GAME RECAP: Baycats Win in Extra Innings Against Cardinals
MIDHURST - Through seven innings, the Barrie Baycats were in the lead 2-0 against the Hamilton Cardinals - Juan Benítez delivered a brilliant start in his first outing of 2022, and the fans were hopeful that would be the big story of the game.
It was certainly one of the big stories, but Justin Gideon had something to say about it being the big story; in the top of the eighth, Luis Jean singled and Gideon hit a huge home run off of Brandon Hillier to tie the game at two. Hillier was otherwise excellent in his inning on the mound, continuing a strong stretch of pitching to open the season for the Baycats.
The pitching for the Cardinals was strong in this game as well, with good performances from starter Sam Turcotte and relievers Gabe Braun and Drew Mainprize. Both Turcotte and Mainprize made their Cardinals debuts in this game.
Neither team scored in the ninth inning, bringing the game into extra innings - Hamilton started the inning with Tyler Giancos on second base as per the extra innings rule, and Barrie chose to walk Luis Jean intentionally to set up a potential double play (it's worth noting that Jean hit for the cycle in Hamilton's season opening win yesterday).
Jeremie Veilleux, pinch-hitting for Nathan Scragg, singled, scoring Giancos to give Hamilton the lead for the first time in the game - for the second straight game, Barrie would have to use the final inning to take the lead once again and win.
In an added challenge, they'd have to do it against Daury Torrez. Torrez, making his season debut for the Cardinals, is a former Chicago Cubs prospect who made it to Triple-A with the franchise in 2018.
The bottom of the tenth inning started well for Barrie before anyone even got to the plate - Noel McGarry-Doyle, who has arguably the best speed on the team, started on second base due to the extra innings rule. Much like how Barrie intentionally walked Jean, Hamilton decided to walk Domenico Morea to potentially set up the double play. After that, Tyler Plumpton flied out in the next at-bat, moving McGarry-Doyle to third base. It was James Anderson's turn at the plate.
Anderson took the first pitch from Torrez for a ball, and then hit the next one to left field to score McGarry-Doyle and win the game 4-3 for the Baycats. Following the win on Saturday afternoon, the Baycats are now 2-0 on the season.
FINAL: Baycats 4, Cardinals 3
WIN: Brad Grieveson (2-0)
LOSS: Daury Torrez (0-1)
PLAYER OF THE GAME: James Anderson, who made a great catch in right field earlier in the game, singled in extra innings to win the game for the Baycats! Juan Benítez was also excellent in this game.