Leafs 9th inning comeback stuns Majors

Baseball can be a cruel mistress sometimes and she loves to break people’s hearts.

Sunday night at Labatt Park in London, She ripped the heart out of the London Majors and left it torn in a crumpled mess.

The Majors were two outs away from advancing to the Intercounty Baseball League final leading 5-4 until  the Toronto  Maple Leafs pulled off another one of their trademark late inning comebacks to end the Majors season taking the seventh and deciding game of the semi-finals 10-6.

The Majors built up an early 5-1 lead in the contest in front of a pack house of their fans and had chased Leafs starter Brett van Pelt from the ball game early.  But couldn’t get any insurance runs off Justin Cicatello as he was in top form and held the Majors at bay as the Leafs began showing signs of life.

The Leafs made it 5-4 in the 8th but Ellis Jimenez worked his magic and got out of the jam in the inning to move the Majors to within three outs of advancing to the next round.

The packed house could feel the excitement building at the Leafs came to bat in the 9th inning.   Dan Marra lead of the top of the 9th with a single  off Jimenez who uncorked a wild pitch which allowed Marra to move up 90 feet but  then got Brendan Keys to pop-out to third for the first out of the inning and things where well in hand.

Or so the Labatt faithful thought.

Connor Lewis blasted a laser off Jimenez for a double into right field to tie the game 5-5 and that spelled the end for Jimenez’ night at 135 pitches and the go ahead run standing at second base.

In came Cory Hammond who to this point this season had ice water running through his veins when it came to big games and even bigger situations.

Grant Tamane un-phased by this,  took Hammond’s second offering deep off the light standard in left and the crowd in London went silently into shock as Tamane rounded the bases and was mobbed at home plate by his euphoric teammates and the handful of Leafs supporters cheering loudly in the stands.

“We waited a whole long year for a second chance at this” said Tamane who’s Maple Leafs lost a seventh game heart-breaker of their own in last year’s semi-finals to the Barrie Baycats.

The Leafs weren’t done either as they scored six in the fateful top of the ninth inning to make it 10-5  and pretty much left the Majors and the crowd a state of shock.

 This instantly brought back nightmares to this blogger of  the front  row seat I had from the third base dugout in Stratford’s infamous 9th inning comeback in game 7 of the 1994 finals.  

Down by a lot and yet they found a way to turn the tides and won the championship stunning the Guelph Royals in their own park.  To cap off the nightmare there’s to this day nothing more demeaning than watching a grown man urinate all over home plate in celebration. 

The Majors to their credit regrouped the best they could and scored an unearned run in the bottom of the frame thanks to a pair of errors by the Leafs and could have had more if not for a heroic catch by Lewis in center-field to end the ball game and the Majors season.

The Majors who rattled off 14 wins in a row to finish at top of the IBL standings were left on the outside looking in as the Leafs congratulated each other before lining up to shake hands as is custom in after a long playoff series.

The shock apparently still hasn’t left the Majors social media as not a tweet had been sent or liked since the 8th inning of the ballgame.

The end of the season also marks the end of one of the classiest guys in the league’s careers and with that I pause the story to wish Cleveland Brownlee my congratulations and thanks for always having a smile or laughing on and off the field no matter what.   You’ll be missed you Gentle Giant.

The battle tested Maple Leafs have now played 14 games in the playoffs and will face the well rested two time defending champions the Barrie Baycats.  With so many Baycats calling Toronto home its certain to feel like a homecoming to them.

The Schedule is yet to be released but will be posted soon as its made public.





Red Sox club the Royals 7-3


A.J. Mackey delivers a pitch in Tuesday night’s 7-3 loss to the Brantford Red Sox at Hastings Stadium

GUELPH –  The Guelph Royals were once again the instrument of their own destruction Tuesday night at Hastings Stadium, done in yet again by one bad inning as they fell 7-3 to the Brantford Red Sox.

The Red Sox put up a four spot the first inning off Royals starter A.J.  Mackey and never looked back.

Tyler Patzalek opened the scoring by driving home Ben Bostick  followed by a two RBI double by Dan Jagdeo  who later scored on a single by  Brandon Dailey.

Patzalek, Jagdeo, Nic Burdett and Denon Koziol each had a double  while Jagdeo and Dailey both drove in a pair of runs to lead the Red Sox.

The Royals clawed their way back to within a single run by scoring single runs in the bottom of the 1st, 3rd and 5th innings.  But that would be as close as the Royals would come as the Red Sox put the game out of reach scoring two runs in the top of the sixth inning.   They added an extra insurance run in the top of the ninth to close out the scoring.

Pat Coughlin had the lone extra base hit for the Royals while Keegan Marsden and Matt Schmidt each had a RBI.

Mackey (2-5) took the loss allowing  six runs (all earned)   on nine hits  in 5 1/3 innings pitched. He surrendered three walks and had a strikeout

Matt Betts started for the Red Sox but did not qualify for the decision as he pitched four innings allowing two runs (one earned)  on three hits  he had one strike out.

Tanner Guidon (3-1) pitched five innings in relief for the victory holding the Royals to just one run (earned) on five hits the rest of the way.  He had three strikeouts and allowed a walk.

The Red Sox won their fourth in a row to improve to 16-10 on the season while the Royals fell to 5-18 on the year.


OUTSIDE THE LINES:   Jeff Hunt had his own cheering section in attendance for the better half of the ball game.  One the Guelph Minor Baseball teams Jeff works with in the off-season at Peak Performance Athletics in town  were all in attendance and jokingly jeered Jeff on with every at bat.

