Brantford Braves Nick Burdett slides safely into home past Cambridge Cubs catcher Cam Loughlin for a two-run homerun. The Braves beat the Cubs 13-4.
Don’t let the score fool you. The Brantford Braves weren’t enjoying their trip to Dickson Park.
After a 16-2 mercy win over the Cubs last month, Cambridge stayed with Brantford through nine innings on Friday night, but lost 13-4.
It sounds worse than it looked. Through five innings, the Cubs were only down 6-2 and had left six men on base. A key hit here and there and it could have been a different ball game.
“I don’t know what to say about Brantford. They’re a great hitting team, while we’re coming along,” said field manager Michael Schenk.
“We’re getting guys on base. What we always go back to is that we’re playing a team that’s going to the eliminations for the national championship. Half the guys we played tonight are midgets.”
Dalton Therrien started on the mound for the Cubs and fared pretty well. After giving up two runs in the first inning, he settled down until the fourth when a two-out walk started a four-run inning, capped by a two-run home run from Nick Burdett.
The midget hurler was fortunate though, as were all the Cubs pitchers, as some long Dickson Park fly balls to left and center field were caught.
“I think there was a couple 410 (feet) and 420s out there. We held them in and Dickson did help us with that,” Schenk said with a laugh.
“We held up pretty good against a team that in other sports would be called a triple-A team. I think we’re doing fine. I don’t think they had as much a good time tonight as our guys did.”
The Cubs chipped away at the lead, with Nick Gowland leading off the fourth inning with single, stealing second, moving to third on a ground out by Therrien and scoring on a wild pitch to make it 6-1. In the fifth, Brandon Da Silva reach on a fielder’s choice before being tripled home by Cam Loughlin.
Though the Cubs only managed three hits off of starter Aaron Bain, they forced the Cuyahoga Community College hurler to throw a lot of pitches and he was lifted after five-and-two-thirds innings.
The Cubs filed an appeal with the Intercounty and will soon file another with the Ontario Baseball Association about the use of Bain and Cambridge’s Blair Gignac, who went 3-for-5 on the night.
The Cubs contest that the pair should be playing with Cambridge, where they live. Brantford produced residency cards for both players. Schenk said that’s a crock because his players know both Bain and Gignac, and know they live in Cambridge.
Starting Bain in the game was a shot at the appeal, according to Schenk.
Though the Cubs kept the reins on Brantford for six innings, down 7-2, errors by Connor Legere and AJ Pearce opened the floodgates for six runs over the final three innings.
Schenk said it was just a matter of some players having to play positions they hadn’t before and he was proud his team went a full game against the Braves.
“That was the first thing I said to them, ‘we played nine; good job boys’.” We aren’t here to compete with these guys. This is practice for us for the OBAs.”
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