Lazar, Hamilton continue mastery of Guelph Royals

HAMILTON – The Guelph Royals continued to struggle against the Hamilton Cardinals Wednesday night as they opened the Intercounty Baseball League playoffs with an 11-3 at Carstar Field at Bernie Arbour Stadium.

Also rearing its ugly head in the opening game of the best-of-seven quarter-final series was the recent fielding woes of the Royals. They were charged with six errors in the match that allowed the Cardinals to score five unearned runs.

Hamilton has won season series with the Royals five of the last six years including the last three and those results helped the Cardinals finish ahead of Guelph four of those years.

The Cardinals finished third this season, three places ahead of the Royals, after posting a 3-2 series win. It was the same result in the series last year when Hamilton was sixth and Guelph fifth. The teams finished seventh and eighth with Hamilton in the higher position in each of the previous three years although the Royals did win the 2016 season series 3-2 and their only win of 2017 before withdrawing from the league with a 1-16 record was over the Cardinals. In the last six years, Hamilton is 17-11 against the Royals in regular-season games.

Wednesday, the hosts secured the win with runs in four consecutive innings (the fifth through the eighth) when they collected seven of their runs.The Royals committed errors in three of those innings that accounted for three unearned runs.

Hamilton trailed only in the top of the first inning when Josh Garton, hitting second in the Guelph order, belted the second pitch he saw for a solo homer. The Cardinals jumped on three errors by the Royals in the bottom of the inning to score four runs, two earned, to go ahead for good.

Garton knocked home Jeff MacLeod in the third inning for Guelph’s second run and the third one came in the sixth on a solo homer by Justin Interisano.

Hamilton starter Chris Lazar continued his mastery of the Royals as he recorded his fourth consecutive win of the season and third in a row against Guelph. He’s 18-17 overall in four seasons in the league, but 7-1 against the Royals.

Wednesday, Lazar yielded the three runs, all earned, off six hits in seven innings. Tanner Guindon relieved and allowed one hit in two innings. No Guelph batter was walked in the game while the Hamilton pitchers had two strikeouts apiece.

Yomar Concepcion took the loss for the Royals as he surrendered nine hits and two walks in six innings that led to seven Hamilton runs, four earned. Yunior Yambatis relieved for 1 2/3 innings and Ben Reid came in to get the final Hamilton out of the game. Yambatis was tagged for four runs, two earned, off five hits and two walks while Reid walked one of the two batters he faced. Concepcion had four strikeouts and Yambatis had two. Thanks to the errors, Guelph pitchers combined to throw 178 pitches in the game while Hamilton’s pair of hurlers threw a total of 117.

Ricky Murray was the lone Guelph batter with more than one hit as he struck for two singles. Garton and Interisano had their homers and MacLeod’s hit in the third was a double. Adding one single apiece were Kyle Kush and Matt Schmidt.

By comparison, only left fielder Jake Chiaravalle, batting eighth in the order, didn’t record a hit for Hamilton. However, only one of the 14 hits registered by the Cardinals was an extra-base hit – a double by Chris Beer. Jon Dziomba had three hits while Beer, Luke Tevlin, Justin Gideon and Connor Patterson had two apiece and Grant Arnold, Connor Bowie and Laine Renaud had one each. Bowie drove in four of the runs.

The Cardinals also ran on the Royals as they swiped four bases in the game, four more than Guelph.

Second game of the series is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Hastings Stadium.

The series also has games scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Hamilton and Sunday at 1 p.m. at Hastings Stadium.


Cardinals 11 Royals 3
Guelph           101-001-000–3 7 6
Hamilton     400-021-22x–11 14 1
Click here for complete boxscore
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