Baycats Finish 2021 Regular Season with Win Over Panthers
MIDHURST - The Baycats ended the regular season on a high note.
Barrie defeated the Kitchener 3-2 on Saturday evening to finish the 2021 IBL regular season with a record of 14-16. With the loss, the Panthers fall to 16-13. Kitchener will wrap things up at home versus London tomorrow
The fans at Coates Stadium left tonight with something to celebrate as the Barrie Baycats clawed out a 3-2 win over the visiting Kitchener Panthers.
It started with the veteran, Jeff Cowan, who hit an RBI groundout to score the team's first run.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Cowan would once again ground out; this would see the Baycats' second run cross the plate. The final run came in the bottom of the seventh inning - Avery Tuck hit a routine fly ball to right field that was dropped by the defender. It allowed the runner to score from third base, giving the Baycats a 3-2 lead.
Juan Benitez was given the nod for the Baycats, and he was tremendous; he went seven strong innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. He struck out seven batters.
“[Benitez'] energy has gone through the roof,” said Baycats manager Josh Matlow postgame. “Week after week he is really into it, and we're really excited to see that. He wants the ball, and he didn’t want to give it up... [it] is the first we’ve seen in a while; but everyone is firing on all cylinders and the momentum is the most important part going into the playoffs.”
Following a terrific start from Benitez, Manager Josh Matlow turned to veteran Brad Grieveson to close things out and he did just that.
In two innings pitched, Grieveson allowed zero runs on zero hits - he would be awarded the save on the night.
“It’s great, especially in front of the home crowd tonight,” said Grieveson after his save. “We kind of squandered the game the other night when we had the chance to put it away, or come back and win, but it was nice to bounce back and win. Two straight wins puts us on a bit of a role heading into [the] playoffs."
“He’s a legend” added Matlow post-game. “He did what legendary pitchers do. We weren’t going to use him, but we were obviously short in the bullpen again, and he wanted the ball and wanted to finish strong, and I thought we needed the momentum heading into the playoffs.”
Baycats Pitcher/Pitching Coach Brad Grieveson on the upcoming postseason:
“Short playoffs, anything can happen. We’re excited heading in, and we’ve got good, young, hungry guys so if we put it all together, we could be dangerous.”
Manager Josh Matlow on the playoffs:
“We [following the consecutive IBL titles] have a lot of expectations, and we understand that, but we promise everyone that we are going to give everything we've got. Like I said from day one, regardless of our record, I believe and I still believe to this day that we are the team to beat.”
For information on the 2021 Intercounty Baseball League Postseason, stay tuned to BarrieBaycats.com, as well as our social media channels. You can follow the Baycats on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for details.
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Photo: Bob Hurley/Bob Hurley Photography