by Sam Aucoin

KITCHENER – The weekend road trip ends today and the final stop is Kitchener as the Barrie Baycats visit the first-place Panthers (tied with Toronto and Welland). It is the first of 6 games these 2 teams will face off this season and it is the first battle of the Cats of 2023. All jokes aside, this will be a big test for Barrie facing the second-best offense in the league in terms of runs scored. 

Lineup And Starting Pitcher

After his leadoff double in yesterday’s 9th inning, Josh Cote will be behind the plate today. Ryan Rijo is also back in at his usual DH spot as Owen Jansen moves to second base. The top of the order is almost back to normal with Noel McGarry-Doyle, Canice Ejoh, and Ryan Rjio in their normal spots. Adam Odd has done a fantastic job in the 3-hole and he will play first base today.

Victor Plaz has earned himself another start after going 2/4 in Saturday’s win. Carson Burns gets the start at his primary position of Shortstop and Marcel Lacasse moves to right field. This is definitely a lineup that can make some noise today. 4 out of the top 5 hitters combined for 7 hits and 7 RBIs a day ago. 

Right-hander Emilis Guerrero will make his third start of the season today. Guerrero is 0-1 this season giving up 5 earned runs. The key today will be good defense. Emilis has surrendered 4 unearned runs this season. So if Barrie can clean it up behind their starter, they should have a great game on the run-prevention side. 

Here is the full starting lineup

Players To Look Out For

Adam Odd: With all the hype surrounding the epic go-ahead home run yesterday from Noel McGarry-Doyle, Adam Odd quietly had another amazing game. Over his past 4 games, Odd is hitting .400 with a home run, 9 RBIs, 6 runs scored, and a pair of walks. All while playing great defense at multiple infield positions.

Noel McGarry-Doyle: Probably the Baycats' biggest hit so far this season came off the bat of McGarry-Doyle yesterday in Guelph. His hitting ability got the spotlight in yesterday's preview and he responded by going 2/5 with 3 runs scored to go along with the clutch long ball. He also has looked good on defense using his speed to track down fly balls. 

Ryan Rijo: While the offense did well yesterday, they were still missing someone. That someone was Ryan Rijo who normally hits in the cleanup or 3 spot. Still waiting for his first round-tripper of the year, Rijo hasn’t had any trouble getting on base. 10 hits in 27 at-bats with 4 RBIs and a run scored for Ryan in 6 games. 

Game And Broadcast Info

A 2 pm start today at Jack Couch Park for the Baycats. You can watch the game on the Kitchener Panthers YouTube Channel. If you are in Kitchener you can listen to the game on 98.5 CKWR. Tickets to this game can be bought here. Enjoy the game!