Majors' Bats Silenced by Panthers
London Majors BaseballEtay Kuperman
The London Majors were looking to win their third straight, and eighth in their last 10 after two dominant wins over the Barrie Baycats and the Hamilton Cardinals 15-3 and 6-1, respectively.
It would be a tough feat however, going up against the second-place Kitchener Panthers who were hungry to get back in the win column after a tough loss to the Barrie Baycats 5-3 in their last game.
London fell to 13-13 after losing 6-3 on home turf.
Kitchener came out firing scoring three runs in top of the first inning. It started with a walk to #35 Yorbis Borroto. After a strike out, the Panthers hit two consecutive doubles by #2 Zarley Cina and #24 Tanner Nivins, the second cashing in two RBI’s. The last run of the inning came after an RBI single from #14 Ryley Davenport. However, starting pitcher #21 Juliandry Higuera calmed down giving one run for the rest of his time in the game. Finishing with 6.0 innings pitched with five strikeouts and three walks.
London’s bats took a while to get going, getting their first hit in the bottom of the 6th by #97 Carlos Arteaga. Arteaga then stole two bases on an error by Kitchener’s catcher. He was then batted in by #12 Jacob Mansfield. Mansfield was then brought home by #35 Cleveland Brownlee on a sac-fly, bringing the score to 4-2 after six innings.
London was looking poised for a comeback until sloppy play by the infield caused three errors in the top of the top of the 7th resulted in two runs by the Panthers. “…it wasn’t even so much our bats we booted the ball around tonight and against good teams you can’t do that. I think up there (the score board), had four errors, probably five errors. You make five errors against good teams you’re probably going to lose," said head coach Roop Chanderdat after the game.
The Major’s had one last rally in the bottom of the 8th, when #13 Myles Miller batted in #12 Yuki Yasuda, pulling the score to 6-3. However, that was as close as the Majors would get.
One bright spot for the Major’s was the spectacular play by relief pitcher #38 Jon Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons came in in the top of the 7th down 5-3 with a runner on 3rd and no outs. Aside from one wild pitch later that inning no more runs were scored. Fitzsimmons finished with three innings pitched, one run scored and five strikeouts, including three strikeouts in the top of the 9th inning.
After the game Fitzsimmons had this to say about his three strikeouts in the 9th inning “I think my fastball was working pretty good today, I was getting it up in the zone and guys tend to miss that when I can get it up there. I played my changeup off that and my cutter off that as well, just try to keep guys off balance.”
The Majors are now 13-13 with 10 games remaining in their season. They are now 5.5 games back of the Kitchener Panthers and Barrie Baycats who are both tied for first place in the league.