Boscarino the Hero as Maple Leafs Walk-Off Royals in Extras

TORONTO -- As entertaining as it gets.

The Toronto Maple Leafs walked off the Guelph Royals 4-3 in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon to improve to 4-5 on the season.

With the loss, the Royals fall to 4-4.

Toronto starter Diego Dominguez took the no-decision in his first start of the season, allowing no earned runs on no hits and no walks, while striking out two batters.

Maple Leafs reliever Adam Marra picked up the win, tossing a scoreless top of the eleventh inning.

Toronto right fielder Luca Boscarino was the hero on the day, driving in the winning run from third base for his first hit in the IBL.

Guelph starter Claudio Custodio was brilliant despite taking a no-decision. The former Barrie Baycat allowed no earned runs, four hits, and four walks in eight innings of work, while striking out eleven Maple Leafs.

Royals reliever Nelson Mercado took the loss, allowing one run on two hits and one walk in two innings of work.

GUELPH - 3-7-2

TORONTO - 4-6-1

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: With runners on second and third and no out in the eleventh, Boscarino's hit was the biggest hit of the Leafs season so far.

DID YOU SEE THAT? In the top of the eighth inning, it looked as though the Royals took the lead on a sac fly from Josh Garton, but J.D. Williams, the runner at third base, left the bag early, leading to an inning-ending double play.


1. Sunday's walk-off was the first walk-off for the Leafs this season.

1. Dalton Pompey reached base just once in his Christie Pits debut, going 0-4 with a walk.

2. The Royals had a pair of ejections today, starting with their manager Dino Roumel in the top of the second inning after not being happy with the strike zone given to Custodio in the bottom of the first inning. Then, later, backup catcher Brendan Keys was ejected from the game while filling in as the warmup catcher for starting catcher Noah Roberts, who was taking his catching equipment off in between innings. 

6. Between Dominguez, Yuesi Teraorka, newcomer Sam Greene, Zach Sloan, Dustin Richardson, and Marra, the Leafs sent six pitchers to the bump on the day.


Leafs manager Damon Topolie on Boscarino's at-bat in the eleventh: "He had a great approach. We just needed a ball in the outfield and he stepped up. He redeemed himself from Friday night," laughed Topolie.

Boscarino on his approach during that at-bat: "I was just trying to put the ball in play -- something in the outfield to score the run. It was a full count and I knew he was going to throw me a fastball, so I managed to foul a couple off and then got a pitch low and good things happen for me there, so I was happy with that."

Boscarino on the Royals going with a five-man infield for the at-bat: "That was the first time I have ever seen that. In school, I hit a lot of ground balls up the middle for hits, but in that spot, I knew I had to hit a fly ball, so the second I saw that fastball, I knew I had to drop the bat head and get the ball to the outfield."

Topolie on the six pitchers he used: "The whole pitching staff was phenomenal. There are not a lot of 4-3 ball games at Christie Pits. They kept us in the game and allowed us to win it in the end."

Boscarino on the bullpen: "They make it easy for us. They kept us in the game by not walking guys and throwing strikes. They tried to make them beat us and they did a great job doing that."

Topolie on facing Custodio on Sunday after facing Jose Arias on Friday in London: "We had a tough week. We had to face Arias on Friday and then Claudio today and if you ask me, those are the two best pitchers in the league, so to grind out even a couple of wins this week was big for us."

Topolie on beating the Royals, who came into the game with a ton of buzz around them, in a close affair: "It is a great feeling. It's awesome. From here, we just have to pick up some momentum and start to go on a run."

Boscarino on the game and being on the field with the likes of the Pompey's and Richardson's of the world: "It was awesome. It was my first game at the Pits and it was just fun to be out here. There were a few nerves the first couple of at-bats, especially after facing their starter as I have never seen that velocity before. But it was fun to be a part of it, especially in the eleventh."


The Leafs head to Barrie on Thursday to battle the Baycats before beginning a home-and-home with the Brantford Red Sox on Friday, starting in Brantford and ending in Toronto on Sunday.

Photo: Craig Aikin