Rusty Royals blanked by London in home opener
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – Having a 13-day layoff isn’t the best recipe for success in the Intercounty Baseball League.
Neither is putting a lineup on the field that had never played together before.
Both were obstacles that contributed to the Guelph Royals suffering a 9-0 setback to the London Majors in the home opener of the league’s 100th season Saturday afternoon.
“There’s a lot of rust, a lot of rust,” Royals’ field manager Dave teBoekhorst said. “Two weeks between games. I’m not taking anything away from what they did. They hit the ball, they had timely hits and they deserved to win. We made some key errors at bad times. It was just one of those thing. We haven’t had enough time to work collectively as a group. We’ll scratch that rust off and we’ll be raring to go.”
Things were going well for both teams through the first four innings on the humid day at a sun-baked Hastings Stadium as starters Yomar Concepcion of the Royals and Starling Peralta of the Majors were engaged in a pitchers’ duel.
“I saw some good things today. Our starter threw a great game,” teBoekhorst said. “He definitely deserved better and I probably could have extended him longer, but I just wanted to keep his pitch count relatively low.”
London got on the scoresheet in the fifth with three runs thanks to two singles, an error and a batter hit by a pitch. Those were all the runs the Majors would need, but they added two more in the sixth inning, three in the eighth and one in the ninth.
Concepcion went 5 1/3 innings and he allowed five runs, all earned, off five hits and a walk. He had seven strikeouts. Andy Orfanakos got the only batter he faced to fly out while Jorge Paez yielded three runs, all earned, off three hits and two walks in the inning he pitched. David Hatt gave up an earned run off a hit and two walks before being replaced by Ben Reid in the ninth. He yielded a hit and he had two strikeouts.
At the plate, Josh Garton and Darren Saunders each hit a double and a single while Justin Interisano, Naiciso Padilla and Yunior Yambatis each added one single.
For the Majors, Michael Ambrose and Chris McQueen each hit three singles and scored two runs while Matt Hexter tripled, knocked in two runs and scored three runs.
The result left the Royals at 0-2 in their return to the league while the Majors evened their record at 3-3.
“We play (Sunday) and a few games this week so we’ll kind of get up into mid-season form here shortly,” teBoekhorst said.
After slowly getting into the season, the Royals are to get busy as they’re to play the Brantford Red Sox (0-2) at Brantford’s Anderson Stadium Sunday at 2 p.m. and host the Hamilton Cardinals (1-2) Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
They’ve also rescheduled the game against the Barrie Baycats (4-0) rained out May 19 at Barrie’s Coates Stadium for Wednesday at 7 p.m.