Panthers Fall To Leafs

by Mike Gervais

If you’re a fan of a great pitcher’s duel, you wanted to be at Jack Couch on Thursday evening.  Kitchener starter Yoen Socarras and Toronto’s Alberto Tirado did not disappoint in front of the packed crowd in Kitchener.

Each pitcher held the other team scoreless until the top of the 5th inning when Toronto got on the board against Socarras.  Cooper Lamb got on with a one out single and Ryan Johnston laced a RBI double into the corner in left field.  Johnston would come home later in the inning on a RBI single to right field by Grant Tamane.  

Toronto would double their lead in the 6th inning off reliever Brady Schnarr.  Toronto greeted Schnarr with three straight singles to load the bases with nobody out, Lamb once again was a catalyst for the Leafs lining a two run double into left for a 4-0 Toronto lead.

Kitchener couldn’t get much going off of Tirado who went 6 innings and gave up three hits.  The Panthers would finally break through in the 9th off reliever Jean Carlos Henriquez.  Colin Gordner coaxed a one out walk and Liam Wilson followed with a single to center.  Brian Burton brought Gordner home with a double to right field.  Wilson would then scamper home on a wild pitch later in the inning to make it a 4-2 game.  That’s as close as Kitchener would get as Henriquez would seal the win for the Leafs by getting Zach Johnson to strikeout to end the rally for the Panthers.

The Panthers still don’t know who or when their playoff series will be against, but the Panthers do know that they must win their next two games on the road this weekend to have a shot at finishing with the top seed in the IBL.

Once the standings have been figured out, stay tuned to www.kitchenerpanthers.com for information regarding playoff opponents and schedule.