RODRIGUEZ AND COTE BOTH HIT HOME RUNS IN 7-5 BAYCATS WIN
BARRIE — A much-needed win for the Barrie Baycats today beating the Kitchener Panthers 7-5. Barrie’s offense pulled through when it needed thanks to some big extra-base hits.
Pitcher Aiden Rosel was used as an opener today. He pitched three innings in his first career IBL start. Four runs on five hits and a walk for Rossel. After that, the Baycats turned to Juan Benítez who was brilliant. Six innings, eight hits, one earned run, and three Ks.
The Panthers struck early in the first inning. A couple of miscues led to a pair of runs, scored by Andy Leader and Raul Gonzalez. Baycats home run leader Starlin Rodriguez would have none of that though, hitting an absolute moon shot of a home run to tie the game. Canice Ejoh, who hit a one-out double, also came in to score on the home run.
A fielder's choice would give Kitchener back the lead in the next half-inning. Then, in the third inning, Liam Wilson would connect on his seventh home run of the season to extend the Panther lead to 4-2. The lead would not last for too long. With the bases loaded and two outs, Victor Plaz was hit by a pitch scoring Rodriguez from third. The very next batter Carson Burns hit a two-run single giving the Baycats their first lead of the afternoon.
It was all Juan Benítez from there as he got out of a jam pretty much every inning to keep the visitors off the board. Josh Cote gave him some insurance in the sixth as he launched a solo home run making it 6-4. Another add-on run was scored in the next inning when Hayden Jaco picked up his first hit as a Baycat cashing in Ejoh.
Juan made things intense in the ninth but got the last batter to ground out and end the game. Starlin Rodriguez was named player of the game for his first-inning home run.
“It was a pretty bat flip,” said Starlin’s teammate Hayden Jaco during his post-game interview. He noted that getting on the board after being scored on was important but also said that Josh Cote’s home run and his bat flip may have been better. “Both those guys hit [the] ball hard.” When asked about his clutch hit, Jaco said that it was important to keep adding on against a “scrappy” team like the Panthers.
“They weren't small home runs,” added Manager Josh Matlow. “But they were timely as well – one was to tie the game – and the other one was to add to our lead.” Cote, who according to teammate Jaco had the better bat flip, also spoke after the game about his home run and Juan Benítez’s performance.
“It was awesome, it came at a great time,” he said. “It felt great off the bat and was definitely a no-doubter.” Josh was behind the plate catching Juan’s terrific outing, here is what he had to say about his pitcher. “He looked great today – It seemed like he got better when the situation got bigger.”
Now, with their momentum moving in the right direction after today’s win, the Barrie Baycats will face the Kitchener Panthers again tomorrow as they head to Jack Couch Park for a second straight Sunday. The first pitch is at 5:15 pm. You can watch it on the Kitchener Panthers YouTube Channel. If you are planning to make a trip up to Kitchener, road tickets can be bought here.
CHECK OUT THE FULL BROADCAST OF THIS GAME FEATURING BEN DAVY AND DYLAN QUINN. THE BROADCAST WAS PRODUCED BY BRIAN BACKLAND ASSISTED BY JOSEPH NARDELLA.