KITCHENER – The Kitchener Panthers put an end to the Brantford Red Sox’s eight-game winning streak Sunday night at Jack Couch Park, but had a close call with their ace in the process.
The Panthers, now 2.5 games back from first place Brantford in the Intercounty Baseball League, clung on to the win in the ninth after Matt McGovern came on to end the game but walked three batters to load the bases.
With Brantford down by a run, McGovern – who stayed in after a visit from the trainer for what appeared to be shoulder pain – induced a double play to seal the 7-6 win.
But the real alarm on the mound came in the first inning, when starter Marcos Reyna was drilled on a comebacker by Terrell Alliman on the right elbow. Reyna fielded the ball to end the inning, but was done for the game.
Reyna, the team’s ace, declined to go to the hospital and iced the elbow in the dugout. He lost feeling in his hand for about half an hour, coach Brian Bishop said, and the club will monitor his status in the coming days.
Shaun Hancock picked up the win after replacing Reyna and pitching the next five innings, giving up four runs on six hits. Nathan Forer took the loss for the Red Sox, allowing nine hits and seven runs – two earned – with three strikeouts over five and two-thirds innings.
The biggest swing in the back and forth game came from shortstop Iggy Villalobos, who launched a three-run shot over the left field fence to give Kitchener the lead in the sixth inning.
It was Villalobos’ second home run of the season, in his fourth game since joining the Panthers at the end of his U.S. college season.
Mitch Delaney also had a pair of doubles and scored a run in the game. Jeff Pietraszko singled twice with an RBI and two runs scored, while Mat Taube added a double. Mike Andrulis and Brian Burton both singled, and Kaiden Bowers added an RBI and a run scored.
Cambridge’s Scott Thorman, the former major leaguer who plays first base for Brantford, drove in two runs in the game, including a solo home run in the seventh inning.
The two teams split their weekend series, after Kitchener's 3-2 loss in Brantford Friday night, despite a complete game from import starter Matt Robertson, who gave up just one hit and three earned runs while striking out ten batters.
The Panthers play tomorrow night in Barrie and their next home game is Thursday against Hamilton, 7:30 p.m. at Jack Couch Park.