Lacasse Puts on a Show as Baycats Win Instant Classic in the Pits

by Ryan Eakin

TORONTO - My goodness.

The Barrie Baycats defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 20-19 on Wednesday evening to improve to 3-1 on the season.

With the loss, the Maple Leafs fall to 3-3 on the season.

Barrie ace Juan Benitez recorded the win, tossing five innings while allowing one earned run on three hits and three bases on balls while striking out a pair of batters.

Baycats third basemen Marcel Lacasse joined the long list of left-handed bats that love playing at the Pits, going three-for-three with two bombs and two bases on balls.

Baycats first basemen Ryan Rijo, meanwhile, continued his early-season tear, going three-for-five with a three-run home run and a base on ball.

Just as hot remained centre fielder Jake Wilson, who went three-for-seven with a pair of doubles at the top of the order.

Fellow outfielder Noel McGarry-Doyle went four-for-seven in between Wilson and Rijo at the top of the order.

Barrie pitching-coach Brad Grieveson saved the day again, recording a four-out save on two hits and one earned run.

He struck out Justin Marra in the bottom of the ninth inning to close out the ball game.

Maple Leafs' starter Michael Asta took the loss, going just two innings while allowing eight earned runs on 10 hits and two bases on balls.

Asta struck out just one batter.

BARRIE - 20-19-3

TORONTO - 19-16-5


Despite there being a combined 39 runs in tonight's ball game, it was Grieveson's strike out on Marra that was undoubtedly the biggest play of the game.


2. A pair of Baycats hit their first career home runs tonight, with McGarry-Doyle hitting his first career home run in the top of the first inning and Lacasse hitting his first career home run in the top of the second inning.

3. For the third start in a row, Benitez was unable to pitch more than six innings for the Baycats. Their unquestioned ace, Benitez will have to start going deeper into ball games from here on out, more so when you consider the struggles of the Baycats' bullpen. 

3. A trio of young relievers for the Baycats (Lucas Earle, Max Lojko, and Mason Robertson) allowed a combined 15 earned runs tonight while combining for only 2.2 innings of work. Simply put, Baycats manager Josh Matlow cannot rely on such young pitchers to win ball games for them against the very best in the league.

5. After a pair of hits in tonight's ball game, Baycats left fielder Jeff Cowan is now five hits away from 400 in his storied IBL career.


- The Baycats once led by 16 runs before the Maple Leafs put up 15 runs in their last three innings of work to get back into the ball game.

- Recent signing Jake MacDonald made his debut for the Baycats tonight as a pinch hitter for Michael Cecchetto in the top of the seventh inning. MacDonald, who flew in from Germany this morning, went one-for-two.


The Baycats return home tomorrow to battle the Hamilton Cardinals for the third time in as many weeks.

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Photo: Bob Hurley/Bob Hurley Photography