Custodio sets IBL strikeout record in Royals’ win

Photo by Gar Fitzgerald

GUELPH – There’s a new Intercounty Baseball League strikeout king.

Guelph Royals pitcher Claudio Custodio fanned 12 Kitchener batters Saturday evening and set an IBL single-season record with 157 punchouts – surpassing Ron Stead’s 57-year mark.

Stead, near the end of a nine-year run with the Brantford Red Sox, struck out 156 in 1965 when it was a 30-game season. He started 13 games and appeared in four others.

Custodio, meanwhile, has also started 13 games in 2022 and not only leads the league in strikeouts but ranks first among starters in earned-run average (2.25) and innings pitched (96) and is second in wins (8-0).

Guelph has 10 games remaining after Saturday’s 9-1 home victory over Kitchener.

Dalton Pompey went 3-for-5 and finished a triple short of the cycle. He drove in a run and scored three times. Ethan Hammond homered and drove in three, Josh Garton connected for a two-run blast, Kyle DeGrace had two hits and two RBI, Sean Reilly went 2-for-3, J.D. Williams had a pair of hits and scored once and Conner Morro drove in a run.

Custodio, a 31-year-old righty from the Dominican Republic, was lifted with one out in the eighth after striking out Jett Jarvis to set the record on his 105th pitch. He allowed a run on three hits and a walk.

Keegan Marsden had the Panthers’ lone RBI on a sacrifice fly. Andy Leader singled and scored.

Jacob Douglas (4-2) went five innings and gave up five runs on eight hits with five strikeouts.

Guelph improved to 22-10, and Kitchener dropped to 12-19.