Maple Leafs Bats Torch Baycats Pitching Staff to Extend Win Streak

by Ryan Eakin

TORONTO -- Over before it started.

The Toronto Maple Leafs crushed the Barrie Baycats 20-4 on Wednesday evening to improve to 15-11 on the season and to extend their win streak to three games.

With the loss, the Baycats fall to 16-10.

Toronto starter Angel Castro had his best start yet in the IBL, tossing six innings of two-run ball on eight hits and no walks.

The veteran struck out five Barrie batters.

Maple Leafs catcher Justin Marra had his best night of the season at the plate, going four-for-five with a walk, highlighted by a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.

Toronto starter-turned-reliever Zach Sloan picked up the rare three-inning save.

Barrie starter Henry Civil had a tough Christie Pits debut, to say the least, allowing eight earned runs on three hits and a breathtaking four walks all while being unable to record an out.

BARRIE - 4-11-0

TORONTO - 20-16-1

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: Up 6-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Marra's home run ended any chance the Baycats had at coming back on the evening.

DID YOU SEE THAT? In the bottom of the third inning, with the Leafs up 9-2, Maple Leafs shortstop Jose Vinicio hit a base hit to score designated hitter Damon Topolie from second base.

It was a close play at the plate, but the always nimble Topolie, instead of sliding into home, managed to score standing up after avoiding the tag from Baycats catcher Tyler Plumpton.

BY THE NUMBERS...

9. All nine batters that started the game for the Leafs reached base at least twice on Wednesday. Maple Leafs first basemen Jordan Castaldo and right fielder Luca Boscarino did not record any hits, but they managed to walk three and two times respectively 

13. The Leafs walked 13 times on the evening.

71. Just 71 pitches for Castro, who was in control all night long after the Leafs put up nine runs in the first inning.

INSIDE THE LOCKERROOM... (Parts of this interview, conducted by Carlos Verde, has been translated from Spanish.)

Castro: I felt good out there, I felt good throwing for strikes. As somebody who played a lot of baseball as a professional, I'm somebody who is motivated to pitch well. I came in hungry to pitch against them, and thank God things turned out well.

CV: You've been in Canada a number of weeks now, this was your fourth start. What are your initial impressions of life in our country and the squad with the Leafs?

AC: We're still getting warmed up. It's a new country, a new league. You have to get used to the climate -- you don't know immediately how the air will change your pitches. That's starting to come, thankfully I'm beginning to control my stuff better. 

I'm going to continue to focus on throwing strikes and getting comfortable, and we're going to keep working as a team to try and bring home a championship.

CV: Lastly Angel, who is your favourite teammate here early on in your debut season with the Leafs?

AC: Dustin Richardson! He played with me in the Aguilas Cibaeñas, a long time ago in the Dominican Republic, that's my favourite player

LOOKING AHEAD...

The Leafs travel to Brantford on Friday to face the Brantford Red Sox before returning home on Sunday to host the London Majors.

Photo: Craig Aikin 

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