Leafs Score Twice in Eighth to Beat Baycats

by Ryan Eakin

MIDHURST -- Twice in eight days.

The Toronto Maple Leafs scored two runs in the eighth inning on Thursday to beat the Barrie Baycats 7-5 to improve to 5-5 on the season.

With the loss, the Baycats drop to 5-5.

Toronto starter Diego Dominguez took the no-decision for a second straight start, allowing three earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out three batters.

A fine-looking linescore should have looked a lot better for Dominguez, who should have gotten out of the fifth inning without allowing any runs. However, Ryan Rijo brought in two runs on a flyout to centre field, as Maple Leafs centre fielder Greg Carrington lost sight of the ball.

Maple Leafs reliever Dylan Jacober picked up the win in his IBL debut.

The former Ottawa Titan allowed no earned runs on one hit and one walk, while striking out three batters.

Toronto first basemen Jordan Castaldo led the way at the plate against his former team, going one-for-two with a pair of walks.

Carrington had himself a night at the plate, too, going two-for-four.

Maple Leafs closer Dustin Richardson picked up his first save of the season.

Barrie starter Jayson Aquino took a no-decision of his own after a couple of week hiatus. The former Baltimore Oriole allowed three earned runs on six hits and one walk.

Baycats reliever Chris Cox took the loss, allowing two runs (none earned) on one hit and one walk.

TORONTO - 7-7-3

BARRIE - 5-9-5

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: With runners on second and third and two out in the eighth, Cox threw a wild pitch to allow Maple Leafs designated hitter/manager Damon Topolie to score from third base to give the Leafs a 6-5 lead.

Baycats catcher Tyler Plumpton thought he had a chance to throw Topolie out on the play, but he threw the ball away, allowing shortstop Jose Vinicio to score from second base as well.

DID YOU SEE THAT? With a runner on in the eighth inning, Vinicio crushed a ball to left-centre to put two runners in scoring position for the Leafs.

For Vinicio, it capped off his best night of the season, as he went two-for-five while making one slick play after another at shortstop.

BY THE NUMBERS...

2. The Baycats ran into two outs in the later stages of the ball game, first starting with Plumpton in the eighth inning, who tried to turn a base hit into a double, only to be thrown out by Luca Boscarino in right field. An inning later, Noel McGarry-Doyle got thrown out trying to steal second base, despite being down by two runs.

5. Three errors for the Maple Leafs on Thursday. Thankfully for them, the Baycats made five of them in what will not go down as the cleanest game of the season.

8: For the second time in the last eight days, the Maple Leafs picked up a win against their rivals from Barrie.

INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM...

Leafs manager Damon Topolie on Dominguez's performance: "He had some tough luck there. He had a pop-up and a groundball in the fifth inning and should have been out of it. I thought he pitched his tail off and deserved a better result, but we got the win."

Topolie on the debut of Jacober: "He had to get his feet wet. He was probably a little nervous in the first inning but settled down the second inning and threw strikes. That's what he's going to do."

Castaldo on Jacober's outing: "He came out and filled it up. I heard the guys talking about his two-seemer and while it is tough to tell from the side, I thought he threw all of his pitches well. It wasn't just him, either. Our starter looked great, [Chris] Nagorski looked great, and Richardson looked like Richardson. If we can continue to get performances like this from our bullpen we will be tough to beat in the back half of games."

Topolie on Boscarino and Justin Marra throwing out runners late in the game: "We need those huge plays late in the game. To grind these games out, you need those plays. Every game has been close and you can see the league is totally different this year, so so you need plays like that."

Castaldo on not letting Aquino dominate them: "We didn't let him pitch to his strengths. He had a good curveball and was throwing his fastball for strikes, though I'm not sure if he had the velocity he wanted. We just made sure we were getting the pitches we wanted to hit."

Castaldo on Dawson Parks coming in for an injured Dan Marra in the seventh inning: "The kid comes out every day as a member of this team and grinds with us. He does all the little things that you need guys to do on the team to keep you ticking. It was nice to see him get in there and make the most of his opportunity. Cox is a tough guy to face as you heard me say to you and he had a tough at-bat. He didn't have the result he wanted to have but I'm not sure when the last time was that he saw a live pitch, so I'm really happy to see that."

LOOKING AHEAD...

The Leafs are back at it on Friday against the Brantford Red Sox before welcoming them to Christie Pits on Sunday to wrap up the home-and-home.

Photo: Craig Aikin 

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