Ryan Dos Santos single leads Leafs to Opening Day Victory

Photo by Craig Aikin

A five-run explosion in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 victory over the defending Intercounty Baseball League champion London Majors on Sunday to open the 2023 season at Dominico Field at Christie Pits.

After being stymied by Majors starter Owen Boon, who struck out 10, walked two, and gave up two hits during his five innings of work, the Maple Leafs got to Pedro De Los Santos and Braeden Ferrington in the eighth. Yoichi Ishihara and James Dutton hit doubles, while Dan Marra and Ryan Santos added singles to help the home team score five runs on four hits to take the season opener.

Daniel Procopio ended up with the win on the mound and Adam Marra got the save. Both pitchers only allowed one hit in two combined innings of work.

The Majors took advantage of some early control problems from Maple Leafs starter Julian Valdez to score one run in the first. The defending champs then scored one run in the fifth, sixth, and seventh to give them what they may have thought was a huge cushion heading down the stretch.

Austin Wilkie and Daniel Battel led the Majors offence with two hits each, while Eduardo de Oleo, Brett Graham, and Andrew Lawrence also had hits.

Valdez did settle in after a rough first inning, giving up that single run off two hits.

The Maple Leafs (1-0) are back in action on Thursday in Barrie against the BayCats at 7:35 p.m. The Majors (0-1) next game is its home opener on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. against the Maple Leafs.