Knecht’s home run the difference vs. Panthers

Photo by Caps Sports Photography

TORONTO – Marcus Knecht’s two-run home run in the top of the eighth was the difference in Toronto’s 16-14 win over Kitchener Wednesday night at Christie Pits.

After Jonathan Solazzo singled with one out, Knecht took Grant Shantz deep on a 2-2 pitch as the Leafs moved to 20-13. Knecht finished with three hits and three runs, while Solazzo went 3-for-6 with four RBI and three runs. Justin Marra drove in a pair, Jose Vinicio had two hits and two runs, Damon Topolie went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run, Connor Lewis singled, homered and drove in four while scoring three times and Greg Carrington added an RBI and three runs.

Sam Greene (1-1) pitched a clean eighth inning for the win. Dustin Richardson earned his second save after striking out two of three batters he faced in the ninth. Starter Zach Sloane made it through four innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits with six walks and two strikeouts.

For Kitchener (13-21), Liam Wilson had three hits, including a home run, and four RBI. Keegan Marsden drove in two, Jett Jarvis had two hits, two RBI and three runs, Kenny Di Clemente went 3-for-5 with three runs, Andy Leader had a pair of hits and an RBI and Dan Mahoney walked three times.

Brett Reid started and gave up seven runs on eight hits over four innings. He stuck out two and walked six. Shantz (1-1) allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeout in one inning to take the loss.