by Sam Aucoin

BARRIE – Was Thursday a fluke?

The Barrie Baycats have won their fifth game of the season, beating the Chatham-Kent Barnstormers 8-5 in front of a great crowd at Vintage Throne Stadium. Barrie got some welcomed production from the bottom of their order, with Brad McQuinn going three for four and Nolan Machibroda driving in two.

“[I] felt good at the plate,” said McQuinn, who picked up his first three hits of the season along with an RBI. It was a lot of timing and mechanical adjustments for Brad, but he said that he thinks he’s found something in his approach in order to be more productive.

His teammates Ryan Rijo and Adam Odd got the Baycats on the board in the bottom of the first inning. With Canice Ejoh on third base, Odd hit a sacrifice fly to drive him in. Later in the inning, it was Rijo who smacked an RBI single, scoring Kyle Maves to make it 2-0.

Barrie would score two more in the third, and their first tally in the inning was a double steal. Noah Hull would steal second, and as he took off, Ricky Phillips, who was on third base, broke for home, and because of a low throw to second, both Hull and Phillips would be safe. McQuinn would follow that up with his second hit of the game, driving in Hull.

After not having a defensively sound game on Thursday, Hull is keeping his head up. The Toronto native has been great with the bat so far, recording two more hits in the game. Noah’s play in the sixth inning – reaching over the fence to record the third out – had everyone on their feet cheering.

“I was able to make a play for [Christian] Lazar (who was on the mound at the time),” Hull said. “It was good just to go make a play for the guys.”

Before Lazar came in, it was Juan Benítez who started for the Baycats. Benítez was very effective in his first four innings of the game but ran into a bit of trouble in the fifth, as Chatham would tie the game at four. Even with that, he still had plenty of trust from his manager to get his team through the fifth.

“You gotta trust your horse,” said Baycats manager Josh Matlow. “He was pretty much lights out up until that point (fifth inning).”

Lazar would then come in to work the sixth and seventh, allowing an earned run but limiting the damage. 

Benítez picked up the win (1), with Carlos Sano coming on for a two-inning save (1). Sano worked the eighth and ninth innings, striking out one and did not allow a hit. Sam McKinlay was charged with the loss (1).

Baycats win 8-5. They are 5-2 on the season.

Photo: Bob Hurley