by Sam Aucoin

WELLAND – The Welland Jackfish spoil the Barrie Baycats first chance at revenge from last year's Intercounty Baseball League finals with a 6-4 win. The Jackfish, with home runs from Steven Moretto, Gianfranco Morello, and Tyler Dupuis, got great relief pitching from Danny Howat and won their first game of the season.

It was the two fifth-inning solo home runs from Dupuis and Morello that made the difference tonight. Morello would go three for three in the contest with a walk and a pair of runs scored. He would have to leave the game in the top of the sixth inning due to an undisclosed injury in the outfield.

Carlos Sano made his Baycats debut, striking out four, but dealt with some command troubles in his three and a third innings of work. Sano would strike out the side in the first and showed some impressive stuff on the mound, but a patient Welland lineup made things difficult.

Barrie would hold their own against Jackfish starter Ben Abram, scoring the first run of the game on a Hayden Jaco RBI single. Jaco would finish the evening with three hits in three at bats with a walk. 

Malik Williams drove in Barrie’s second run of the game with a base hit in the fifth, cashing in Adam Odd. The Baycats would record 11 hits in the ball game, plating two more runs in the sixth and chasing Abram out of the game. 

Towards the late innings, heavy fog started to hover over Welland Stadium, which made it hard to track baseballs. This did not seem to bother the Baycats. Left fielder Brad McQuinn would lay out to make an incredible diving catch in the fifth inning, robbing Ethan Hunt.

After that, it was the infield defence. After some unfortunate results earlier in the game, the questions were put to bed. It was right-handed reliever Cesar Rosado – who was also making his Baycats debut – to come off the mound on a weakly hit ball and fire a dart to first base, taking a hit away from Dawson Tweet. Nolan Machibroda, who was on the other end of Rosado’s play, made a great play of his own, diving to his right and throwing to his pitcher to make an out on Cole Cote.

Following a loud out from Adam Odd in the eighth inning, which almost saw the ball leave the yard, fire-throwing Jackfish closer Deivy Mendez was brought into the game to get a four-out save, which he would accomplish, ending the game.

With his great play coming off the mound, Rosado’s performance in relief can not go unnoticed. The 28-year-old threw three shutout frames with three punchouts, giving his team a chance to get back in the game. 

Ben Abram picked up the win (1), with Carlos Sano being charged with the loss (1) and Deivy Mendez getting the save (1).

Jackfish win 6-4.

Cover Photo: Bob Hurley