The lack of rain has turned both the clay infield at Hastings Stadium and the outfield almost into a cement like playing surface and caused several defensive miscue and untimely hops last night on both sides of the field.




Bandits hold up the Royals 6-4

Round Tripper – Aaron Loder of the Guelph Royals rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run in the top of the 7th inning to give the Royals a 2-0 lead over Burlington. – Photo By R.J. Rose 


BURLINGTON – They might be playing the theme song from the Jefferson’s television show in the Burlington Bandits locker room at Nelson Stadium after the Bandits downed the Guelph Royals 6-4 Thursday night to move on up and out of the cellar in the Intercounty Baseball League.

The Royals broke open the scoreless tie in the top of the 7th inning on a two run homer by Aaron Loder.

The Bandits plated six runs in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead at 6-2 capped off by a two run homer by Jim Martin.   Canice Ejoh drove into two runs for the Bandits with a single in the frame.

Pat Coughlin added his third home run of the season, a two run shot to close the gap to 6-4 in the top of the ninth but that was as close as the Royals  would get.

Alberto Rodriguez took the loss for the Royals he pitched seven and a third of an inning allowing five runs (four earned)  on four hits, he surrendered a walk and finished with 10 strikeouts.    Ben Reid gave up the two run home run to Martin in relief.

Ryan Beckett pitched a complete game for the Bandits allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits. He issued one walk and had five strikeouts.

Burlington moved to 5-13 on the year while Guelph dropped their eighth in a row  and now sits at 4-15 on the year a game and a half behind the Bandits for seventh in the IBL.


Baycats crush the Maple Leafs 10-2

BARRIE – A six run bottom of the third inning was all the Barrie Baycats needed as they cruised to 10-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday in at Coates Stadium.

Ryan Spataro went 3 for 4 with  a triple and drove home two RBIs to lead the Baycats at the plate while former Maple Leaf Kyle Degrace continued to have success against his former mates belting a three run homer in the bottom of the 8th to  close out the scoring.
Dan Marra had three hits and drove in one run to pace the Leafs while, Sean Mattson, Jon Waltenbury and Connor Lewis each had a pair of hits.
Brett van Pelt (1-3) was tagged with the loss for Leafs he allowed  six runs (five earned) on 11 hits, a pair of walks and had a strikeout in just four innings of work.
Brett Lawson (4-1) notched his third victory of the season against the Leafs tossing five and a third of an inning allowing two runs (both earned) on six hits, he walked four and struckout three.
The Baycats improved to 13-7 on the season while the Leafs slid to 8-9 and travel to Hamilton Friday night to face the Cardinals at 7:30 p.m. in game one of a weekend home and home series

Jimenez dominates in Majors win

Source IBL Media Relations
LONDON – Elis Jimenez threw a complete-game seven-hitter to lead the London Majors to a 3-1 win over the Hamilton Cardinals Tuesday night.

Jimenez walked one and struck out four to improve to 4-0.

The Majors (15-4) increased their win streak to seven and maintained a half game lead over Kitchener for first place.

Keith Kandel had two hits and two RBI for London. Michael Ambrose, Sean Refflinghaus and Carlos Arteaga all had two singles in the win. Tristan Buntrock added an RBI single.

For Hamilton, Tyler Hardie had two hits and an RBI. Lake Molleson singled twice.

Robert Wilson (1-2) went all eight innings and allowed three runs on 10 hits, walking four and striking out five. The sixth-place Cardinals fell to 6-14.

Panthers’ Slugger Sean Reilly Ties IBL All Time Home Run Mark

Racing to Congratulate Dad – Aiden Reilly dashes to home plate to greet his Dad Sean who just tied the Intercounty Baseball League’s Career Home Run record – Thanks to Lauren Reilly for the photo

Kitchener Panthers’ slugger Sean Reilly  wasn’t  expecting to see any pitches in the strike zone from his former team the  Guelph Royals Tuesday night at Hastings Stadium.

“No chance they will.”  said the Panthers’  slugger Sean Reilly when asked about the  prospects of seeing something to hit earlier in the day.

Reilly blasted the first pitch he saw  from  A.J. Mackey  in the top of the 1st inning over the left fence in his hometown and where his career really took off to put the Panthers out in front 1-0.

The first one that raced out to greet him was none other than his four year old son Aiden who dashed from his seat with his Mom Lauren  to celebrate his Dad tying the Intercounty Baseball League’s all-time home run record with 154 round trippers the record he now shares with another Panther Randy Curran.

Reilly and the Panther shutout the Royals 14-0. He finished 3 for 5 with the home run, a pair of singles , a sac fly and five RBIs.    The Sac Fly was the closest he got to breaking the record on the night.

“It will come just have to wait for my pitch . Whether it’s tomorrow or when ever.”

Mike Glinka also was three for 3 for 5 needing a home run for the cycle. He finished with three RBIs

Justin Interisano (6th of the season) , David Whiteside (4th) and Cuban catcher Frank Camilo Morejon (First in the IBL) all homered for the Panthers.

Noelvis Entenza (5-1) pitched seven shutout innings for the win holding the Royals to three hits , a pair of walks and  he had one strike out.

Mackey (2-4) took the loss for the Royals in just two innings of work allowing six runs (all earned) on eight hits he did not walk a batter or have a strikeout.

The Panthers improved to 14-4 on the season and still sit a half game behind the London Majors in the standings who defeated Hamilton 3-1 in the only other game in the league Tuesday night