Jackfish Spoil Castro's Debut as Leafs Have Winning Streak Snapped

by Ryan Eakin

TORONTO -- Sometimes she goes, sometimes she doesn't.

The Welland Jackfish beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 14-2 on Sunday afternoon to improve to 13-5 on the season.

With the loss, the Maple Leafs fall to 11-7 and have their four-game winning streak snapped.

Welland starter Rich Corrente picked up his second win of the season against the Leafs, pitching six and two-thirds of an inning while allowing only two earned runs on nine hits and two walks.

Jackfish shortstop James Smibert put on a show at the plate and on the field today, going five-for-six with a home run, while making a web-gem of a catch off of Maple Leafs shortstop Jose Vinicio in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Toronto starter Angel Castro struggled in his Maple Leafs debut, allowing five earned runs on ten hits and one walk in four innings of work.

WELLAND - 14-17-1

TORONTO - 2-9-4

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: In the top of the second inning, Jackfish centre fielder Gio Morrelo picked up an RBI base hit, allowing Jackfish left fielder Cole Cote to score.

The hit made it 4-0 Jackfish and made the game feel all but over from that point.

DID YOU SEE THAT? As written earlier, Smibert's web-gem of a catch off of Vinicio was easily the nicest play of the game on either side.

Smibert, who began the season in the Frontier League, sure seems destined to end back up in pro ball sooner rather than later.

BY THE NUMBERS...

2. Two solid innings of work out of the bullpen by Rhys Montgomery, who continues to impress in his rookie season with the Leafs.

4. Four errors from the Leafs today, who did Castro absolutely no favours on the mound.

4. Maple Leafs first basemen Jordan Castaldo reached base four times as he continues to put himself in the MVP conversation. 

10. All ten hits off of Castro were singles on Sunday.

INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM...

Maple Leafs manager Damon Topolie on Castro's debut: "Today was just him getting a feel for this league, our mound, and just everything that is going on. The guy literally flew in last night, so I just wanted to see what he could do. I'm not too worried as we didn't give him any help, making four errors."

Topolie on the loss: "We can't be too disappointed as we took two out of three on the weekend. The only tough thing was watching a team like Welland bunt when they were up by that many runs. It's bush league baseball. They have no feel for the game and no class."

Topolie on the Jackfish third base coach wanting to send home Ethan Hunt in the top of the ninth inning, only for Hunt to realize the score of the game: "It's just not good baseball. It's not smart. It's not the way you play the game."

LOOKING AHEAD...

The Leafs begin the super rare three-game IBL set with the Guelph Royals on Tuesday in Guelph before going back there on Saturday.

The two teams then head to Toronto on Sunday.

Photo: Craig Aikin 

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