by Sam Aucoin

BARRIE – The countdown to May 16th begins. 

We are well into February now which means we are getting closer and closer to the 2024 Barrie Baycats season. The team announced their 42-game regular season schedule last month and have made a few more intriguing signings to bolster their roster. 

With teams hinting at a schedule release early in the new year, the Intercounty Baseball League delivered and announced the full schedule for the 2024 season. Now with nine teams set to play 42 games, some small changes have been made not just to the regular season, but to the playoffs as well.


For the last two seasons after the league expanded its calendar to 42 games in 2022, teams would play each other six times a year with three home games and three road games. An uneven number of teams changes that in 2024.

Gone are the even number of matchups against every opponent. The Barrie Baycats will now play only two teams six times out of the eight they are set to play. Their six matchup opponents are the Toronto Maple Leafs and Brantford Red Sox seeing Barrie travel to Christie Pits (TOR) and Arnold Anderson Stadium (BFD) three times each with six games split between the two opponents at Vintage Throne Stadium.

This leaves six teams that the Baycats will play five games each against. Those teams include the Welland Jackfish, Hamilton Cardinals, Kitchener Panthers, Chatham-Kent Barnstormers, and Guelph Royals. All six of these teams will visit Barrie in 2024, however only three of them will make three trips while the others will make two. 

The three teams – out of the six listed in the last paragraph – that will visit Barrie three times are the Hamilton Cardinals (May 30th, June 22nd, Aug 17th), Chatham-Kent Barnstormers (June 1st, July 6th, Aug 15th), and Kitchener Panthers (June 20th, July 11th, July 27th). You can get your 2024 tickets HERE.

road game highlights

With that, the Baycats will visit Welland, Guelph, and London three times. With winning records in all three of those cities during the 2023 season, Barrie visits Welland first on May 18th as the first IBL finals rematch will take place at Welland Stadium. Out of the three trips to London, the Baycats will be there on Canada Day for a 6:05 p.m. start against the Majors at Labatt Park. The team will also play an unusual Sunday night game in Guelph on July 7th.

small change to the playoffs

At the end of the regular season, the top eight teams will qualify for the Dominico Cup Playoffs. It is the same playoff format as in the past, but whoever finishes in that last place spot will not have a chance at a Championship. Here is an example and note that this is not a prediction, it is just based on last season's standings – adding Chatham-Kent – to show how it works.

Let's say the Baycats finish first, Jackfish second, Kitchener third, Hamilton fourth, Toronto fifth, Chatham-Kent sixth, London seventh, Guelph eighth, and Brantford ninth, the Red Sox would miss out. If Guelph and Brantford swapped before the end of the season, the Royals would then be in the ninth spot and not make it.

It is going to make an interesting end to the season for whoever is in those seventh, eighth, and ninth spots. 


The fire-throwing tandem of Cesar Rsoado and Carlos Sano in the Baycats rotation is going to be fun for fans to see. Both can reach the mid-90s in velocity and will be a hard task for any opposing hitter. Both natives of the Dominican Republic, Rosado and Sano have each seen action at the pro level before.

Sano, a hard-throwing right-handed starting pitcher, joins the Baycats ahead of his age-30 season. The Dominican-born and former San Francisco Giants prospect is currently playing in the Nicaraguan Professional Baseball League with the Gigantes de Rivas. 

Sano spent parts of two seasons in the Giants system reaching as high as Triple-A. His style and professional experience caught the eye of Baycats general manager Josh Matlow early this off-season. 

“We are excited for Carlos Sano to join our rotation. We love his style of pitching and his extensive professional experience,” said Matlow. “We feel he will keep us in every game he pitches. Adding to our deep starting rotation, we feel he is going to be an important piece to bring home a championship!”

Rosado on the other hand spent parts of six seasons with the Houston Astros organization. In 2021 he pitched for Houston's Double-A affiliate, striking out 67 batters in 53.2 innings. The 27-year-old will complement Sano and others in an improving Baycats rotation.


The signings keep coming as Barrie landed another power bat, this time a former Canadian junior national team member Noah Hull. The Scarborough, Ontario native and senior at Mary University is a player whom Manager Josh Matlow compared to Liam Wilson of the Kitchener Panthers mainly because of his power bat.

Wilson, an established IBL player himself, is a pretty good guy to be compared to and Matlow definitely had high praise for Hull when speaking about the signing.

“We are excited to add Noah to our already deep roster and young core,” said Matlow. Noah hit 13 home runs last season in his junior year, one off of tying a school record. He also drove in 38 runs and had 25 extra-base hits.

“His power is a huge bonus and the fans will be excited to watch him play! Being in his last year of school we are excited to have him for hopefully many years to come!”


More foundational pieces return for the 2024 season as well as another new face. Infielders Carson Burns and Branfy Infante were announced along with catcher Tyler Plumpton. Plumpton, who saw limited action last season due to the emergence of Josh Cote, suffered a broken fibula on July 30 and was sidelined for the rest of the season. 

Since the injury, the Baycats catcher has recovered and according to Baycats Manager and President Josh Matlow, is back playing hockey for the winter. The Peterborough, Ontario native is in his second stint with Barrie spending time with the team in 2014 and parts of 2015. Tyler is in his fifth season altogether as a Baycat. 

Burns and Infante, two very versatile players, will also return. Infante, the longest-serving Baycat on the active roster, enters his 10th season with the team. Branfy can play both infield and outfield while Burns saw time at shortstop, his primary position, third base, the position he was at when the Baycats turned a triple play, and catcher, where he saw a handful of opportunities during the playoffs.

Carson and Branfy help not only the depth of this team but they are both very solid starting options for Manager Josh Matlow who has continued to value versatility. 

The Baycats also welcome outfielder and catcher Zac Orchard who is no stranger to the IBL. Orchard played three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2017 to 2019 batting .317 with 54 runs driven in. Zac will be another versatile option for the team.

Follow the Baycats on Instagram, Facebook, and X (Twitter).

Check out the Baycats top 10 moments from the 2023 season all put together into one show featuring Baycats TV broadcasters Ben Davy and Julius Hern. The show was produced by Brian Backland with help from Rogers TV in Barrie. Watch HERE!