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Kitchener continue dominance over Maple Leafs

July 5th, 2012 · No Comments


By Michael Radoslav

It was a third inning the Maple Leaf baseball club would sooner rather forget, surrendering 11 runs to the Kitchener Panthers en route to a 16–8 loss on Wednesday night.

“It took us an inning or two to get over it,” said Toronto’s Glenn Jackson. “That was a 35- to 40-minute inning—it will get to any man.”

Toronto entered the night with two straight wins, having won seven of their last 10. However, once
again the Panthers had the Leafs number. “Every game has been a football score it seems with Kitchener,” said Jackson.

The Panthers beat Toronto 14–5 on May 17 and 11–4 on June 24, a game also played at Dominico Field. The two teams meet again tonight for a rematch in Kitchener. “They’re doing the things they need to do to get the W,” Jackson said.

Jackson himself opened the scoring in the game with a solo home run blast in the bottom of the first inning for Toronto. The Panthers however responded quickly, pouncing on Maple Leaf mistakes.

With two outs in the bottom of the second inning the Leafs recorded two straight fielding errors, allowing Kitchener’s Mike Winter the opportunity to hit a two-run double and give the Panthers a 2–1 lead.

In the third inning, everything fell apart for Toronto.

Kitchener knocked Toronto starter Drew Taylor out of the game after registering seven runs against him in the frame, including back-to-back home runs by Ben Kangas and Brian Burton.

Adam Garner came in to relieve Taylor and allowed four runs himself before escaping the inning. The Panthers scored eleven runs on twelve hits, sending 16 batters to the plate. The scoreboard read 13–1 for the visitors as the fourth inning began.

Maple Leaf owner Jack Dominico said it was a tough assignment for Taylor, who pitched only a couple innings at a time previously, to take the mound Wednesday night. “He just had a rough night tonight, they hit him all over the lot,” he said.

Dominico said manager Tim Harkness should have pulled Taylor earlier than he did. “You don’t keep a pitcher in for nine runs, that’s quite embarrassing if you ask me.”

Kitchener starter Mike McGillivray recorded the win. However, Toronto was able to record some runs off him—capitalizing on the seven walks he surrendered on the evening.

The Leafs Raul Borjas drove in Aaron Guinn with a single in the fourth inning after McGillivray recorded two walks and threw a couple wild pitches, cutting the score to 13–2.

In the top of the seventh Kitchener’s Mitch Delaney hit a two-run blast off of Garner to make it 15–2 for the Panthers. Garner was replaced by Luke Melymick to start the eighth inning.

But Toronto quickly responded in the bottom half of the seventh. Jackson hit a stand up triple to drive in Rob Gillis, and then a Dan Marra single brought home Jackson, chasing McGillivray from the game after 6 and one-third innings.

A Damon Topolie single off Kitchener relief pitcher Matt Vickers scored Jackson to cap off a three-run Toronto inning, cutting the Panthers lead to 15–5.

The late push continued in the eighth as Vickers loaded the bases with three walks, and then uncorked a wild pitch allowing Borjas to steal home.

After Vickers was replaced by Derek Sinko, singles by Guinn and pinch hitter Brandon Dhue brought the score to 15–8. The Panthers added one run in the ninth, a Iggy Villalobos single against Toronto reliever Brett Lawson bringing home Luke Baker, to round out the scoring at 16–8.

“Days like today, the boxscore shows better on the other side,” said Jackson, who added that he is still optimistic about the club’s chances heading towards the postseason. “If you take a look at the standings, from three down it’s a horse race.”

“We’re beating quality teams, but nights like tonight we just need to get over the hump, “Jackson said. “We need to win on those off nights.”

With the loss Toronto and Kitchener swap places in the standings. The Leafs fall a half-game back to 11–13 and seventh place, the Panthers rise to sixth place sporting a 11–12 record. The two teams meet again in Kitchener tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Couch Park.

The Leafs travel to Guelph for a game this weekend against the Royals, Saturday, July 7 at 7:30pm. The next Maple Leaf home game is against the Barrie Baycast on Sunday, July 8 at 2:30pm at Dominico Field at Christie Pits.

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