Burns Drives In Six, Baycats Beat Jackfish in Welland
WELLAND - The Barrie Baycats defeated the Welland Jackfish 10-3 on Friday evening to improve to 13-16 on the season. With the loss, the Jackfish fall to 14-14.
The Barrie Baycats' bats came to play in Welland tonight.
Kicking things off in the top of the first inning, Mike Cecchetto roped a double into left field. It brought Avery Tuck in to score the team's first run. The Jackfish would tie the game in the bottom half of the second inning, but the Barrie offence was too much to handle for the Welland squad tonight.
Carson Burns, who was rewarded Baycats Player of the Game,= for his 3-5, 6 RBI performance, would get his night rolling when he lined a ball into right-centre field for a two-run triple in the top of the fourth inning.
“Tonight was just me seeing pitches really well,” Burns explained postgame. “I simplified my approach and just wanted to make hard contact. Games like that are what I have expected from myself all season, and I’m happy the pieces are finally coming together just in time for the playoffs.”
"Massive," manager Josh Matlow said. "Carson has been fantastic for us defensively, It’s great to see his bat get hot. A huge game for him tonight is exactly what the doctor ordered right before the playoffs."
The Jackfish would cut the Baycats lead down to one run in the bottom of the sixth, but a strong eighth inning would prove to be all that the Baycats would need to cruise to victory.
A wild pitch saw Avery Tuck score, kickstarting a huge inning for the Baycats. Following that, Jake MacDonald (pinch-running for Cecchetto) would come home to score on an error by Welland catcher Andrew Mercier. After that, a two-run single from Burns blew the inning open for the Baycats. The inning's fifth run would cross on a pitch that hit Royce Ando. After the eighth inning, the Baycats led 7-2.
In the top of the ninth inning, Burns stepped into the batter's box once again. Like all night with runners in scoring position, he was ready to hit. He looped a ball into left field, two more runners crossed home plate, and the Baycats led 10-3. Burns finished the game going 3-5 with 6 runs batted in. The Jackfish would respond in the bottom of the ninth with a Griffin Keller home run, but it wouldn't be near enough - Barrie took this one, 10-3.
ON THE MOUND
On the bump for the Baycats tonight was Andrew Grieder, who would go a strong five innings tonight; he allowed only one run on four hits, striking out four. “It was a quick rebound,” said Grieder after the game. "I was able to get ahead of the hitters tonight and let them put the ball in play. The boys did the rest.”
"Throwing strikes, getting ahead, and giving him a lead! Grieder is our co-ace," said Matlow. "We plan to ride him in the playoffs. Loved what he has done the last couple outings and we expect things to build on that."
Evan Soules was strong in his 1 1/3 innings tonight, he would see one unearned run cross the plate. He struck out one, and allowed one hit.
Brandon Hillier (1 1/3 innings) and Brad Grieveson (one inning) also pitched for the victorious Baycats on the evening.
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM THE GAME
Baycats Player of the Game Carson Burns on tonight:
“All year we have been playing from behind, so tonight was nice to get ahead early and stay ahead all game. I think tonight was the best overall team game we’ve had all season. Whether it be guys moving runners or getting the big hits when we need them.
I expect nothing less than how we played today. We got great pitching from Grieder, Soules, Hillier and Grieveson and we got the big hits when we needed them. I think if we are going to be successful tomorrow and into the postseason, we need to continue the exact way we played tonight.”
Starting Pitcher Andrew Greider on the postseason:
"Will be a blast. Expect the boys to come out and give it the best they have. Had our sights on playoffs since I arrived in Barrie and the time has come. There’s nothing better than playoff baseball!"
Manager Josh Matlow on tonight:
"Take away the score for a second. This was hands down our most fundamentally sound baseball game. We did a lot right, and it shows how dangerous we can be when clicking all around."
Matlow on tomorrow's game against Kitchener:
“We need the win to keep the momentum going into the playoffs. We have Juan on the mound and expect us to give us to give Kitchener everything we got.”
The Barrie Baycats return home Saturday night to face the Kitchener Panthers at Coates Stadium. In the regular season finale, Juan Benitez will be on the hill.
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Photo: Bob Hurley/Bob Hurley Photography