Royals fade in ninth to drop season opener
GUELPH – Just when it seemed like the Guelph Royals were headed to a victory in their Intercounty Baseball League season opener Saturday at Hastings Stadium, the Kitchener Panthers hit for three runs in the ninth inning for a 5-4 win.
Edwin Javier, one of Guelph’s workhorse Dominican Republic pitchers last season, was brought in to pitch the eighth and ninth innings. After having a three-up three-down eighth, Javier walked both batters he faced, throwing 12 pitches to do so – three for strikes.
Brett Lawson inherited those runners and promptly allowed consecutive hits to the first three batters he faced leading to the three runs before settling down to retire the next three to end Kitchener’s rally.
The Royals had the bottom of the order up in the ninth. With two out, Jeff MacLeod smacked a double off the right field fence that likely would have gone for a homer had the game been played at Kitchener’s Jack Couch Park. MacLeod didn’t get by third, though, as Kitchener pitcher Mike Schnurr induced a fly out to the catcher from Ethan Mohan to end the game.
The game was tight throughout as the Royals opened with a run in the bottom of the first before Kitchener scored two in the top of the fifth to go ahead. That lead didn’t last long as the Royals scored three in the bottom of the inning.
Lawson, Guelph’s fourth pitcher of the game, took the loss. Fernando Fernandez-Beltran started and pitched an effective five innings before Jean Carlos Henriquez took over. He held Kitchener hitless during his two-inning stint before giving way to Javier. Fernandez-Beltran had six strikeouts while Javier and Lawson had one apiece.
Scnurr, Kitchener’s fourth pitcher of the match, tossed two innings for the win. Jasvir Rakkar started for Kitchener and he was followed by Geoff Moroz, Adam Robertson and Schnurr. Rakkar had five strikeouts during his stint.
At the plate, Mohan, Darius Barlus and MacLeod had Guelph’s extra-base hits as they each clubbed a double while Sean Reilly, Angel Villalona and Matthew Pilarczyk each hit a single.
Mike Gordner hit Kitchener’s lone extra-base hit, a double in the fifth inning. Mike Andrulis and Mike Gordner each hat two hits in the game.
The teams are to play again Sunday at Kitchener. Game time at Jack Couch Park is 2 p.m.
Panthers 5 Royals 4
Kitchener 000-020-003 — 5 8 3
Guelph 100 300 000 — 4 6 2
2B: Guelph — E.Mohan, D.Barlas, J.MacLeod; Kitchener — M.Gordner.
HP: Guelph — A.Villalona.
RBI: Guelph — S.Reilly 2, E.Mohan, A.Villalona; Kitchener — C.Gordner 2, M.Andrulis, T.Nivins.
Team LOB: Guelph 6; Kitchener 10.
E: Guelph — D.Barlas, M.Pilarczyk; Kitchener — E: Kitchener — M.Andrulis, C.Gordner, K.Marsden.
PB: Guelph — B.Keys.
DP: Guelph 0; Kitchener 1.
Win: Kitchener — M.Schnurr.
Loss: Guelph — B.Lawson.
Strikeouts: Guelph — F.Fernandez-Beltran 6, E.Javier 1, B.Lawson 1; Kitchener — J.Rakkar 5, G.Moroz 1, A.Robertson 1.
Batters Faced: Guelph — F.Fernandez-Beltran 23, J.Henriquez 8, E.Javier 5, B.Lawson 6; Kitchener — J.Rakkar 16, G.Moroz 9, A.Robertson 4, M.Schnurr 8.
Pitches-Strikes: Guelph — F.Fernandez-Beltran 82-48, J.Henriquez 22-10, E.Javier 23-11, B.Lawson 24-18; Kitchener — J.Rakkar 56-41, G.Moroz 40-23, A.Robertson 18-10, M.Schnurr 25-14.
- Guelph Sports Journal