Posted on Jul 31, 2017 by Mike Marasco

Hamilton finished off their 2017 IBL regular season on Sunday afternoon with a doubleheader against this season’s regular season pennant winning Barrie Baycats. The Cardinals would take game one of the doubleheader by a final score of 2-1 but drop game two 12-5. Mike Hart led Hamilton in the first game of the doubleheader with the eventual game winning hit while Ryan Spataro went four-for-four with two runs batted in and scoring three times for the visiting Baycats.

Barrie opened the scoring in the first inning of game one of the doubleheader. Jordan Castaldo doubled and later stole third base. Then with two outs Kevin Atkinson drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Atkinson would then steal second which allowed Castaldo to come home uncontested and give the Baycats a 1-0 lead.

Both teams had multiple chances to put runs on the board but it wasn’t until the sixth before another runner would cross the plate. Jon Dziomba got on base for Hamilton with a single and then scored on Hart’s two-run home run to right center which gave the Cardinals the lead and the eventual win.

For Hamilton, Chris Lazar picked up the complete game win, allowing one run on five hits, walking two batters and striking out two.

Claudio Custodio pitched all six defensive innings for Barrie, allowing two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out 12 in the loss.

With the loss, the Cardinals gave Barrie their second loss in as many games which is the first time the Baycats have lost back to back since the 2013 season. Hamilton’s win also ended Barrie’s chances of setting a new regular season win record in the Intercounty Baseball League.

Game two was a different story though. The Baycats jumped out to an early lead once again, scoring twice in the first with Spataro scoring on a Castaldo groundout and Atkinson crossing the plate when Branfy Infante reached base on an error that would have ended the inning.

Hamilton responded right away. Marcus Dicenzo singled to open the home side’s first inning. He then moved up 90-feet on a Dziomba single before Hart loaded up the bases when he was hit by a pitch. Connor Bowie would then single to bring in Dicenzo which was followed by Logan Stewart grounding out but bringing in the tying run.

In the second, Cal Murphy led off the inning striking out for the Cardinals but reached base on the dropped third strike. He would later come around to score the go ahead run when Chris Beer grounded out and give Hamilton a 3-2 lead.

The Baycats would go on to score a run in the third to tie the game and take the lead for good in the fourth with three runs. Then in the sixth, Barrie added six more runs to put the game away with Spataro capping off the inning with a two-run home run.

Hamilton added two runs to their totals before the game ended. Beer and Dziomba each had one out singled. Hart then hit a single and moved up on an error that allowed both Beer and Dziomba to score.

Jackson Jones started the game for the Cardinals, allowing three runs, one of which was unearned, on four hits and two walks while striking out one over three innings. Benson Merritt relieved Jones to start the fourth and took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk over two innings. Darek Bishop and Jake Foden each would pitch an inning with Bishop allowing six runs on four hits and a walk while Foden allowed a walk to one of the four batters he faced.

For Barrie, Matthew St. Kitts picked up the win, allowing two runs on five hits, walking five and striking out eight over five innings. Brad Bissell pitched the final two innings, allowing two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out one.

For the fourth consecutive post season the Hamilton Cardinals will face the Kitchener Panthers in the first round of the IBL playoffs. The series will start in Kitchener on Thursday night. The official first round schedule will be released in the next day or two.

Winning Pitcher: Chris Lazar (3-4)
Losing Pitcher: Claudio Custodio (6-1)

Barrie Hitters
Ryan Spataro – 2 for 3 (2 Singles)
Jordan Castaldo – 1 for 3 (Double, 2 Stolen Bases, Run)
Connor Morro – 1 for 3 (Single)

Hamilton Hitters
Mike Hart – 1 for 3 (2-Run Home Run, Run, 2 RBIs)
Jon Dziomba – 1 for 3 (Single, Reached by Error, Strikeout, Run)
Logan Stewart – 1 for 3 (Single, Strikeout)

Winning Pitcher: Matthew St. Kitts (5-0)
Losing Pitcher: Benson Merritt (1-4)

Barrie Hitters
Ryan Spataro – 4 for 4 (2 Singles, Double, 2-Run Home Run, Walk, 3 Stolen Bases, 3 Runs, 2 RBIs)
Jeff Cowan – 4 for 5 (4 Singles, Run, RBI)
Steve Lewis – 2 for 4 (2 Singles, 2 Fielder’s Choices, Run, 2 RBIs)

Hamilton Hitters
Jon Dziomba – 2 for 3 (2 Singles, Walk, 2 Runs)
Connor Bowie – 1 for 2 (Single, 2 Walks, Stolen Base, RBI)
Logan Stewart – 1 for 3 (Single, Walk, RBI)

Fans can now sign up for the all new team newsletter called the Cardinals Chatter. To sign up, head to the Cardinals website at and fill out the form on the Cardinals Chatter page.

Single game tickets for all Hamilton Cardinals home games are available at the Bernie Arbour Stadium Box Office on game day.

Become a fan of the Cardinals on Facebook at

Follow the team on Twitter at

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