IBL PLAYOFF ROUNDUP: Rijo, Garces lead Baycats to Game 1 win

Photo by Bob Hurley

KITCHENER – Ryan Rijo homered twice and Frank Garces struck out five over eight innings to lead Barrie to a 5-4 win Saturday over Kitchener in Game 1 of the best-of-five semifinal. 

Rijo opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-run blast. He added a solo shot in the sixth, which was the difference. Avery Tuck also went deep in the fifth with a runner on base. 

Garces allowed four runs on eight hits and didn’t issue a walk. Brandon Hillier threw a scoreless ninth for the save. 

Marcel Lacasse hit a three-run home run for the Panthers. Liam Wilson went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run, while Andy Leader singled twice and scored. 

Yadian Martinez was charged with five runs on five hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out nine. 

Leafs take opener in Welland

WELLAND – Jordan Castaldo scored on an error in the 12th inning as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged Welland 4-3 Saturday night in the opening game of the best-of-five IBL semifinal. 

Toronto opened the scoring in the third inning when Castaldo walked with the bases loaded. Dan Marra did the same in the eighth inning to make it 2-0.

Welland tied it in the bottom of the inning, as Ethan Hunt singled home a run and James Smibert was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

The Leafs retook the lead in the 10th when Jesse Hodges’ sacrifice fly scored Castaldo. Once again, the Jackfish replied in the bottom half as Caleb Feuerstake’s fielder’s choice scored Brandon Underhill.

Garrett Takamatsu had two hits for the Leafs, while Hunt and Gianfranco Morello each had a pair of hits for Welland. 

Sam Greene struck out two over a pair of scoreless innings to pick up the win. Rich Corrente took the loss, yielding an unearned run on two hits in the 12th. 

Leafs’ starting pitcher Wilgenis Alvarado lasted 7.1 innings and allowed two runs (none earned) on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Welland counterpart Jake Harford also went 7.1 innings and gave up two runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.