Jackfish slug their way to victory over Maple Leafs

By Rob Vona

The Toronto Maple Leafs fell short to the Welland Jackfish by a score of 7-4 on Sunday afternoon at Dominico Field. 

Welland hit five home runs to power their way to their fifth consecutive game. 

Angel Castro got the nod for the Maple Leafs in his first start in the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) since the 2022 season.

The Jackfish got to Castro quickly, putting up two runs courtesy of back-to-back home runs from centre-fielder Brandon Hupe and first baseman Steven Moretto.

The opposing team kept their foot on the gas as Hupe ripped a double down the left-field line that scored two more runs, making it a 4-0 game after just two innings of play. 

Hupe finished the game with three RBI on three hits. 

The Maple Leafs responded in the third inning, putting up a trio of runs to cut the lead to just one. 

A pair of RBI singles from centre-fielder Marcus Knecht and catcher Justin Marra cut the lead in half, then Jackfish pitcher Jake Harford walked left-fielder Ryan Dos Santos with the bases loaded, forcing in the third run. 

The Jackfish tagged Castro for three more runs in the fifth inning in dramatic fashion. 

Back-to-back-to-back home runs from Moretto (his second of the day), catcher Robert Mullen and right-fielder Matteo Porcellato saw the Jackfish extend their lead to five, as Castro’s day was ended after surrendering seven runs in five innings of work. 

The Maple Leafs threatened in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and zero outs, however one one run was manufactured courtesy of an RBI single from newly-acquired outfielder Chris Robinson. 

The Maple Leafs would strand the other baserunners before Welland turned the ball over to Deivy Mendez. 

Mendez cruised through his two innings of relief, facing the minimum and striking out three batters to claim his second save of the season, leading the Jackfish to the 7-4 win. 

After three games in three days, the Maple Leafs get three days off before travelling to Jack Couch Park on Thursday to take on the Kitchener Panthers, first pitch is set for 7:30 p.m..