Maple Leafs prevail over Red Sox with 11-5 win

By Rob Vona

The Toronto Maple Leafs came away with an 11-5 win over the Brantford Red Sox on Sunday afternoon, improving to 6-9 on the season. 

Angel Castro got the nod for the Maple Leafs and put up his strongest start of the year, posting six innings allowing just one hit while striking out eight batters. 

“Everybody enjoys his energy, we’re thankful that he’s on our team,” said Maple Leafs outfielder Marcus Knecht on Castro.

The Maple Leafs got on the board early as DH Justin Marra scored in the bottom of the first inning off of a wild pitch.

Just one inning later, Toronto opened up the floodgates, putting up six runs, highlighted by an opposite-field home run off the bat of third baseman John Solazzo. 

Solazzo is now tied for the team lead in home runs at three alongside Ryan Dos Santos. 

Castro worked with the early 7-0 lead and cruised through Brantford, finishing off his outing by retiring the final 12 batters he faced in order. 

Marra added a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 8-0, one inning later first baseman Jordan Castaldo would bring home catcher Lachlan Maude - after he collected his first extra base hit in his Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) career - on a groundout to first base to put the Maple Leafs up by nine.

Maude said that he feels great at the plate and paid homage to his family who were in attendance to witness his first career extra base hit, a booming double to deep right field.

The Maple Leafs brought in Dean Christidis in relief who cruised through one inning of work, followed by Julian Tymochko who was tagged for three runs, one earned, off of a double that banged up against the right field wall off the bat of second baseman Kieran Bowles. 

After getting substituted in, Connor Lewis took advantage of a hanging curveball from Red Sox pitcher Gabe Bruder and launched it over the left-field wall to put the Maple Leafs into double digits. 

Former Maple Leaf and newly re-signed pitcher Taylor Lepard made his 2024 IBL debut in the ninth inning with a boatload of run support. 

Lepard  was immediately welcomed back as first baseman Nick Burdett hit a solo home run to straightaway centre-field, Lepard would settle in after that, allowing just one more run as the Maple Leafs walked away with the 11-5 victory. 

The Maple Leafs are back on home soil on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. as they host the Guelph Royals.