Baseball's Bandits are still struggling - not quite at the bottom of the ladder - Guelph holds that spot. Burlington loses to Barrie 4-2

element_sportsCBy CM  Dixon

June 17, 2015



It was a cool spring night in Barrie as the Burlington Bandits made their way North to Coates Stadium to take on the defending champion Barrie Baycats. After a slow start to the season the Bandits had finally filled out most of their roster and were looking to turn a corner for the rest of the season.  Didn’t make it this time – the Baycats took the game – 4-2

Going into the homes of the champions coach Kyle MacKinnon was confident with his clubs’ chances, “We just have to compete at their level. Obviously they’re a good team, but both times we came up here last year we were in a good spot, so if we come out with a high compete level, we’ll be okay.”

Bandits - Adam Odd - batter of week

Adam Odd was named batter of the game – but it wasn’t the one that the Barrie Baycats beat the Burlington Bandits 4-2

The game got going quickly and Burlington’s defence was soon on display with LF Justin Gideon making a sensational diving catch in the bottom of the first to steal a hit from Ryan Spataro. Only to one-up himself in the bottom of the sixth when he made a leaping catch as he crashed into the wall, stealing away what would have been an extra-bases hit for Kyle DeGrace.

“I tracked the ball off the bat and I thought it was going to be short, but it just kept carrying,” said Gideon as he described the play. “It just kept carrying and I found myself against the fence, I jumped and I didn’t even know I caught it until I looked at my glove.”

In the end it just wasn’t enough for Burlington as their own errors gave the game away to Barrie, most notably in the fifth inning. In the inning Barrie’s SS Branfy Arias was hit by a pitch; he then stole second, when sliding into second the ball got lost in the confusion and ended up in centre field, allowing Arias to make it to third safely. The very next batter hit the ball at 3B Nolan Pettipiece, who tried to tag Arias at third instead of getting the out at first, allowing Barrie’s DH Glenn Jackson to cash in a run on a fielders choice, making the game 2-0 Barrie, instead of potentially ending the inning.

It wasn’t all bad for Burlington though, as starting pitcher Dylan Perego gave the Bandits a strong start, pitching 6.1 innings and striking out four batters before the wheels came off in the seventh when he gave up three hits, walked one, hit a batter, had two bases stolen on him and gave up two runs before being replaced by Brandon Hillier.

The night belonged to Perego’s counterpart, Barrie’s starting pitcher Chris England. England threw 8 shutout innings to lead the Baycats to the 4-2 victory. England was just getting back into the role of being a starting pitcher, “it was a little bit different getting back into the swing of things, getting my momentum and getting my pitch count up too. It was just a little bit awkward last week, I hadn’t started in a long time, it’s a little bit about getting into routine and today I was able to follow my routine back from college and luckily I had success because of it.”

The season needed a lot of improvement - but the community spirit is certainly evident.

The season has a lot of room left – the Bandits are going to need it to catch up. They are one step from the bottom of the ladder.

Coach MacKinnon wasn’t happy with the loss “offensively we could have competed a bit better early,” said the coach, “maybe cashed in on a couple situations. Overall I’m never happy about a loss but it’s something to build off, that’s for sure.”

Burlington’s next game is at home against the Guelph Royals on Thursday night. The game goes at 7:30pm at Nelson Park as Burlington will try to snap a two-game losing streak.

The Bandits are real, real close to the bottom of the standings ladder – The team has won 4, lost ten games  – but things are a lot worse for the Guelph Royal.

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