McAskie Puts on a Show as Leafs Blowout Panthers

by Ryan Eakin

KITCHENER -- Revenge.

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Kitchener Panthers 18-6 on Thursday evening to improve to 8-6 on the season.

The Leafs, by doing so, split the midweek home-and-home with the Panthers, who beat the Leafs 14-6 on Wednesday.

The Panthers fall to 5-6 with the loss.

Toronto starter Zach Sloan took a no-decision on short rest, tossing four innings of one-run ball while allowing three hits and three walks.

The former Canisius Golden Griffin struck out three.

Maple Leafs reliever Ryan Wells picked up his first career win, pitching three innings of shutdown baseball while allowing two hits and three walks.

Maple Leafs third basemen Aiden McAskie had his most impressive night of the season yet, going three-for-five with two home runs and a walk, highlighted by a grand slam in the top of the fourth inning.

Not to be outdone was Justin Marra, who hit a pair of home runs himself.

The Maple Leafs catcher had no home runs coming into Sunday's game against the Brantford Red Sox, but after home runs in three consecutive games, he is now in a four-way tie for second in the league in home runs with four.

Kitchener starter Brady Schnarr took the loss, allowing five earned runs on six hits and two walks in two innings pitched.

TORONTO - 18-16-1

KITCHENER - 6-10-1

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: Up 5-0 in the top of the fourth inning, McAskie's grand slam -- and his second home run of the game -- put this one out of reach.

BY THE NUMBERS...

2. A game after not recording a walk for only the third time this season, Maple Leafs first basemen Jordan Castaldo was back at it on Thursday -- walking twice. He has now walked 22 times on the season.

3. And for the second game in a row, Castaldo hit a home run. He now has three home runs on the season, with all three coming against the Panthers.

3. A three-hit night for Maple Leafs shortstop Jose Vinicio, his first in the IBL as he continues to heat up with his bat.

3. A day after a tough outing on the mound, Maple Leafs two-way player Yusei Teraoka had a nice night at the plate in his first game in the Leafs lineup, going one-for-three with a pair of walks.

4. Both Marra and Aidan McAskie are now tied for second in the league in home runs with four.

49. In their last four games, the Leafs have scored 49 runs, as they begin to show signs that their offence is returning to their 2021 form.

LOOKING AHEAD...

The Leafs return home on Sunday to host the Hamilton Cardinals for the first time this season.

Photo: Craig Aikin 

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