Maple Leafs Comeback Falls Short in Loss to Jackfish
TORONTO -- Close but no cigar.
The Welland Jackfish beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-6 on Sunday afternoon to improve to 5-0 on the season.
With the loss, the Leafs go to 2-4.
Welland starter Rich Corrente picked up the win, allowing three earned runs on six hits and one walk in six innings of work.
Jackfish catcher Sam Cawker led the way at the plate, going three-for-four.
Welland reliever Scott Gillespie picked up the rare three-inning save.
Toronto starter Mason Fenwick took the loss in his IBL debut, allowing five earned runs on six hits and two walks in four innings of work.
WELLAND - 8-12-1
TORONTO - 6-9-0
BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: Up 3-2 in the top of the third inning, Jackfish third basemen Ethan Hunt hit a two-run home run to extend the roadside's lead to 5-2.
DID YOU SEE THAT? For the second game in a row, Leafs catcher Brady Cerkownyk hit a home run, with his home run on Sunday being a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning.
BY THE NUMBERS..
0. The Leafs managed to play their best defensive game of the season on Sunday, recording zero errors. A big reason for that is the addition of shortstop Jose Vinicio, who was signed by the team earlier in the day. Vinicio made it all the way to AAA in the Boston Red Sox system.
2. For the first time this season, the Leafs hit a pair of home runs at home. The first one came off Cerkownyk's bat in the second inning and then off the bat of centre fielder Greg Carrington's in the eighth inning.
4. In all four losses this season, the Leafs had brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning. The home side had turned a five-run deficit into a two-run ball game.
5. Rhys Montgomery pitched five strong innings for the Leafs in relief as he continues his impressive rookie season. The tall left-hander allowed three earned runs on six hits and one walk.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM...
Leafs manager Damon Topolie on the bats doing their job on the weekend: "We knew this week was going to be a grind due to the lack of arms but the fact that we swung the ball well is really good to see."
Topolie on the addition of Vinicio: "He is going to play absolutely great defence. He is going to solidify the defence and that will lead to a lot of us feeling a lot more comfortable out there."
Topolie on the grind of this past weekend: "It was tough. We could only do so much. Pitching is baseball, so if you don't have pitching, you aren't going to give yourself much of a chance to win. It is just unfortunate that we had a lack of arms for the first couple of weeks."
Topolie on returning to the plate this past weekend: "It is going to be a long process as I'm not getting any younger. It is going to take me a while before I feel more comfortable up there. It is what it is."
The Leafs return to action on Wednesday when they host the Barrie Baycats for the first time this season.
From there, they travel to London on Friday before returning home on Sunday to host the Guelph Royals.
Photo: Craig Aikin