Panthers end skid with big win over Brantford

The Panthers will look to keep the offense going, visiting London Friday night for a doubleheader

By: Mark Pare

Call it a tale of two Liam's.

One continued an impressive hitting streak and cranked a no doubter over the left field fence.

Another had his longest start of the season.

Add it all up, and the Kitchener Panthers' five-game losing skid is a thing of the past, cruising past the Brantford Red Sox 11-4 Thursday at Jack Couch Park.

Liam Wilson continued to do Liam Wilson things, extending his hit streak to 15 games, including a three-run home run in the sixth inning.

"I was looking fastball, actually, and was just an off speed that just broke into the fat of the plate," Wilson said, "(It was) too juicy not to take a cut at and just tried to keep a good posture and stay inside on it."

"Just went flying by," Panthers manager Don Menard added with a laugh on the Wilson knock, "I heard the left fielder turn and say something I can't repeat right now."

"He's a good hitter, he's a professional type hitter.  If you make a mistake to him, he will make you pay for it, like he's been doing to a lot of people all year."

The Panthers trailed early on, but picked up six runs in the third inning and never looked back.

On the mound, Liam Devine had his longest start of the season, going six innings, giving up four runs on six hits, fanning five and walking three.

It's a trend that will likely continue down the stretch, with Menard noting he's not as worried about pitch counts this deep into the season.

"In the first 10 to 12 games, we tried to be strict on pitch count and get everyone throwing," he said, "Now, we can stretch a guy out, we can see how he's feeling cause now they can go 70, 80, 90, up to 100 (pitches) some of them."

"We'll stretch it out by feel now, (depending) how the game is.  That will dictate how we're going to use the pitching, and how we use the bullpen from now on."

For the Red Sox, it was their resident Liam --- Liam Sutherland --- producing most of their offense.

He hit two home runs, and drove in three of the team's four runs on the night.

The Panthers now have a tough weekend ahead, three games against the top seeded London Majors.

This includes a doubleheader in London Friday night at 6:30 p.m.

But Kitchener will start from behind, as Game 1 will begin in the bottom of the fourth inning with London leading 12-3.  It's a continuation of a game from late-July, which was suspended due to rain and thunder.

The Kitchener Panthers next home game, Sunday, August 22nd vs. London Majors. 2:00pm start time at Jack Couch Park.