by Sam Aucoin

BARRIE – From under the night sky in Midhurst, the Baycats and Panthers will square off for the fifth time this season. Hoping to take advantage of another Saturday home game, the Baycats look for the second straight win tonight. 

The only thing in their way is Kitchener's 3-1 record against them this season including a win this past Monday at Jack Couch Park. With that said, these two teams have split the two games they have played in Barrie and if you want good news, the Baycats are 1-0 in their only Saturday home game against the Panthers.

After winning 14-10 last night in London, the lineup for today hasn’t changed too much but one small move has pushed almost everyone up. Kyle Maves goes from the leadoff man down to the nine spot meaning Canice Ejoh is leading off. Carson Burns and Hayden Jaco have also flipped spots. Here is a look at it!

At least if you are facing a tough team, you can put out your best arm. That is the lefty Frank Garcés. Barrie's ace is just two strikeouts away from 50 on the season. That is in large part due to the fact that Frank has pitched at least six innings in every start this season. Garcés, pitching to a 2.43 ERA, which is his lowest since 2018, is the perfect guy to face Kitchener’s juggernaut offense.

Today’s key to the game will be to limit the long ball and keep Kitchener’s top three silent. In mentioning the top three, I don’t mean their top three hitters in the order necessarily. I am talking about Andy Leader, Liam Wilson, and Raul Gonzalez. All three of them are batting over .300 against the Baycats.

Leader, with an impressive .615 average against Barrie, hit his fifth home run of the season on Monday against the Baycats making him one hit shy of 200 career in the IBL. He also celebrated his 26th birthday that same day. 

Wilson and Gonzalez are not to be taken lightly either. Both have hit a pair of home runs against the Baycats. Wilson hit both his bombs in Barrie while Gonzalez has driven in six runs and won the IBL Player of the Month award in May. 

GAME INFORMATION: Note the start time today. It is a 7:05 pm first pitch as opposed to the normal 4:05 pm first pitch we usually see for Saturday home games. Get your tickets here. Baycats TV will have coverage of this game as well.