Rijo Continues Torrid Pace; Salcedo Throws Seven in Win Over Majors

by Ryan Eakin

MIDHURST - Down to the wire.

The Barrie Baycats defeated the London Majors 2-1 on Sunday evening to improve to 19-6 on the regular season.

With the loss, the Majors fall to 13-16 on the regular season.

Baycats starting pitcher Adrian Salcedo recorded the win, tossing seven innings while giving up one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out three batters along the way.

Baycats designated hitter Ryan Rijo led the way at the plate for the second game in a row, going three-for-three.

He was intentionally walked in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Baycats closer Adam Hawes recorded the save.

Majors starting pitcher Juliandry Higuera took the loss, tossing seven innings while giving up two earned runs on eight hits and four bases on balls to go along with twelve strikeouts. 

LONDON - 1-4-0

BARRIE - 2-8-1

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the first inning, Baycats shortstop Conner Morro hit a two-run single to give the Baycats a 2-0 lead, a lead they would never surrender from there on out.

NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE GAME: After fouling a pitch off of his left leg, Baycats second basemen Starlin Rodriguez left the game and was replaced by Parker Walker.

Meanwhile, Baycats catcher Kyle DeGrace did not play again for the Baycats.

An ironman in the IBL for many years, the Baycats are making sure DeGrace is healthy for the playoffs.

And with a busy schedule ahead this week, Santos Arias will be on the bump Tuesday, with Emilis Guerrero starting Wednesday.

Matt St. Kitts will start Saturday, while Adrian Salcedo will start Sunday.

On Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Baycats manager Angus Roy plans to empty his bullpen and not have one assigned starter that game.

BIGGEST TAKEAWAY FROM THE GAME: I don't know where the Baycats would be without Brandon Hillier this season.

Down lots of arms in their bullpen on most nights, Hillier has not only eaten up a lot of innings for the Baycats out of the bullpen but has given them quality innings too.

Perhaps none more so than tonight when he stuck out the side in the eighth inning.

QUOTES FROM THE GAME:...

Rijo on his hot streak: "I've been putting in work with my grandpa," said Rijo. "I have been going to Swing Brothers too.

"You know, I have just come back from college and it's a long season there, so it has taken me a while to make the adjustment from metal to wood.

"But I'm feeling good now."

Roy on Rijo's hot streak: "Rijo is a quality bat in this league. When guys aren't here you put a kid like that in and he's right now making a bid for more and more playing time, which is great.

"It creates internal competition and he seems to be thriving on it. It's great to have kids like that."

On Salcedo: "He's doing things right and our entire rotation is doing things right," said Rijo. "They are getting ahead with their fastballs and are getting their fastball command early in the game so, that allows them to flip to their offspeed and allows them to mix in their changeups, sliders or whatever they throw. 

"I think it all comes down to them having their fastball command down pat."

On Hillier: "The regular-season is all about putting guys in situations that they may or may not be in come the playoffs," said Roy. "That's the eighth inning, 2-3-4 in their order and he struck out the side.

"It was a great time to see what he can do and how he reacts to the situation and obviously he reacted really well."

On a close contest with the Majors: "It's the middle of July," said Rijo. "The dog days of the season, so a 2-1 game, a pitching duel, there's nothing better. It's exciting, gets the fans involved and it keeps us locked in too.

"It kind of felt like a playoff game tonight. It was great."

NEXT UP: On Tuesday, the Baycats welcome the Brantford Red Sox to Coates Stadium.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 PM

A reminder that you can buy tickets online to every Baycats home game all season long at seatgiantevents.ca, or at barriebaycats.com.

For more information, visit www.barriebaycats.com and follow the Baycats on Facebook and Twitter at @iblbaycats and on Instagram at @barriebaycats.

Photo: Brian Backland/Brian Backland Photography