by Sam Aucoin

BARRIE — Tense till the very end as the Barrie Baycats beat the Hamilton Cardinals to take game one of the IBL playoffs. No matter the situation, the crowd at Vintage Throne Stadium kept cheering on their team and it paid off as Barrie was able to sneak away with a 9-8 victory.

The offense stepped up in a big way tonight and Adam Odd led the charge once again. This past week’s IBL Batter of the Week went four for five with a pair of RBI and four runs scored. Odd continues to swing a hot bat, carrying over his regular-season success into the playoffs.

"Just sitting on the right pitches at the right time," said Odd. Adam mentioned that while the game got close at the end, they just wanted to "make things interesting." The difference in the game was a clutch two-run double from Royce Ando in the bottom of the eighth, which capped off the offensive attack.

"Our offense was in every inning—that's all you can ask for as a manager," said Baycats Manager and GM Josh Matlow. " "They’re playing for each other and it showed."

While giving up nine runs in the game, Barrie’s pitching worked around some unfortunate results behind them and got big outs for their team. It started with Frank Garcés, who tossed six innings to earn the win, the fourth in his IBL playoff career.

"As long (into the game) as he’s willing to go," Matlow said, talking about Garcés. This team has full confidence in their ace, one who just battled for his ball club. Brad Grieveson picked up the save, which was an important one, to say the least. A groundout to shortstop had everyone up on their feet cheering as the final out was made.

With the win, the Baycats have taken a 1-0 series lead over the Cardinals in this best-of-five first-round series. Game two is Friday in Hamilton at 7:35 p.m. from Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium. You can get tickets here or watch it on Cable 14.