After Saturday night’s game in Kitchener was washed out by rain, the Hamilton Cardinals looked to take advantage of the first game of the series going at Bernie Arbour.
However, the Panthers had other ideas as a 10-run sixth inning powered them to an 18-6 win for a one to nothing series lead on Hamilton. Mike Andrulis would go three for three, all singles, bringing in three runs to help Kitchener to the win. On the Cardinals side of the field, the Rizquez brothers combined for five of the team’s 10 hits in the game.
Hamilton opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Andris Rizquez took first base after being hit with the third pitch he saw to open the inning. Solazzo would then ground out to advance Rizquez to second. With two outs in the inning Dan Jagdeo would single to bring in the first run of the game.
In the second, Kitchener’s Jeff Pietraszko walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a Rick Murray sacrifice bunt. Mike Andrulis would then single to bring in the tying run. Andrulis would laer advance on to second on a wild pitch and to third on a stolen base before scoring on an error charged to the Cardinals catcher.
The Panthers would double their lead in the fourth. Andrulis and Mike Glinka would each single with one out before former Cardinal Darnell Duckett walked to load the bases. Tanner Nivins would then reach base on a fielder’s choice, which score Andrulis. The second run of the inning would come when Glinka crossed the plate on a passed ball. Kitchener would add another run in the fifth on an Andrulis sacrifice fly to go up 5-1.
Hamilton would get back into the game in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Marcus Dicenzo doubled to open the inning and moved to third on Cam Wilkie’s sacrifice bunt. Rizquez would then take the first pitch he saw for a two-run home run, just clearing the right field fence.
Kitchener would put the game away in the sixth as they sent 15 batters to the plate, scoring ten runs in the inning, capped off by a three-run home run by Scott David for a 15-3 lead. The Panthers would add three more runs in the seventh while the Cardinals added three runs in the bottom of the ninth with two of the runs coming in on a Rizquez triple.
For the Cardinals, Tomas Rincon took the loss going four innings before leaving the game in the fifth with an upper body injury. Rincon would allow five runs on four hits, walking five and striking out two. Matt Betts would come in to replace Rincon in the fifth and went an inning and two-thirds, allowing ten runs, five of which were unearned, on five hits and three walks. Tanner Guindon went the final three and a third innings for Hamilton, allowing three runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out one.
For Kitchener, Brian Oliver picked up the win going six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, walking one batter and striking out six. Adam Echlin relieved Oliver to start the seventh, striking out one of the three batters he faced in the inning. Matt Vickers game in for the eighth allowing a walk over the one inning of work. Mike Gatchene pitched the final inning, giving up three runs on four hits and striking out one.
Hamilton travels to Kitchener for games two and three on Monday and Tuesday nights. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.