Baycats Take Early Series Lead Over Jackfish in Postseason Opener
WELLAND - On Thursday night at Welland Stadium, the Barrie Baycats defeated the Welland Jackfish 5-3 in game one of their quarterfinal playoff series.
"I'm pretty excited, actually," said Josh Matlow following his first playoff victory as an IBL manager. "The guys rallied and it was a well played baseball game."
Royce Ando drove in three runs on three singles (each to different sides of the field), while Avery Tuck delivered the final blow for Barrie; a two-run home run to right center field in the top of the 7th inning. The blast capped off a three run inning where the Baycats took the lead. They never looked back.
"I've never done something like that," said Tuck following the game. "An amazing moment for sure, especially coming to a team [where] I'm the new guy, and to help these boys win a game in the playoffs, that was awesome. In the at-bat, I was just looking to put the ball in play."
"We were all jumping," added Matlow, commenting on the Tuck home run. "Right guy in the right spot, and it's just Avery being Avery, and it's what we brought him here for. Obviously he likes to play on a big stage, and he proved that he's capable of doing just that."
Baycats starter Andrew Grieder would go a strong six innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He struck out five. Brandon Hillier, Chris Cox and Brad Grieveson each pitched an inning of relief, combining for two hits allowed. Each finished their outings with a strikeout.
"I don't know where we would be without Brad," added Matlow. "Like I said earlier in the season, we're going to go to him when in need...Hillier pitched well, Cox pitched well and he closed it off, it was literally the perfect combination that we had set for a while."
Matlow continued to praise the bullpen. "To have a setup man and a closer for this game tonight was picture perfect"
Other notable Baycats players in the game included Jake Wilson who was two-for-five on the night with a stolen base. Catcher Tyler Plumpton finished the day two-for-four, and designated hitter Mike Cecchetto went one-for-two.
The Baycats will now return back to Coates Stadium on Saturday afternoon for a 4:05 first pitch when they look to close out the series versus the Jackfish. Barrie leads 1-0 in the best-of-three.
For further 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