DeGrace Hits Grand Slam in Comeback Win over Brantford to Take 3-0 Series Lead

by Ryan Eakin

BRANTFORD - The 2019 regular-season was not kind to Barrie Baycats catcher Kyle DeGrace.

In a mid-June home game against the Welland Jackfish, he suffered a lower-body injury in the bottom of the first inning while attempting to score from second base on what would have been an error by the right fielder. 

He left the game but returned to the lineup shortly thereafter.

But it was clear he wasn't 100 percent.

So the Baycats shut him down for a few weeks in July with the hope he would be healthy enough to play when it matters the absolute most.

In August.

So far, so good.

Down 6-2 heading into the top of the sixth inning -- a stunner giving tonight's pitching matchup between Baycats ace Adrian Salcedo and Red Sox position player Jesse Fishbaum -- the Baycats rallied to cut the Red Sox lead to 6-5, led by Baycats left fielder Jordan Castaldo, who batted in in three of their first five Baycats runs. 

Still in the inning -- with the bases loaded and two out -- DeGrace did what he has done ever since he joined the Baycats in 2012.

He came through when it mattered the absolute most.

He hit a grand slam off of Red Sox reliever Michael Bannon, and the Baycats never looked back from there.

They would add on one more run in the top of the ninth inning before Baycats closer Adam Hawes shut the door in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 10-6 Baycats victory.

With the win, they take a 3-0 series lead over the Red Sox and can wrap up their first-round series Tuesday evening in Brantford.

Please note that game five (if needed) will now take place Wednesday evening in Midhurst instead of Thursday evening.

The rest of our home schedule for the first-round remains intact.

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Brian Backland/Brian Backland Photography