Top of the Order Puts on a Show as Maple Leafs Win Game One Over Baycats

by Ryan Eakin

TORONTO - Comment, anyone?

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Barrie Baycats 10-5 on Wednesday evening to take a 1-0 series lead in their best-of-three semifinal series.

Toronto starting pitcher Marek Deska grinded through five innings and managed to pick up the win while doing so.

The veteran right-hander allowed five earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out eight Barrie batters.

Maple Leafs' designated hitter Sean Reilly led the way at the plate, going four-for-five.

Joining him in the hit parade tonight included first basemen Jordan Castaldo, Justin Marra, and Marcus Knecht, all of whom hit home runs tonight.

Barrie starter Andrew Grieder struggled in his Christie Pits debut, allowing nine earned runs on nine hits and three bases on balls in just 2.2 innings pitched.

BARRIE - 5-12-3

TORONTO - 10-12-0

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: Up 7-4 in the bottom of the third inning, Castaldo hit a two-run, opposite field home run to give the Maple Leafs a 9-4 lead.

While the Baycats threatened to comeback in the top of the eighth and ninth innings when they loaded up the bases, Castaldo's home run against his former team simply proved to be too much for the Baycats in game one of the semis.

BY THE NUMBERS...

1. The Maple Leafs are one win away from ending the Baycats' dynasty. 

Winners of the last six Jack and Lynne Dominico Cups, this will be the first time since game seven of the 2015 semis that the Baycats championship-defence is on the line.

1.1 and 1.2: Relievers Zach Sloan and Mateos Kekatos were fantastic out of the Leafs' bullpen tonight, allowing no earned runs in a combined three innings pitched tonight.

3. He ran into trouble, but closer Dustin Richardson managed to strike out the side in the ninth inning to secure the game one win for the Leafs.

The Baycats won that game back in 2015, against the Maple Leafs, no less.

10. A measly 10 spot for the Maple Leafs tonight. 

The blue team has scored 39 runs in three playoff games thus far in the postseason.

NEXT UP...

- The Leafs travel to Coates Stadium on Saturday afternoon for game two of this semifinals series.

With a win, they will advance to the championship series for the first time since 2016.

For more information, follow the Maple Leafs on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @iblmapleleafs.

Photo: @LaRussaGastro