Sox Drop Semifinals Game 1 in London
After 6 days off, the Brantford Red Sox finally traveled to London on Friday night to open up their Intercounty Baseball League semifinals series. Having gone 0-5 against the 1st place Majors in the regular season, the Red Sox realize they are not favourites to win the series. But Brantford has earned their place in the semis, and relish their role as underdogs. The Sox silenced many doubters by sweeping the Kitchener Panthers 2 games to 0 in the quarterfinals after a 0-5 record against them in the regular season. The Brantford Red Sox have momentum and are firing on all cylinders, and with the 2021 IBL semifinals being another best of 3 elimination anything can happen.
Brantford picked up right where they left off in the quarterfinals, with 3 straight hits leading to a run. After London went 3 up 3 down the Red Sox led 1-0 after the 1st inning, exactly the kind of start that Brantford wanted to draw up.
The Majors capitalized on some sloppy play by the Sox in the 2nd inning though. A pair of missed opportunities to turn routine ground balls into outs and a wild pitch helped convert some Majors baserunners into 5 runs allowed. Brantford would need to show some of their patented resiliency, trailing 5-1 heading into the 3rd inning.
Brantford attempted to answer back in the 3rd, loading the bases with 1 out. But a Jason Pineda fly out to right wasn't deep enough to cash in a tagging Jon Dziomba resulting in 2 outs, and the Red Sox rally was shut down.
After giving up a solo shot in the 4th, Brantford's bats got back to work in the 5th. After a Jacob Reid leadoff single and a Zach Lampreia walk, the Sox kept the line moving with Jon Dziomba bringing home Reid and Liam Sutherland driving in Lampreia. Brantford now trailed 6-3 in the middle of the 5th.
Frustrations with the strike zone finally boiled over in the 7th, with relief pitcher Mack Major and catcher Colton Fountain both being ejected after voicing their displeasure after a run was walked in. By the end of the inning the Majors had put this one out of reach, leading 9-3. Brantford added on a pair in the 8th but could not rally further. Final score in game one was London Majors 9 Brantford Red Sox 5.
Due to some missed plays by his defence and and not getting some calls on the edges, Brantford starter Mike Mueller put in a better performance than the stats line might lead you to believe. Mueller threw 118 pitches, striking out 4 while allowing just 4 earned runs on 8 hits, and kept the Sox within striking distance over his 6 innings pitched. Jon Dziomba and Gianfranco Morello each had 3 hits for Brantford.
Game 2 of the best of 3 series goes Saturday night in Brantford, 7:30 pm at Arnold Anderson Stadium. Tickets are available at brantfordredsox.com/tickets, or at the gate. Game 3, if necessary, will take place in London on Sunday at 7:35 pm.
The Brantford Red Sox were founded in 1911 and have won 15 Intercounty Baseball League titles. All home games take place at Arnold Anderson Stadium, tickets are available at brantfordredsox.com/tickets. For all the latest updates follow the Brantford Red Sox on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Subscribe to the Brantford Red Sox YouTube channel for live streaming of home games this season.