GAME RECAP: Baycats Win Against Royals in Close Game
BARRIE - It was another great game for the Baycats on Thursday night, the team beat the Royals 4-3 in a game that was close from start to finish.
GUELPH TAKES THE EARLY LEAD
In the first inning - you may have heard this one before - Noel McGarry-Doyle reached base and stole second. After a flyout, Adam Odd singled in his return to the lineup to score McGarry-Doyle and give the Baycats a 1-0 lead.
That would be the score until the third inning, when Ethan Hammond would draw a leadoff walk. Thanks to singles from Dalton Pompey and Conner Morro, Hammond would score to tie the game.
It was expected to be Baycats ace Jayson Aquino on the mound today, but he was scratched from the start shortly before first pitch. Instead, first-year IBL pitcher Adam Khan, from Aurora, Ontario, would open the game for the Baycats. Across three innings, Khan would only give up that one run.
In the fourth inning against new pitcher Evan Soules, the Royals would put runners on the corners for Hammond, who hit a sacrifice fly to score Malik Collymore from third base and give the Royals a 2-1 lead. Similarly in the fifth, the Royals would get runners on both first and third base, and one of them (this time Dalton Pompey) would score to make it 3-1. The run was unearned due to an error.
THE PITCHING DUEL BEGINS
The game was close, but Claudio Custodio entered his half of the fifth inning with the momentum on his side - he'd retired ten batters in a row. Custodio, who pitched at Triple-A and Double-A in the Baltimore Orioles organization in 2021, had each of his pitches working well. In that fifth inning, Custodio quickly struck out both Marcel Lacasse and Branfy Infante for his seventh and eighth strikeouts of the night respectively. In the next at-bat, Custodio struck Carson Burns out swinging as well to retire the side in order.
With the Royals back at the plate, the sixth inning was Soules' best of the night so far, as the Royals were retired in order for the first time in the game since the second inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Baycats got their first baserunner since the first inning, with the speedy Jake Wilson bunting for a single. Wilson would later advance to second base on a strikeout. The next at-bat was a long one, with Ryan Rijo making Custodio throw eight pitches - but Custodio would end up with the strikeout, and the Baycats remained down 3-1 following six innings.
JAKE WILSON MAKES A GREAT CATCH, AND THE BAYCATS ADD A RUN
As the seventh inning began, Brando Leroux singled quickly. With one out, Dalton Pompey hit one into the outfield, and Jake Wilson made a fantastic catch for the first out of the inning. As he continues in his second IBL season, Baycats fans are very used to seeing Wilson make exceptional catches in the outfield.
Soules took the mound in the seventh inning, and although he allowed two baserunners to make it into scoring position, he worked out of the jam by striking out J.D. Williams and getting Collymore to ground out. In the bottom of the inning, Royce Ando hit a double with one out, and he advanced to third on a Lacasse ground ball. Branfy Infante walked, and suddenly there were two baserunners on for the Baycats against Custodio.
That would be the final batter Custodio would face in his return to Barrie, and he'd leave the game with the lead - but he'd also leave the game with those two baserunners still on base. Custodio pitched brilliantly overall for the Royals in his second start of the season, striking out twelve Baycats and only allowing one run on three hits.
Daniel Marquez entered the game for the Royals to face off against Baycats shortstop Carson Burns. The at-bat started well for Marquez, as Burns popped up a pitch to the foul territory on the third base side. Former Baycats infielder Darius Barlas couldn't make the tough catch (and it was a really tough play), and Burns was able to continue his at-bat. On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Marquez threw a wild pitch, allowing Ando to score. Burns eventually grounded out, but after seven innings, it was only a one-run game with the Royals lead now 3-2.
BAYCATS GET THE LEAD BACK IN THE EIGHTH INNING
In the top of the eighth inning, Aidan Rossel came in from the bullpen and pitched well once again, allowing a leadoff walk but retiring three straight batters afterwards. In the bottom of the inning, Daniel Marquez walked both Wilson and McGarry-Doyle with one out to bring Rijo back up to the plate.
Rijo hit the third pitch of the inning to right field and it fell for a hit. The single would score Wilson and tie the game at 3-3 in the eighth inning. The next batter, Adam Odd, hit the ball through the first base side to reach on an error, scoring McGarry-Doyle and giving the Baycats their first lead since the first inning. Heading to the ninth inning, the Baycats suddenly had a 4-3 lead.
Brandon Hillier entered the game for the ninth inning to face off against Leroux, Pompey, and Morro, and he'd retire them all to win the game for the Baycats and improve the team record to 4-0.
In his first game as a visitor at Vintage Throne Stadium, former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey hit a big fifth-inning double that was just out of the reach of outfielder Jake Wilson. He also singled in the third inning.
The Baycats remain at home on Saturday afternoon; the London Majors are heading to town for their first matchup of the season against the Baycats. The game, which starts at 4:00 PM ET, is a Junior Baycats Day Presented by Kool FM, Rock 95, and Barrie360. Tickets for the game are available here. The game will also be available on Baycats TV and Rogers tv Barrie (Cable 10).
FULL GAME BOX SCORE AVAILABLE HERE
POSTGAME INTERVIEW WITH THE MANAGER
Interviewer: Ben Davy
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The Baycats TV broadcast features commentary from lead play-by-play announcer Ben Davy!