By Jesse Ferguson, 4BRANT
The Great One’s father, Walter Gretzky, was out celebrating summer and sports.
The Brantford Red Sox wanted to acknowledge a great man at their home game on Saturday, July 7. He looked like he was in good form as he whipped the ceremonial first pitch at Arnold Anderson Stadium (below; picture courtesy of Crystal Young Photography)– without bouncing the pitch to the catcher.
The Red Sox are 1-9 at home and 6-3 on the road.
Red Sox owner Rick Pomerleau, said the team decided amongst themselves that they would switch things up and wear their blue jerseys and grey pants (below) instead of their normal home get-up. Anything to turn the tides at home.
It was a very tough start to the contest. Brantford starter Euclides Leyer (below; photo by Crystal Young) gave up hits and the defence made some costly errors. It was 3-0 for London before Brantford picked up a bat.
In the second inning, Brantford did get on the board though. Blake Kauer drove home Anthony Risquez after Risquez got a hit and stole second.
Kauer was then on the move apart of a hit and run and that sucked the shortstop to second base which allowed the Sebastian Lech hit to go through the hole newly vacated by the shortstop.
Next up was brother of Anthony Risquez, Andres Risquez. A voice was heard in the stands behind home plate saying, “why is Risquez leading off?”
The fan was silenced when Risquez hit another double, cashing in multiple runs.
Brantford had a big inning and were able to reverse the lead, going up 4-3. The ‘rally pants’ were back on Brantford in the fourth as runners were on the move again when David Mendham struck an infield hit.
Risquez was on the move trying to take advantage of the ball being hit and advance home on the play and he did so on time! This put Brantford up 6-4.
That lead was surrendered in the sixth via Cleveland Brownlee’s homerun, which was celebrated by London as if it was a milestone. Brownlee hit his 70th career homerun (below, courtesy of RJ Rose Photography), breaking a 30-year record set by London’s Dave Byers.
It was a six-run sixth inning for London.
“We have 11 hits and they have eight and (still) we’re losing by four,” lamented Pointstreak’s Brantford representative, Chad Pomerleau, midway through the game.
Attempting to top Pomerleau, Reese Doumani, announcer for today’s game added, “we’ve had 10 left on base.”
But just then, the Red Sox mounted a surly comeback where they actually batted around the batting order. The eighth inning was a beauty for Brantford as they scored six runs. While commonplace in softball, six runs in an inning is outstanding in baseball and normally results in a win, but as seen today, one team will lose (photo below courtesy of Crystal Young Photography).
It was very timely for Brantford considering it was the eighth inning, and consequently, the Red Sox took the lead back 12-10!
In the top of the ninth, in stepped Red Sox closer Tyler Gilles to lock the game down.
Pomerleau had also commented aloud throughout the game that it has been so long since Brantford has not had to play the bottom of the ninth……..but they didn’t today! The Red Sox win at home, 12-10.
It is the teams first win at home since June 10 and it was against the team who had the fewest losses in the league (they were 14-7).
Both of Brantford’s home wins have come against the London Majors, an upper echelon team in the IBL all year long. Brantford may have got the monkey off their back at home or maybe they are just London’s kryptonite (3-1 record this season).
Taylor Guindon picks up the win in relief, Gilles gets the save.
In the win every batter for Brantford got a hit. It is a mark of a well-rounded team. Andris Risquez’s three hits, three runs and two runs batted as well as Blke Kauer’s three hits and two runs may have made the difference.
This week, they look to carry the momentum into Friday night’s contest at home. Proceeding this win against London, Brantford went to Toronto, not 24 hours after beating London and won against the Maple Leafs. New player David Asbury-Heath hit an incredible three homeruns in the win.