PREVIEW: Jayson Aquino and Barrie Baycats Challenge Guelph Royals

by Patrick Melbourne

BARRIE - This one should be fun!

The Barrie Baycats are back at home for their fourth game of the season tonight (May 26, 2022). The Baycats, currently 3-0 after winning both of their previous home games and their first away game so far this season, continue their early season schedule by facing another team they haven't faced so far this season - in fact, they haven't faced them in a while!


Dalton Pompey of the Guelph Royals stands in the batters box in the team's game against the London Majors on May 23. Photo by Brent Lale/CTV London. Used with Permission.

The Guelph Royals, who did not play in the Intercounty Baseball League last season, are returning to Vintage Throne Stadium for the first time since the 2019 season. Their batting order is significantly different for both clubs since the last time they played each other, and so are the pitching staffs.

In tonight's game, the starter for Guelph is scheduled to be former Baycats ace Claudio Custodio. In his time with the Baycats, Custodio pitched in 12 games. His ERA in both the regular season and playoffs during the 2017 season was 2.29, and he struck out 80 in 10 regular season games. He spent last summer with the Baltimore Orioles, and played for their Triple-A and Double-A teams. Over the winter, he also played for the Estrellas Orientales in LIDOM, the winter league in the Dominican Republic.

Custodio, alongside current Royals teammates Emilis Guerrero, Santos Arias, Darren Shred, Evan Kiser, Kyle DeGrace, Darius Barlas, Sean Reilly, and Conner Morro, have all played for the Barrie Baycats in previous seasons. Reilly (2011 IBL MVP), Morro (2016 Rookie of the Year), Guerrero (Playoff MVP), Custodio (Pitcher of the Year), and DeGrace (Playoff MVP) all won awards as members of the Baycats.

Speaking of Sean Reilly, he's back with Guelph this season after playing last season in Toronto.

One of the biggest moves the team made during the 2021-22 offseason was signing outfielder Dalton Pompey, who once played for the Toronto Blue Jays. As Blue Jays fans know, Pompey is a strong outfielder with a solid bat. He's been in the Guelph leadoff spot in both games the team has played so far this season. The Royals are currently 1-1 following a win against the Cardinals and a loss against the Majors.

update on the Barrie Baycats

Jayson Aquino throws a pitch on Baycats Opening Day. Photo by Bob Hurley / Bob Hurley Photography. 

The Baycats, as previously mentioned, enter today's game against the Royals with a 3-0 record after winning their games against Toronto, Hamilton, and Kitchener over the past few days.

The starting pitching in those three games has been exceptional, with Jayson Aquino making a great first impression in his first start as a Baycats player. Aquino, tonight's scheduled starter, pitched five innings against Toronto on May 19th, giving up only three hits and not allowing a run.

In the following games, Juan Benítez delivered his best start in a Baycats jersey and Riley Hoover did the same on the road against Kitchener (don't let Riley Hoover's ERA after the first game fool you, he pitched very very well). Brad Grieveson has pitched in all three games out of the bullpen, and he has two wins and a save already this season.

When it comes to the lineup, the Baycats got some good news this morning as the team announced the return of infielder Marcel Lacasse. He rejoins a lineup that has excellent depth across each position at the moment. Defensive versatility has been a major positive for the team this season as well - many of the infielders have been asked to play secondary positions and it's gone very well.

Noel McGarry-Doyle has been one of the best players in the league this season; he reached base in each of his first seven at-bats this year, and has showed his elite baserunning skills and speed. 

Catcher Tyler Plumpton has been great to start the year as well - the Baycats Player of the Game on Opening Day, he's got a .417 batting average so far this season. Ryan Rijo, who's been dealing with a day-to-day injury this season, hit his first home run of the season on Monday against Kitchener, a clip you can currently rewatch below.

Adam Odd is day-to-day with a leg injury and is a gametime decision for tonight's lineup. For the starting lineups, keep an eye on the Baycats social media feeds.


To see this game between the Baycats and the Royals, you can pick up your tickets here. The game will also be available on television locally on Rogers tv Barrie (Cable 10), and streaming live on Baycats TV for fans both within and outside of Barrie. 

Enjoy the game!