AC/DC’s “Let’s Play Ball” dominated the airwaves at and around Arnold Anderson Stadium in Brantford on the gorgeous afternoon of Sunday, May 13 for the Red Sox season opener. They took on the Hamilton Cardinals.
And that song perfectly encapsulated the feeling. There was a buzz in the air as the spectators missed their Red Sox baseball. It’s been a long offseason!
There was a feeling of positivity in West Brant. Or maybe that was just the faint smell of hotdogs being grilled…
While it’s been slow to greet us, the weather was perfect and screamed of baseball. And the hometown must have felt it too, as patrons filled all three bleachers: the main bleachers behind the plate as well as the ones beyond each dugout.
Being the home squad means Brantford took the field first. The starting pitcher for the Red Sox, Matt Martinow, had a great start going three up, three down surrendering only a few weak ground balls. No damage was done at all as no runners reached base. He set the third man of Hamilton’s order down via a strikeout, swinging.
On the other hand, Brantford’s first batter reached base. Speedster Wilson Soriano advanced to first on a groundball before some aggressive baserunning allowed him to score on a wild pitch. Brantford 1, Hamilton 0.
In the third inning, Brantford surrendered the lead to Hamilton.
However, great heads up baserunning from Matt McGovern led Brantford to tie the game back up entering the fifth inning.
In the next half-inning showed McGovern isn’t a one-trick pony (with only good baserunning) as he got dirty at second base making a diving stab at the groundball, picking it off. This helped Brantford preserve the tie.
Fast forward to the ninth inning, Brantford brought in flame-throwing pitcher, Euclides Leyer. Unfortunately, Leyer couldn’t hone his power or get on the same page with his battery-mate, catcher David Mendham. This is understandable early in season before pitcher and catcher are in sync (they call it “midseason form” for a reason– and we’re not there yet).
A few balls, consequently, went to the backstop, including one that allowed the game-winning run to score. Hamilton 4, Brantford 2.
Despite succumbing late, it was a lovely home-opener enjoyed by all in attendance. Unfortunately, it was just a little lovelier for Hamilton as the Red Sox fall 4-2 in their season opener. Brantford hopes for a different fate next week when they face Barrie. Game starts at 2:00 PM at Arnold Anderson Stadium inside Cockshutt Park. Come enjoy the feeling of summer!
Photos of the game can be found on Brantford Red Sox Facebook Page.