Royals out-slug Maple Leafs in high-scoring affair

By Rob Vona

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Guelph Royals on Wednesday night at Dominico Field by a score of 15-12.

The Royals put up a whopping 22 hits to Toronto’s 13. 

Guelph opened up the scoring in the second inning with back-to-back home runs from DH Garrett Takamatsu and first baseman Josh Garton, the home team would respond with five runs of their own however in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by a grand slam from DH Jordan Castaldo. 

Garton would answer the bell yet again, blasting his second home run of the game to tie the Maple Leafs, making it a 5-5 game. 

Castaldo would stay hot, hitting a single up the middle that would cash in another run, which was quickly followed by an infield single off the bat of right-fielder Marcus Knecht, which also gave the Maple Leafs their eighth run of the game after capitalizing on a balk from Royals pitcher Wes Johnston.

Royals shortstop Brando Leroux cut into the lead with an RBI single, putting the Royals down two. 

After a scoreless fifth inning from both sides, Guelph put up a four spot in the sixth inning, a double off the bat of centre-fielder J.D. Williams brought in two runs to tie the game at eight, while Garton and left-fielder Marc Nellis each collected a base hit that brought in a run each.

Heading into the seventh inning the Maple Leafs found themselves trailing 10-8, that would soon turn to a three run deficit as the newly-acquired outfielder Andy Leader hit an infield single to score another run. 

The Maple Leafs showed tons of fight as Castaldo and Knecht each hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to make it a one-run ball game as Guelph now led 11-10.

Castaldo would finish the game with three hits (two home runs) on four at bats, along with three runs scored, two walks and a whopping six RBI.

The Royals would tack on four more runs in the final two innings of play to give themselves a 15-10 lead. 

Maple Leafs third baseman John Solazzo would rip a two-run home run over the left-field wall in the final frame, but it was no match for the big bats of the visiting Royals. 

The Maple Leafs head to Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium on Friday to take on the Hamilton Cardinals at 7:35 p.m.