Red Sox Wrap Regular Season
The 2021 Intercounty Baseball League regular season finished up today. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in compromises and changes, but kudos to the IBL and its teams for pulling it off. Brantford wrapped up the season in Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs. Both teams were tied 2-2 in their season series heading into today's game. Most importantly, a win by Brantford would secure 6th place in the standings and a postseason matchup with the 3rd place team. Other postseason scenarios could also play out, but the Red Sox could control their own destiny with a Sunday win.
Brantford faced an uphill battle even before the game began however. The Red Sox were missing a few key starting players after Friday's nights game in London. In case you missed it, Robbie Gauthier was hit in the head by a pitch from the Majors' Eduardo Perez following a Nick Burdett home run. This resulted in several Brantford players being given time off by the league for standing up for their teammate in the ensuing fray. So two workhorses of the Sox pitching staff made their off-mound debuts in Sunday's starting lineup: Mack Major in left field, and Gabe Bruder as designated hitter.
Brantford quickly made the most of its limited batting order, scoring 1 in the 1st and another in the 3rd to take a 2-0 lead. There's no way that Toronto wouldn't answer back at Christie Pits, and they did via a 2 run blast. The teams were now deadlocked 2-2 after 4 innings.
Brantford starter Adam Jafine exited the game after 5 innings, finishing up with 2 earned runs on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts. Would've hoped for a longer outing from Jafine given the depleted Brantford pitching staff. Toronto then pounced on the Brantford bullpen, scoring 2 in the 6th and another 2 in the 7th to take a 6-2 lead. Brantford rallied in the 9th scoring 1, but couldn't capitalize further. Final score Toronto 6 Brantford 3.
A big kudos to all of the players in the lineup today for Brantford, stepping up under adverse conditions.
Next up for the Brantford Red Sox - the playoffs. The 2021 Intercounty Baseball League postseason features a modified format this year with a best of 3 quarterfinals, best of 3 semifinals, and best of 5 finals.
Thanks to Welland's win today over Hamilton, the Brantford Red Sox finish up the season in 6th place. Brantford will now meet the Kitchener Panthers in the opening round of the IBL playoffs (Toronto's win over Brantford on Sunday, combined with Kitchener's loss means that Toronto finishes in 2nd place and Kitchener 3rd).
Playoff game dates and times will be announced shortly, stay tuned to brantfordredsox.com for details.
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.