Jackfish pound Maple Leafs, take 2-1 series lead

By Rob Vona

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost by a score of 15-3 to the Welland Jackfish in Game 3 of the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) semifinals on Monday afternoon at Welland Stadium.

The Jackfish scored 14 unanswered runs to erase a two-run deficit and turn it into a 12-run win.   

After winning back-to-back games in back-to-back days, the Jackfish now lead the series two games to one and are one win away from advancing to their first IBL Finals.  

Mareka Deska took to the mound for the Maple Leafs and had two runs to work with before he even threw his first pitch. 

A solo home run from catcher Justin Marra and an RBI base hit up the middle from third baseman John Solazzo in the top of the first inning gave the Maple Leafs a 2-0 lead early on. 

Deska retired the side in order before the Jackfish tacked on a run in the bottom of the second inning courtesy of a groundout to second base from right-fielder Caleb Feuerstake. That run would go unearned as Solazzo booted a ball at third base to allow for the leadoff hitter to reach base. 

Solazzo responded quickly however, launching a solo home run of his own in the top of the third inning, getting the run right back as he and the Maple Leafs regained the two-run lead. 

A quiet third inning from the Jackfish saw the Maple Leafs take the lead with six innings remaining. 

The home team exploded for five runs in the fourth and fifth inning, blowing the gates wide open. 

The Jackfish batted around the order in both innings, combining for 10 runs on nine hits. 

Deska’s day came to an end in the fourth inning after he six consecutive hits, Sam Greene entered for the Maple Leafs and was also roughed up for five earned runs. 

Jackfish starting pitcher Alberto Guerrero, who now had an eight run lead to work with, settled in and posted a strong six innings that saw him give up only the three early runs. He was credited with his second win of the playoffs.

The home team would add four more runs in the seventh inning off of a wild pitch, two walks and a double play, extending their lead to 15-3.

The Maple Leafs were unable to produce another run after scoring three in the first three innings as the Jackfish easily took home their second win of the series. 

Game 4 of the series is set for Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Dominico Field where the Maple Leafs will have their backs against the wall, looking to force a winner-take-all Game 5.  

The post game report is brought to you by Woodbine Racetrack, official sponsor of Maple Leafs baseball.