BARRIE, Ont. – Carlos Martinez tied the series 2-2 as his game-winning homer lifted the Welland Jackfish past the Barrie Baycats 3-2 on Wednesday night in game 4 of the IBL finals.
With two outs, a man on first, and one strike away from a loss, Martinez belted a breaking ball deep to left field that put his team ahead and would eventually be the winner for the Fish. He went 1-for-3 on the night, with two RBI, a walk, and a strikeout.
Jake Harford was superb on the mound for Welland despite a runner on base every inning. The Silver Creek, N.Y., native threw 115 pitches in seven innings, allowed two earned runs, eight hits, walked two, and struck out eight in his third playoff start of the summer. Field manager Brian Essery says Harford’s performance was everything they could’ve asked for.
Coming off three days rest after throwing 144 pitches in Game 1 of the series, Frank Garcés, who has previously played for the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball, was electric in his start. The Baycats’ ace put on a show before a short rain delay where he went eight innings, allowed four hits, one earned run, walked two, and struck out 10. The Dominican southpaw would likely be on the mound for Game 7, if necessary.
Barrie second-baseman Royce Ando carried the offence for the Baycats. The 26-year-old went 4-for-4 with an RBI double to left field. He has seven hits in four games this series and possesses a .447 batting average in these playoffs.
In the second frame, Barrie third baseman Adam Odd stole second before shortstop Carson Burns hit a first-pitch RBI single to right field to put the Baycats on the board early. Ando would later extend the lead to 2-0.
It took the Fish a while to score in this one. In the eighth, second baseman Tyler Dupuis tallied a base hit and stole second prior to third baseman Ethan Hunt hitting an RBI single to cut the deficit in half.
Brandon Underhill (1-0) is the winning pitcher after entering in relief for Harford in the eighth inning, only allowing a hit and striking out one. Hard-throwing righty, Deivy Mendez pitched the ninth and earned the save for Welland.
Barrie closer Brad Grieveson (2-1) tallied his first playoff loss of the year after allowing the homerun from Martinez. The Creemore, Ontario native has a playoff ERA of 6.23 in 8.2 innings of work.
Game 5 goes on Thursday night in Welland, first pitch is at 7:25 EST.