Cardinals Rally Late in Comeback Win Over Baycats

by Ryan Eakin

HAMILTON - Starting with a loss.

The Hamilton Cardinals defeated the Barrie Baycats 3-2 on Friday evening to begin their 2021 Intercounty Baseball League regular season 1-0.

With the loss, the Baycats begin their season 0-1.

Hamilton reliever Ben Braun recorded the win, tossing one inning in relief while allowing zero earned runs on zero hits and zero bases on balls while striking out a pair of batters.

He relieved southpaw starter Chris Lazar, who went seven brilliant innings while allowing one earned run on nine hits and eight strikeouts.

Cardinals superstar centre fielder Justin Gideon led the way at the plate, going two-for-three with one base on balls.

Legendary Cardinals closer Stefan Strecker recorded the save in the ninth inning.

Barrie reliever Lucas Earle suffered the loss in his IBL debut, tossing one-and two-thirds innings while allowing one earned run on two hits and one base on balls.

Baycats starter Juan Benitez, however, was brilliant in his five innings of work, striking out seven batters while allowing two hits and no base on balls in his IBL debut.

BARRIE: 2-9-2



With two out in the eighth inning, Cardinals second basemen Brandon Nieva hit a base hit to right field to score Cardinals designated hitter Matt Lonetto for what would end up being the winning run of the ball game.


2. Just two players in the Baycats' lineup tonight played for the team in 2019, with Baycats first basemen Ryan Rijo and shortstop Carson Burns being the only two returnees. 

2: Baycats third basemen turned spot catcher Marcel Lacasse had a nice debut, recording a couple of hits while throwing out Gideon trying to steal second base in the bottom of the first inning.

5: A rough debut for Chris Cox in a Baycats uniform. Coming in relief for Benitez, Cox walked five batters in one-and-a-third innings tonight.

5: The Baycats had five left-handed bats in their starting lineup tonight against Cardinals southpaw Chris Lazar and ended up with six in their lineup when Baycats manager Josh Matlow pulled designated hitter Michael Cecchetto from the ball-game in the top of the sixth inning for pinch-runner Kenny Di Clemente. 

5: Between Jake Wilson, Royce Ando, Anthony Quirion, Branfy Infante, and Jeff Cowan, the Baycats were without five regulars in their lineup tonight.


- A tough night for the Baycats pitching staff.

Benitez left the game after five strong innings due to minor back tightness, while Cox left the game with arm numbness. 

Whether it is for an extended period of time or a short amount of time, the Baycats simply do not have the starting pitching depth to afford these types of injuries. 

- Wilson will make his debut Sunday evening against the London Majors.


The Baycats travel to London on Sunday to do battle with the Majors.

You can listen to the game live by clicking here.

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Photo: Brian Backland/Brian Backland Photography