Welland’s Strong First Inning Enough As Baycats Fall to Jackfish
MIDHURST - A win in baseball can be generated in several ways. Sometimes it takes all nine innings to get there, but there are also times where a strong first inning can be all it takes.
Tonight, unfortunately for the Barrie Baycats, it was the Welland Jackfish who took the latter approach. They scored four in the first, and that’s all they needed to pick up their fifth win of the season; 7-1 was the final score at Coates Stadium on the final day of July.
It started with the first batter of the game - Ethan Pusco walked against Barrie starter Brad Grieveson. After an Eric Marriott hit, Cole Warken and Dane Tofteland smacked a pair of doubles, and Griffin Keller added a single of his own to make it 4-0. Welland had enough to seal the victory, assuming they could trust the man on the mound.
Christian Young, in his fourth start of the season for the Jackfish, struck out 16 Baycats batters in his seven innings of work. That ties the record set by Baycats pitcher (and longtime manager) Angus Roy in 2002 for most strikeouts in a game held at Coates Stadium.
The Baycats did put the pressure on Young in the third inning; a leadoff walk from leadoff hitter Jake Wilson (currently hitting .317 with an excellent OBP of .417) was the start of a good stretch for the Baycats. Noel McGarry-Doyle proceeded to hit the very next pitch to left field for a double, advancing Wilson to third. A couple of batters later, Ryan Rijo singled to bring Wilson home.
That was mostly it, though. There was a late push in the ninth off of Jackfish pitcher Zachary Cameron, but Jeff Cowan and Tyler Plumpton were left stranded on-base.
Ultimately, after a strong 16-6 win against Toronto just a couple of days ago, the Baycats have now found themselves on the less fun side of two big offensive games in a row.
BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME...
As mentioned earlier, Tofteland's first-inning double for Welland scored two and made it 3-0 at the time off of Grieveson. They’d add one more in the second, and then another one in each of the eighth and ninth innings.
BY THE NUMBERS...
5. Grieveson's numbers are going to overshadow his performance tonight because the first two innings were undoubtedly rough. After the second inning, though, Grieveson didn't give up a run across five scoreless innings. It was only in the eighth where he ran into trouble again. No one’s going to call it his best, but he was quietly a lot more solid for most of the game than his box score would suggest.
3.85. Evan Soules, who was the reliever chosen to take over for Grieveson in the eighth, stopped the Jackfish from scoring more than one run in the inning. Although he ended up giving one run up in the ninth, it was a nice outing for the 18-year old.
His ERA is a dependable 3.85 across 4.2 innings pitched.
1. The maximum amount of hits from a single Baycats player tonight? One. There was one hit each from McGarry-Doyle, Rijo, Jeff Cowan, and Darius Barlas.
It should be mentioned, though, that Wilson, McGarry-Doyle, David LeBlanc, James Anderson, and Tyler Plumpton all drew walks. Actually, LeBlanc had two.
3.5. After losing two straight, the Baycats find themselves 3.5 games back in the IBL standings.
It’s still early, but the team will undoubtedly be seeing the upcoming five-game week as an important one.
The Baycats have a tough challenge tomorrow as they will be challenging the league-leading Kitchener Panthers. Kitchener, with a record of 6-2, has allowed the second-fewest runs in the IBL this season.
They've got a +29 run differential and won their last game by eight runs. They last faced off against Barrie on Tuesday, and the Baycats lost that one 3-2.
The game will be played at Jack Couch Park.
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Photo: Bob Hurley/Bob Hurley Photography