Salcedo Dominant as Baycats Beat Panthers to Win Pennant

by Ryan Eakin

BARRIE - Another season, another pennant for the Barrie Baycats.

This one, though, came a bit differently. 

Rather than coasting their way to a pennant as they have in the past, the Baycats and Kitchener Panthers met Tuesday evening in a one-game playoff to determine the 2019 Intercounty Baseball League pennant.

The Baycats won 4-2, with Baycats ace Adrian Salcedo pitching his best game of the season.

He pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out four batters.

He threw just 82 pitches and would have come out for the eighth inning if his neck was not a little bit stiff.

He was brilliant.

Baycats manager Angus Roy said that was as good of a pitching performance as his team has gotten all season.

"[Kyle] DeGrace asked me before he went out for the seventh inning what his pitch count was at and I said 'you won't believe me but I'll tell you.' 

"When he went out there he was at just sixty pitches, so yeah, he was efficient. I think they were swinging extremely aggressive early in counts too, and he ended up taking advantage of that."

The game was a close 1-0 game until the bottom of the fifth inning when Baycats first basemen Ryan Rijo hit a two-run double down the right-field line to score two runners.

Baycats shortstop Starlin Rodriguez scored easily from second, while Baycats left fielder Jordan Castaldo was able to have his right foot touch home plate before Panthers catcher Mike Gordner applied the tag.

Gordner didn't see it that way, throwing his mask off in frustration right after the call was made.

He would end up kicking his gear around the home plate area before obviously being ejected.

"My first few at-bats I felt like I wasn't aggressive enough early in the counts" said Rijo. "So right before I went up there Atkinson said 'hey, be aggressive,' and I hit a first-pitch curveball down the line for a two-run double."

"He's just caught fire," said Roy of Rijo. "I told the kid that he's swung his way into the lineup.

"His knock won us the game tonight and he accepted a secondary role to start the season. He showed up every day and went about his business, and went about it the right way.

"I told him that I was proud of him for that and he earned a spot in our lineup. He's been swinging the bat really, really well lately."

Also tonight, Castaldo secured the first triple crown in Baycats history.

Rijo said Castaldo's 2019 season was one for the ages.

"There's nothing to say about him, man. I mean, first off he's a great teammate.

"He's been there for me since day one when I came here two days ago and he's a even better ball player as you can tell.

"His slash line is crazy, so, I'm happy for him. No one deserves it more than him."

Game one of the Baycats' quarterfinal series against the Brantford Red Sox will start Thursday evening in Midhurst, with game two being in Midhurst as well on Saturday night.

Emilis Guerrero will take the mound in game one, and will be followed by Matthew St. Kitts in game two.

Salcedo will return to the mound for game three when the series shifts to Brantford.

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