HAMILTON – The Kitchener Panthers held on for a narrow 7-6 extra innings win over the Hamilton Cardinals on Sunday.
The win allowed the Panthers, winners of three straight, to pass London by a half a game and claim third place in the Intercounty Baseball League with the playoffs less than two weeks away.
The game was notable as the Intercounty debut of former Cincinnati Reds prospect Mitch Clarke, the big lefty who signed with the Panthers July 1 but had yet to pitch in a game. Clarke faced nine batters in relief Sunday, striking out two and walking one while giving up two hits and allowing no runs.
The Cardinals (12-21) scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 3-0 lead, and held that lead until Kitchener scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning.
The Panthers responded with a single run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game 4-4 and send it to extras, where the Panthers notched three runs in the top of the 10th to take a 7-4 lead. They almost let that three run lead evaporate, however, as the Cardinals registered two runs of their own in the bottom of the 10th but couldn’t complete the comeback, dropping their third straight game.
Shaun Slemko was the third Kitchener pitcher and earned the win for the Panthers (19-14), the club’s third straight. Slemko allowed three hit and three runs – one earned – with three walks over 1 1/3 innings pitched. Matt Robertson earned the save, allowing one walk and registering two outs.
Jeff Pietraszko had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI in the win, while Mitch Delaney doubled and drove in two runs. Tanner Nivins had a pair of hits, while Mat Taube and Rick Murray each registered a hit and an RBI. Mike Glinka and Mike Andrulis each scored and drove in a run, while Kevin Nickel added a hit for the visitors. Keith Kandel, Brian Burton and Darnell Duckett all scored a run in the win.
Nino Fasulo was the third of four Hamilton pitchers and took the loss, allowing three hits and three earned runs with two walks and two strikeouts over one inning pitched.
Dre Celestijn and Jonathan Solazzo each had a pair of hits and an RBI, with Solazzo adding a pair of runs scored for the Cardinals. Zack Sardellitti had a pair of hits and a run scored, while Mike Gottschalk singled, drove in a pair of runs and scored once. Andris Rizquez singled and drove in a run, while Kyle Gappa singled and scored in the loss.
-IBL Media Relations