Leafs pounce on Panthers pitching in doubleheader

The Kitchener Panthers lost both games of a doubleheader against Toronto, and will face Barrie for another doubleheader Sunday

By: Mark Pare

There's no sugarcoating it.

It was a tough day at the ballpark for the Kitchener Panthers.

The Toronto Maple Leafs utilized the long ball early and often, and swept a doubleheader at Jack Couch Park Saturday afternoon in a big way.

The Leafs took the first game 20-2, and 15-7 in the second game.

"We were short on pitching today," said Panthers manager Don Menard, "We had three games Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, the doubleheader today, doubleheader tomorrow.

"I can't bring starters back.  And then we didn't keep the ball in the yard so combine a few things like that and this is what happens."

The Leafs hit eight home runs, but things actually looked good for Kitchener early on.

Liam Wilson returned after two games off, opening the scoring in Game 1 with am RBI single.  He extended his hit streak to 11 games with that knock, and had another single in Game 2.

But nine runs for the Leafs in the third inning, and another six in the fifth more than put the opener out of reach.

It was 11-0 by the time the Panthers went to bat in the second inning of Game 2.

It was just one of those days.

Managing the pitching rotation can be a tough job in itself, but in the IBL, Menard said it's also about managing work schedules.

"When you think you have pitchers, and sometimes they have to stay late at work, or you don't have this guy on the road so now you have to start someone different, it messes it all up, especially when we had a couple of rain outs," he said.

"Our pitching was all lined up, then you got rain outs and then you get a whole bunch of games in a row, but everybody's got to go through it."

"I really don't think seven games in six days is what we should be playing, but we have to follow the schedule, and there's nothing else you can do about it."

Kevin Millar took the loss in Game 1 for Kitchener, going 2.1 innings of four hit, eight run ball.  He walked six and struck out one.

Alternately, Matthias Trondson went the full seven innings for the Leafs, surrendering two runs on three hits.  He struck out five and walked two.

In Game 2, Matt Stoddart got the start and got the hook with nobody out in the second inning, giving up 10 runs (nine earned) on 10 hits.

Stoddart had two strikeouts and issued one walk.

Things got so rocky that Carter Arbuthnot, a position player, was sent to the mound for the Panthers, and didn't look half bad for the most part.

But after using seven pitchers (including Arbuthnot) on Saturday, it'll be interesting to see who the Panthers have for Sunday's doubleheader with the Barrie Baycats.

"We beat (Barrie) 3-2 last time (on July 27), and we didn't have everybody there that week," Menard said, "We were missing Liam (Wilson) and (Elliott) Curtis and (Ryley) Davenport."

"We came through with a nice win there, so hopefully with everybody here tomorrow and I have some pitching tomorrow, hopefully it's a lot better and we'd like to sweep the doubleheader with them."

The next Panthers home game is today, August 15th, doubleheader vs. Barrie Baycats. Game 1 starts at 2:00pm. Game 2 starts at 4:30pm.