Royals fall to Maple Leafs in playoff opener

TORONTO – The long ball helped do in the Guelph Royals Thursday night as they opened the Intercounty Baseball League playoff with a 9-6 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Dominico Field at Christie Pits.

The Leafs used a trio of two-run homers to help open the best-of-five quarter-final series with the win on their home field. Justin Marra homered in the first inning, Garret Takamatsu homered in the sixth and Zac Orchard homered in the seventh to account for six of Toronto’s runs. Two more runs came in on an error by Guelph third baseman Angel Villalona with two out and the bases loaded in the second while the other run came in the sixth when Dan Marra’s single plated Connor Lewis.

The Royals had opened the game with a run when leadoff batter Ethan Mohan smacked a homer off Toronto starter Justin Cicatello.

Toronto jumped into a three-run lead by the end of the second, but Guelph battled back to regain the lead with a two-run homer by Justin Interisano in the third and a two-run homer by Mohan in the fourth. Mohan’s two round-trippers in the playoff opener equalled his homer output through 24 regular-season games.

Guelph’s final run of the game cut the gap to a single run in the top of the seventh before Toronto added their final two runs in the bottom of the inning. For the Royals, the run scored after Sean Reilly, Villalona and Jon Waltenbury each hit singles.

Yunior Yambatis was charged with the loss as he yielded the nine runs, seven earned, off nine hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings. He had seven strikeouts. Adam Rossit kept the Leafs hitless and scoreless in the other 1 1/3 innings.

Cicatello collected the win as he held the Royals to five runs, two earned, off five hits and three walks in six innings. He had three strikeouts.

Nick DaSilva, Andrew Simonetti and Dustin Richardson each pitched an inning in relied for the hosts with Richardson getting a save. DaSilva yielded an earned run off three hits and a walk while the other two didn’t give up any hits or walks. Each had two strikeouts.

While Mohan hit his two homers for the Royals, Waltenbury had two singles and Interisano had his homer. Getting one single apiece were Reilly, Villalona and Liam Hicks.

Orchard had two singles to go with his homer while Takamatsu hit his homer and a single and Dan Marra hit two singles. Justin Marra had his homer and Mike Reeves also hit a single.

Second game of the series is scheduled for Saturday at Hastings Stadium. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

 

Maple Leafs 9 Royals 6
Guelph     102-200-100 – 6 8 1
Toronto     220-003-20x – 9 9 3
Pitching
WP: Cicatello, Toronto.
LP: Yambatis, Guelph.
Save: Richardson, Toronto.
WildP: Cicatello, Toronto.
HB: Cicatello, Toronto.
P-S: Yambatis 128-71, Rossit 11-8, Guelph; Cicatello 108-61, DaSilva 32-17, Simonetti 11-8, Richardson 8-8, Toronto.
Batting
HR: Mohan 2, Interisano, Guelph; J.Marra, Orchard, Takamatsu, Toronto.
SB: Topolie, Toronto.
HBP: Mohan, Guelph.
Team LOB: Guelph 9; Toronto 6.
Fielding
E: Villalona, Guelph; J.Marra, Solazzo, Takamatsu, Toronto.
SBA: Keys, Guelph.
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