt Tasoni to seal the 7–2 final.

Maple Leaf manager Tim Harkness said the starting pitching has been solid so far, but there is little support from the bullpen. “Our pitching was good most of the game, of course our bullpen is extremely shallow, I’ve got a lot of concerns about that,” he said.

Harkness added that run support is starting to become an issue already in this young season. “I think our key hitters are not doing the job, outside of Glenn Jackson. We’re not getting the hits with guys in scoring position.”

“Hitting wise, I think we’re as good as anyone else in the league we’re just not getting it at the moment,” Harkness said.

For Barrie, pitcher Greg Byron allowed two runs on five hits while recording two strikeouts and no walks over his seven innings of work. Relievers Shaun Slemko and Scott Kelly closed out the game for the Baycats.

This was not as friendly a weekend as Toronto would have hoped for, as they were shutout 5–0 to four time defending league champions Brantford Red Sox on Saturday in Brantford.

Johnson remained optimistic at such an early point in the young season. “I really find in this league the first six-to-seven games is like a spring training, and once June, July, August hits that’s when the real season begins.”

“We’re just feeling each other out, we’ve got a good positive vibe and great leadership in the clubhouse,” said Johnson. “We’ve got the right guys to lead us along the way.”

Harkness said the team is playing flat, and that it may simply take a few more games for the play to come around. “We’re just gonna come out of it all of a sudden I’m sure. But until then I think we must be patient, and everybody else has gotta be patient with us.”

With the win, Barrie improves to 3–0 and sits atop the IBL standings so far this season—Toronto falls to 1–2.

The next two games will be on the road for the Maple Leaf ball club, visiting the Kitchener Panthers May 17, and the Burlington Twins May 19 before returning home for a rematch with the Brantford Red Sox on Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m. at Dominico Field.

Tags: Annex · Sports · Maple Leafs Baseball · General

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Toronto My Way // May 13, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Yeah, it was tough to watch. Starter went seven strong and then the wagon wheel got loose in the 8th.

    In all honesty, while there were a few great plays (including a tag out at 1st), there’s a general lack of play-making on defense with balls squeaking through the infield, and outfielders not tracking down balls.

    Further, our offense seems to want to live and die on long balls, but can’t figure out how to play small ball, so little pressure on the opposing pitcher.

    We should also switch the batting order. Gibbons really needs to be at the plate with guys on base, and Walker is a single-hitting machine.

    Otherwise, I saw far too many fly outs to centre and right field, nowhere near enough bloops to shallow centre, or singles through gaps…it’s either all or nothing and, at 1-3, they’re getting more nothing than all.

    There were also a few occasions perfectly set up for a steal or a bunt (like one on and no out, etc.) and we didn’t force the issue at all, no sense of urgency to try and MAKE something happen.

    Yes, we played yesterday. But, that’s the schedule, each team will have to deal with it.

    If we’re going to contend, we’ve got to figure out how to stay in games for 9 innings, and make things happen.