Mike Gordner played hero for the Kitchener Panthers (10-3) Sunday afternoon.
With the score tied up at two, he cranked a walk-off homer over the right field fence to give the home side a 3-2 win over the Guelph Royals (4-7) at Jack Couch Park.
“It was a really good game,” says Panthers Manager Luke Baker, “There was a pitch earlier in the game that we weren’t sure what it was, but we thought it was the wrong pitch. It was a pitch that didn’t break like it was supposed to and the guys capitalized it on Guelph but it was a really good game defensively.”
“The pitching was unreal.”
That it was.
While each team had their chances and runners on base, the pitchers held their ground for the most part.
Guelph took an early 2-0 lead, but Kitchener answered with two runs in the third inning to tie it up.
Noelvis Entenza pitched seven strong innings for the Panthers, surrendering the two earned runs on seven hits, one walk and five strikeouts.
On the other side for Guelph, Yomar Concepcion put in nine and a third innings work, giving up two earned runs of his own on five hits, five walks and four strikeouts.
But the stat line that really sticks out for Concepcion was his 175 pitch count before he came out of the game.
“That’s a lot of pitches,” Baker recalled, “But he really shut us down and did a really good job. (But) our guys just kept plugging.”
Miguel Lahera nabbed the win for the home side, while Edwin Javier suffered defeat.
And with the win, the Panthers become the first IBL team this season to reach 10 wins.
Though he admits he’s not paying too much attention to the standings, Baker says he’ll take the wins nonetheless.
“We’re doing really well,” he said, “(We’re) just going to keep rolling with what we can do and hopefully, we just keep pushing it and working it and doing the right things at the right times.”
“I don’t know if you would consider it lucky or what, but we’ve capitalized (on opportunities) in some form or another.”
The Panthers host Brantford Red Sox (2-6) Thursday night. First pitch at Jack Couch Park goes at 7:30 p.m.