Royals ahead early again, hold on for win
GUELPH – Once again the Guelph Royals grabbed an early lead, but held on for an Intercounty Baseball League victory over the London Majors Saturday at Hastings Stadium.
The Royals have lost four times this season and three of those setbacks were by 5-4 scores with the winning run scored in either the ninth or 10th inning.
“It seems that we let people crawl back in right now,” Guelph centre fielder Ethan Moran said. “We get a little bit complacent throughout the game as a team, but now I feel building off this win going tomorrow to Hamilton, we’re trying to shut that down early and maybe keep more runs on the board and keep those plays away from us late in the game.”
Doing that is likely just a concerted effort to keep concentrating throughout the entire match.
“We just can’t get complacent,” Mohan said. “We come out hot always through the first three, then sit down for four, five and six. Games are always won or lost in seven, eight and nine, those power innings.”
Saturday, the Royals scored four runs in the first inning and edged London 7-5, aided by a huge rally-ending out in the top of the eighth.
London’s Cleveland Brownlee started the eighth by crushing a Jean Carlos Henriquez offering for a solo homer well over the left-centre field fence to cut the gap to a single run at 6-5. Evan Britt followed by hitting a 3-2 pitch for a single to bring Henriquez’s outing to an end.
Brett Lawson relieved for the Royals and he yielded a sacrifice hit to Jonathan Duforest that sent Britt to second. After Lawson recorded a strikeout, Carlos Artega smacked a single into centre field that Mohan scooped up and immediately threw a strike to catcher Brendan Keys who quickly turned and tagged out a charging Britt before he could reach the plate.
“It was just a lucky throw – a good throw at the plate,” Mohan said. “I’d seen the guy at two (second base) just leading off early and I just know that Keys at the plate could make the play so just keep it down. It was lucky to take that run away late in the game.”
The Royals clubbed 11 hits in the game including a monster smash by Angel Villalona for his first homer of the season. He had a four-hit day while Josh Garton and Matthew Pilarczyk each hit a double.
Ismael Pena and Brownlee homered for London.
Starter Yomar Concepcion was the winning pitcher for the Royals while Lawson picked up the save. Concepcion allowed four runs, three earned, off four hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out eight.
Henriquez surrendered an earned run off two hits and a walk in an inning of work and Lawson yielded a hit and struck out three in his two innings on the mound.
Migel Burgos gave up six earned runs off nine hits, three walks and three wild pitches in 6 1/3 innings as the London starter was tagged with the loss. Matt Balkwill walked two of the three batters he faced while Robert Doyle surrendered the earned run off two hits in 1 2/3 innings. Burgos had five strikeouts while Doyle had one.
The result leaves the Royals at 3-4. Of the four losses, three have been by 5-4 scores with the winning run being scored in either the ninth inning or in extra innings.
The Royals were edged 5-4 in the 10th inning by the Barrie Baycats at Barrie Thursday night. That game was the first of a scheduled seven games in a 10-day stretch.
The Royals are to play the Hamilton Cardinals at Hamilton’s Bernie Arbour Stadium Sunday at 2 p.m., Barrie at home Tuesday night, Welland Jackfish at Welland Thursday night, London in London Friday night and Brantford Red Sox at Hastings Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Barrie Baycats 6-1 —
Kitchener Panthers 6-1 —
Hamilton Cardinals 3-2 2
Welland Jackfish 3-3 2.5
Toronto Maple Leafs 4-5 3
Guelph Royals 3-4 3
Brantford Red Sox 1-5 4.5
London Majors 2-7 5
Royals 7 Majors 5
London 110-002-010–5 7 0
Guelph 410-100-01x– 7 11 2
Winning Pitcher: Y.Concepcion, Guelph
Losing Pitcher: M.Burgos, London
Save: B.Lawson, Guelph
Pitches-Strikes: Guelph — Y.Concepcion 121-75, J.Henriquez 21-11, B.Lawson 19-15; London — M.Burgos 117-73, N.Balkwill 12-3, R.Doyle 17-13
Homers: Guelph — A.Villalona; London — I.Pena, C.Brownlee
Doubles: Guelph — J. Garton, M.Pilarczyk
Stolen Bases: Guelph — E.Mohan, J.Garton
Left on Base: Guelph 11; London 9
Errors: Guelph — K.Kush, D.Barlas
Double Plays: Guelph 1; London 0
Passed Balls: London — M.Ambrose
Stolen Bases Against: London — M.Ambrose 2
Assists: Guelph — J.Garton 5, E.Mohan, M.Pilarczyk, D.Barlas, B.Lawson; London — P.Thrappas 2, S.Froses 2, I.Pena, C.Artega
- Guelph Sports Journal