Leafs pounce on Panthers pitching in doubleheader

The Kitchener Panthers have lost both games of a double header against Toronto and will face Barrie on Sunday for another double header

It’s not euphemistic.

It was a tough day at the baseball stadium for the Kitchener Panthers.

The Toronto Maple Leafs took advantage of the long ball early and often, sweeping a double header on a grand scale at Jack Couch Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Leafs won the first game 20-2 and the second game 15-7.

“We had too little pitching today,” said Panthers manager Don Menard, “we had three games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the double headed ball today and the double headed tomorrow.

“I can’t bring the starters back. And then we didn’t keep the ball in the yard, so combine a few things like that and that happens.”

The Leafs hit eight home runs, but Kitchener looked good early on.

Liam Wilson returned after two games and opened scoring in Game 1 with an RBI single. With this blow he extended his hit series to 11 games and had another single in game 2.

But nine runs for the Leafs in the third inning and another six in the fifth put the opener more than out of reach.

It was 11-0 when the Panthers went to strike in the second inning of Game 2.

It was just one of those days.

Managing the pitching rotation can be a difficult task in itself, but the IBL, Menard said, is also about managing work schedules.

“If you think you have pitchers and they sometimes have to stay at work late or you don’t have this guy on the street and now you have to start someone else, it all messes up, especially when we’ve had a couple of rains”, he said.

“Our pitching was all lined up, then there were rain failures and then a whole series of games in a row, but everyone has to get through it.”

“I really don’t think seven games in six days is what we should be playing, but we have to stick to the schedule and there is nothing else you can do about it.”

Kevin Millar took the Game 1 loss to Kitchener, walking 2.1 innings of four hits and eight running balls. He went six and knocked out one.

Alternately, Matthias Trondson went the full seven innings for the Leafs and gave up two runs on three hits. He hit five and went two.

In Game 2 Matt Stoddart started and got hooked with no one in the second inning and gave up 10 runs (nine earned) on 10 hits.

Stoddart had two strikeouts and issued a walk.

Things got so rocky that Carter Arbuthnot, a positional player, was sent up the hill for the Panthers and, for the most part, didn’t look bad.

But after seven pitchers (including Arbuthnot) were put in on Saturday, it will be interesting to see who the Panthers have for Sunday’s double header with the Barrie Baycats.

“We beat (Barrie) 3-2 last time (July 27th) and we haven’t had them all this week,” said Menard. “We missed Liam (Wilson) and (Elliott) Curtis and (Ryley) Davenport.”

“We got through there with a nice win, so hopefully with everyone here tomorrow and I’ll have a few pitches tomorrow. Hopefully it’s a lot better and we’d like to sweep the one-two with them.”

The first pitch for game 1 is 2:00 p.m. at Jack Couch Park.

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