By Jesse Ferguson, 4BRANT
Brantford faced Kitchener in the home set of a home-and-home back-to-back at Arnold Anderson Stadium in Cockshutt Park on Friday, June 29th.
Brantford hosted a game on a day without rain so the game went off without a hitch.
On the previous night, Brantford slaughtered Kitchener 15-1.
Nate DeSouza hit two homeruns in the victory.
Fans hoped for just the result tonight for their team but that much offence would be good to see.
“It’s a big night tonight,” Red Sox owner Rick Pomerleau said. “It’s Stefan Stricker night.”
That it was.
Before the game, the Red Sox honoured their longtime pitcher, Stefan Strecker. He’s been here for a long career and was apart of those Brantford championships. He’s number one in career appearances for pitching in the Inter-county Baseball League.
Strecker was voted 39th all-time in the IBL and Brantford was showing their appreciation and pride for their star. Strecker was presented with a golden bat for his mighty career achievements and inclusion on the IBL’s Top 100 List (below, via the Brantford Red Sox Facebook page; picture via Crystal Young Photography).
But after this year he’s reportedly going to retire. Pointstreak’s Chad Pomerleau said Strecker has retired twice before though and he has found his way back to the team somehow.
“Hopefully he comes back again,” Pomerleau said.
Getting the start for Brantford was not Strecker– despite Stecker getting the first pitch tonight, which was the ceremonial first pitch before the game.
On the hill for Brantford tonight was a fellow sidewinder, Euclides Leyer. Leyer (below, via Crystal Young) has settled into his role nicely after a bit of a rocky start this season.
And he also sat down his first batter faced, his first of two strikeouts apart of a three-up, three-down inning.
Leyer’s second inning though, was not so smooth. It seems that when Leyer gets behind he slightly panics. It’s either that or he’s not as comfortable with runners on (throwing from the stretch position). He gave up two runs in the second.
But in the next inning, Brantford’s Blake Kauer sent a double to the field to score Matt McGovern (picture via Crystal Young Photography). That halved the Panthers lead to one.
That score held for seemingly ever.
Leyer gave up nothing else, but he was lifted in the seventh with the Red Sox down, he was not eligible for the win.
Jose Bautista took over on the mound (but not that Jose Bautista as in former Blue Jays legend Jose Bautista– but this is Brantford’s Jose Bautista, the pitcher, whom is pictured below via Crystal Young Photography).
Bautista struggled out of the gate and the bases got loaded behind him with none out (there was at least one error behind him though– but Point streak was not up and running to confirm the amount). Kitchener though could only score one run, which had to be a big plus for Brantford as it looked like it was going to be much worse than that.
Being behind, the Red Sox decided then was the time pitcher Kurt Horne should make his debut. Horne was just picked up by the Sox as a much-needed lefty out of the bullpen.
His defense wasn’t helping him any either as catchable balls weren’t caught, making for a rough debut.
With the game out of hand and the Red Sox having turned in a poor showing, Brantford manager Wayne Forman threw in the man of the night, Stefan Strecker, in hopes to change the mood at Arnold Anderson Stadium (Stecker, below, via Crystal Young Photography).
Alas, even with the magic of Strecker on his own night, it could not right the sails for Brantford. The previous night at their home, Kitchener put up a stinker, but Brantford returned the favour tonight at their home at Arnold Anderson Stadium.
When the home teams do this (losing a combined 25-2), home fans find it unimaginable. In this case, Brantford fans are hard pressed to believe the team stuck it to Kitchener 15-1 just the previous night.
But as Sportsnet’s Buck Martinez (below) may say: “But hey, that’s baseball (snicker, snicker).”
Brantford looks to show this game was an anomaly, and that they really are a hot team on the upswing. They’ll get the chance to prove it this week, when they play four games in five days.
On Wednesday they face Toronto at Arnold Anderson Stadium and on Friday they host Burlington. 14 hours later or so, Brantford will be at it again at home making up a game versus London.
The following day they will ship it up to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs. It is not confirmed whether the Leafs will dress their new signee, John Tavares (below).