WATERLOO, Ont.- After a rain delay earlier in the weekend, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks were able to host the first game of the semifinal playoff series against the McMaster Marauders at Bechtel Park. The Golden Hawks edged McMaster late in the game to earn a 4-2 victory over the Marauders, and take the first game of the three game series.
“It was a huge team win,” commented head coach SCOTT BALLANTYNE. “We brought in a couple guys to pinch hit that did a really good job, and our bull pen was great; we’re very happy to have won game one.”
Bradley Bach (Oakville, Ont.) was the starting pitcher for Laurier, while Andrew Morales took the mound for McMaster.
Mac got an early lead in the bottom of the first inning, with Chris Piccini scoring the first run of the game. Later in the fourth inning Sean Lemon hit a double, and was brought in off an RBI single from Matthew Cino.
Both teams stood neck in neck until the eighth inning when James Bruce (Waterloo, Ont.) singled to the left field turning the game in favour of the Hawks. Next at bat was Elliott Shrive (Waterloo, Ont.) who singled to advance Bruce and start a rally. Pat Kropf (Waterloo, Ont.) then completed a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners and set the stage for MacDonald who slammed a huge hit just short of exiting the park that brought in both runners.
Trent Barwick (Orangeville, Ont.) had a brief yet clutch appearance pitching for Laurier, striking out his only batter faced and ending the inning.
In the ninth inning both Mike Kennedy (Harrow, Ont.) and Bruce reached base on defensive errors by McMaster. This gave Shrive the opportunity to hit a double and score two RBIs to bring Laurier up 4-2 over the Marauders.
“It felt good to give us the lead,” said Shrive. “Hopefully we’ll be able to get our bats going earlier tomorrow though.”
Josh Robinson (Burlington, Ont.) closed the game for the Hawks going three up, three down to end the game with a 4-2 victory for the Hawks.
“They’ve got few good pitchers we’re likely to see tomorrow,” said Ballantyne. “But we’re up for the challenge and looking forward to it.” Game two will be in Hamilton Sunday at 1:00 pm, with the possibility of a double header game three played at 4:00 pm.