The Kitchener Panthers were welcomed back to Jack Couch Park on Monday afternoon by a great sized crowd to view their Home Opener contest versus the visiting Barrie Baycats. Despite there being several bright spots in the game, the Panthers came up short and lost to a score of 6-4.

Stephen Whalen hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 2nd inning to put the panthers on top but the 1 run lead was short lived as the Baycats put up 4 runs in the top of third on 4 hits including a 2 run Home Run by Ryan Rijo.

The Panthers would get a run back in the bottom of the 4th Inning as Whalen continued his strong day at the plate hitting an RBI Double. He finished 2 for 4 with a Home Run and Double.

Down 5-2 in the 6th, Shortstop Tyler Hinrikus picked up his first IBL hit on a 2 run Home Run to left field to bring the Panthers within 1.

The Baycats extended their lead to 6-4 in the top of the 9th inning which ended up being the final score of the ballgame.

For the Baycats, Riley Hoover (1-0) picked up the win, surrendering 6 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings of work, and Brad Grieverson picked up hist first save of the season. Adam Robertson (0-1) was the starting pitcher for the Panthers and was charged with the loss on the day.

Bright Spots of the Game

The Panthers bullpen had a strong showing as a unit only allowing 3 hits and 1 earned run in 6.1 Innings pitched. Pitchers David Bruinsma, Grant Shantz, Brady Schnarr, Nathan Laird and Jordan Carthy all made their season debuts.

Offensively, Stephen Whalen led the way for the panthers picking up 2 RBI going 2 for 4 with a HR and 2B. Tyler Hinrikus went 1 for 4 with a 2 run HR, Stephen Nahrabeki made his IBL debut going 2 for 4 with a run scored and Liam Wilson went 1 for 2 with a 2B and 3 Base on Balls.

Looking Ahead

The Panthers will return to action on Thursday the 26th at 7:30 PM as they host the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs (1-2).

They then will visit the Brantford Red Sox (0-3) for a Friday night game kicking off at 8 PM.

On Sunday the 29th, The Panthers will host the Guelph Royals (1-1) and Dalton Pompey for a 2:00 PM afternoon game. This is the Kitchener Minor Baseball Appreciation game. All KMBA players and coaches who show up in uniform will receive free admittance.