Maple Leafs Suffer Walk-Off Loss to Baycats
MIDHURST - Couldn't breakthrough.
The Barrie Baycats defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in walk-off fashion on Thursday evening to begin their 2022 Intercounty Baseball League season 1-0.
The Leafs dropped to 0-2.
Ex big-leaguer Jayson Aquino picked up the no-decision for the Baycats in their home opener, throwing five innings of shutout baseball, striking out seven Maple Leafs batters in the process.
Closer Brad Grievesion picked up the win after picking up the blown save minutes earlier.
The longtime Baycat allowed a home run to Leafs outfielder Ryan Santos in the top of the ninth inning, which led to a tie game, only to get out of the rest of the inning unharmed.
Baycats designated hitter Adam Odd led the way at the plate, going two-for-four.
The former Maple Leaf led the ninth inning off with a base hit before suffering an injury on the play, leading to James Anderson coming in as a pinch-runner.
Maple Leafs starter Sebastian Kahn took the no-decision after pitching five innings of one-run ball.
Kahn, who made his IBL debut last season against the Baycats, allowed one earned run on five hits and two walks.
Toronto reliever Adam Marra took the loss, despite allowing only one earned run on three hits and no walks.
TORONTO - 1-7-3
BARRIE - 2-8-2
BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: With the bases loaded and one out for the Baycats in the bottom of the ninth inning, veteran catcher Tyler Plumpton blooped one over Blake Simpson's head at shortstop to lead to the walk-off win.
DID YOU SEE THAT? In a 2-1 game, there was not a lot of excitement, so it is fitting that the nicest play of the game came off a well-placed lead-off bunt from Santos to begin the top of the seventh inning.
BY THE NUMBERS...
11. The Leafs left 11 runners on base in Thursday's contest.
16. Leafs batters struck out 16 different times on Thursday, compared to the Baycats, who struck out only once.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM...
Maple Leafs manager Damon Topolie on Kahn's outing: "It was gutty. There was some interesting moments but he is a young kid who competed and that is all I can ask from him right now. He kept us in the game and deserved a better outcome. If you would have told me that they would have scored their only run off of him on a passed ball or wild pitch, I would have taken it. It is what it is."
Topolie on the relief appearance from Marra: "That was huge from him and for him. It is a huge confidence booster for him and for me, because it now gives me the confidence to know that he is going to come in, throw strikes, and compete."
Topolie on the close loss: "It is an early game. It is a 2-1 ball game in May. There were some small mistakes but I'll take what the outcome was because even though it was a loss, there were a lot of learning and teachable moments from this game."
The Leafs return to action on Saturday when they travel to Guelph to battle the Royals, who return to the IBL for the first time since the 2019 season.
From there, they return home on Sunday to host the Brantford Red Sox.
Photo: Craig Aikin