Midget Royals slip by Stratford

GUELPH – The Guelph Midget Royals handed the Stratford Nationals a 10-7 setback in Inter-County midget baseball league play Monday night at Hastings Stadium.

Trent Devine started and went four innings before giving way to Justin Rochon who was making his 2017 debut. Jacob McWhirter followed and struck out six in his 2 2/3 innings of relief.

On offense Noah MacKillop reached base all four times at bat, two of the hits being run-scoring clouts. Another ball misplayed in center field allowed 2 more runs to score.

Blaise Shaw knocked in a run with a hit and Matthew Bracnik and Tyler Stoltz also had a hit and RBI.

Noah Devine was hit by a pitch for the sixth time, this time with the bases loaded to produce a run. Nicholas Bombino walked with the bases loaded to score a run and McWhirter helped his own cause with a fielder’s choice RBI. Trent Devine also had a hit.

In an earlier league outing, the Royals edged the Waterloo Tigers 4-1 in 11 innings. The game was tied after the regulation seven innings. In the league, game lengths change from seven inning to nine at the start of July.

Shaw had two hits and also walked with the bases loaded to bring home a run and MacKillop had a two-run hit. MacKillop’s double in the fourth got Guelph on the board before Waterloo tied it in the bottom half of the inning.

Other Royals with hits were Trent Devine, Cole Farby, Marc Charbonneau, Thomas Devereux and Alec McIntyre.

Guelph used five pitchers in the game starting with Noah Graham who was followed by Noah Devine, Devereux, Adam Perry and Bombino. They held Waterloo to seven hits over 11 innings. The Royals used five pitchers to get them some work before their holiday weekend elimination tournament.

In that tournament at Burlington, Guelph opened with a 6-2 loss to Whitby as the victors scored five of their runs in the first inning. Perry, Trent Devine and Bombino saw time on the mound while Shaw’s base hit scored a run and Bombino’s groundout scored the other one. MacKillop had two hits as the Royals were held to three hits in the game.

Next up the Royals edged the West Toronto Wildcats 6-5 in a must-win game. Starting pitcher Noah Campagnolo went five strong innings on 59 pitches before getting relief help from Graham and Bombino. MacKillop continued to produce runs as he had a two-run hit and a sacrifice fly that brought home another run. McWhirter had a hit and a RBI groundout while Charbonneau walked with the bases loaded to bring home another run. Perry and Campagnolo each had a hit.

Guelph was eliminated in its next outing as the Royals were blanked 10-0 by the Toronto Cardinals as defensive miscues and a lack of offense did the locals in. McWhirter, Devereux and Graham all saw pitching time while McIntyre, Bombino and Noah Devine each managed a hit.

Earlier, the Royals followed a pair of 4-0 losses by sweeping a doubleheader from the Simcoe Giants, winning 12-0 and 15-2.

In Game 1, the locals put up three runs in the first, three more in the fourth and six in the seventh to round out the scoring. Bombino had a strong game hitting a triple over the center fielder’s head bringing home two runs. His other hit scored a run as well and he scored on a passed ball.

McWhirter’s line drive up the middle produced two runs and Trent Devine continued his hot hitting with two hits, one of them driving home a run. Griffin Cleghorn had a double, single and RBI and Devereux had a hit and his bases-loaded walk scored a run. Marc Charbonneau had a sacrifice fly that scored a run and McIntyre had two hits and scored on a wild pitch. Farby scored on a rundown and walked three times. Shaw and Campagnolo each had a hit. Starting pitcher Campagnolo was strong in his 5 2/3 innings of work, allowing an infield single while walking four and striking out five using his nasty breaking pitch very effectively. Charbonneau pitched the last 1 2/3 innings keeping the shutout intact.

Game 2 saw the bats continue to roll as every player in the starting lineup had a hit or RBI. Farby’s double to left centre scored a run and his bases-loaded walk scored another. Charbonneau’s double to deep centre field brought home two runs. Stoltz’s base hit produced two runs and Shaw had a double to right centre that brought home two runs and he also scored on an error. McWhirter had a hit that brought home a run and he produced another run with a bases-loaded walk. Cleghorn’s double to right scored a run and Graham had a hit and RBI. Noah Devine had a hit and was hit by two pitches, the first one with the bases loaded to score a run. Perry had an RBI groundout and Bombino had a hit and walked three times. Guelph batters combined for 21 hits in the two games. Starting pitcher Perry was effective in his four innings of work, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. He had five strikeouts. Devereux pitched the fifth, recording a strikeout.

The Royals also played a home-and-home set with the London Minor Badgers, the first game at home and the second one two days later in London.

Guelph won 4-3 at home by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. An error by the London pitcher on a ball hit by McKillop allowed Perry to score the winning run. MacKillop had drove in another run earlier in the game with a sacrifice fly. Graham’s hit up the middle scored a run and Noah Devine was hit by two more pitches, one of them again happening with the bases loaded to score a run. Farby hit a double while Perry, McIntyre, Justin Rochon and McWhirter each had a hit. McWhirter went the distance on the mound on 89 pitches. He allowed three runs, one earned, and he walked one and struck out four.

At London Guelph won 4-1 for their fourth consecutive victory. Devereux threw six strong innings, allowing a run off three hits on his 54 pitches. Graham pitched the seventh for the save.

At the plate Devereux helped his own cause with a run-scoring hit and Rochon followed with another run-scoring hit. McIntyre scored a run on an error on a pick-off attempt at second. The other run was scored by Trent Devine who came home from third with a teammate caught in a rundown between first and second. Trent Devine also had two hits and Perry had a single and a double. McWhirter had a cue-ball single as his hit stayed fair down the third-base line.

The 4-0 losses had come against London Tecumseh and the Cambridge Cubs.

Two hits one by Farby and one by Rochon was all Guelph could muster against Cambridge. The Royals managed to get the bases loaded in the sixth but couldn’t get a run across as they stranded six runners in the game. McWhirter and Shaw had effective outings on the mound.

Waterloo leads the ICBA midget tier one league at 12-3-0 while the Royals are second at 8-3-0. They’re followed by Stratford at 10-5-0, Kitchener at 11-6-0, London Tecumseh at 7-5-0, Brantford at 7-6-0, London Minor at 4-12-0, Cambridge at 1-10-0 and Simcoe at 1-11-0.

The Royals are the lone Canadian entry in this weekend’s 20-team Jakob Gehring Memorial Wood Bat Tournament at Canton, Ohio. They’re in a pool with the Jackson Bears, Ohio Greys and Tim Lally Baseball. Play starts Friday.

Next league outing for the Royals is to be Monday when they are to host Waterloo at 7:30 p.m. at Hastings Stadium.