by Sam Aucoin

HAMILTON – With a little luck and some clutch hitting, the Barrie Baycats have beaten the Hamilton Cardinals tonight 5-3 at Bernie Arbour Stadium. Barrie came through when they needed it most on route to a second straight victory. 

This was the best we have seen the pitching on the road so far this season for the Baycats. Jeifry Nunez threw five innings giving up all three runs but looked very efficient picking up six strikeouts. The 25-year-old also earned his first win as a Baycat. Evan Soules came in after Nunez and gave his team three scoreless innings shutting down a hot Hamilton order. Brandon Hillier bounced back from his last outing to record save number two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning. 

The visitors got offensive contributions from up and down the lineup. Eight out of the nine starters reached base at least once. The Baycats were down early heading into the second inning. But after seven batters came to the plate, three runs would cross, erasing the deficit. Victor Plaz drove in the first with a single. Then, with two outs and a pair of runners on, Noel McGarry-Doyle cashed them both in with a two-RBI base hit. 

The lead would be cut to one in the fourth when Connor Bowie would knock in Dennis Dei Baning. Ryan Rijo ensured that Barrie would get the run right back when he hit a single to score Canice Ejoh. Ejoh, before scoring on Rijo’s hit, had got on via a bunt single and then stole second base. A full display of Canice’s Speed. 

Both teams would cross home once more in the game. It was the Cats that had the more controversial path. After Starlin Rodriguez reached on a walk, he attempted to steal second. That was when almost everyone in the park thought catcher Luis Bernardo had thrown him out. Rodriguez would get the benefit of the call swiping his second bag of the season. 

This would come back to haunt the Cardinals as a fly ball from Josh Cote looked to score Starlin. That was when another weird play went Barrie’s way. Bernardo looked to have tagged out the right fielder but then he lost the ball while trying to put the tag down, giving Rodriguez the plate. That would be it for the home team as a strong bullpen performance closed it out for a 5-3 win. 

With back-to-back wins against two of the top four teams in the IBL, the Barrie Baycats will be back home tomorrow when they welcome the Brantford Red Sox to Vintage Throne Stadium. You can catch the first pitch just after 4:00. Tickets to that game can be bought here. The game will also be available on Baycats TV.