Maple Leafs Lose to Red-Hot Baycats

By Rob Vona

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the red-hot Barrie Baycats on Wednesday night at Dominico Field by a score of 17-8, dropping their third game in a row. 

With the win, the Baycats have now won eight games in a row and sit just two games behind the Welland Jackfish for first place in the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) standings. 

Maple Leafs pitcher Julian Valdez was charged with his third loss of the season after giving up five earned runs in one-and-one-third innings pitched of relief. 

The Baycats got off to a 4-0 lead with a pair of two-run home runs from shortstop Starlin Rodriguez and centre-fielder Canice Ejoh. 

The Maple Leafs would respond with a couple of two-run home runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning. DH Jordan Castaldo got on the board with his first home run of the year, while third baseman Johnathan Solazzo launched his league-leading eighth home run to tie the game up at four. 

A sac-fly from Castaldo in the bottom of the fifth inning gave the Maple Leafs their first lead of the game, leading 5-4. 

Ejoh and Rodriguez kept supplying offence for the Baycats, an RBI single and RBI fielder’s choice from the both of them gave the Baycats the lead yet again as they now owned a one-run lead at 6-5. 

The visiting team kept the bats rolling with two more RBI singles in the top of the sixth inning, coming off the bat of left-fielder Noel-McGarry Doyle and right-fielder Kyles Maves, extending the Baycats lead to 8-5. 

The Maple Leafs were quick to respond in the bottom half of the inning however, a mammoth two-run home run from catcher Justin Marra was quickly followed by an RBI fielder’s choice from left-fielder Aidan McAskie tied the game up at eight. 

Back and forth the two teams went as the Baycats took the lead yet again in the top of the seventh inning, leading 10-8 before opening the floodgates.

After Baycats reliever Adam Khan - who would go on to get credited with his first win of the season - shut down the Maple Leafs in the seventh inning, the Baycats exploded for seven runs in the eighth inning.

The seven run inning was highlighted by back-to-back-to-back home runs courtesy of first baseman Adam Odd, third baseman Victor Plaz and catcher Josh Cote as the Baycats suddenly led 17-8.

Odd would go on to finish the game with a game-high five hits, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. 

Yoichi Ishihara made his first pitching appearance of the season and added a strikeout to his statline as the Maple Leafs failed to come back from the nine run deficit, losing 17-8. 

The Maple Leafs will travel to Hastings Stadium on Saturday for a Canada Day match with the Guelph Royals at 1:00 p.m., before coming home and taking on the London Majors on Sunday. 

The postgame report is brought to you by Woodbine Racetrack, official sponsor of the Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club.