Cicatello hurls Maple Leafs to first-round IBL playoff sweep of Cardinals

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The Toronto Maple Leafs turned to their trusted veteran ace Friday night time at Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium in Hamilton to place them by means of to the following playoff spherical and Justin Cicatello didn’t disappoint.

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The correct-handed starter tossed seven shutout innings to steer the Leafs to a 8-2 win over the host Cardinals and a two-game sweep of their best-of-three Intercounty Baseball League quarter-final sequence.

The Buffalo, N.Y. native, who was making simply his second begin of the season as a result of he couldn’t recover from the Canadian border till August due the COVID-19 pandemic, threw an absolute gem.

Cicatello gave up simply two hits and a stroll and struck out three, whereas inducing a number of ground-ball outs.

The Leafs will now await the completion of the opposite two first-round matchups earlier than it’s decided who they are going to face within the second spherical.

Justin Gideon hit a two-run homer off reliever Mateo Kekatos within the backside of the eighth to chop the Toronto result in 5-2, however Dustin Richardson got here in and struck out Ryan Burnside for the ultimate out of the inning.

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The lefty fireballer and former Boston Purple Sox reliever then struck out two extra in an ideal backside of the ninth to earn his first save of the playoffs.

Toronto would put the sequence away with three insurance coverage runs within the prime of the ninth inning when Chandler McLaren’s groundout scored Jon Solazzo and Sean Reilly singled dwelling Connor Lewis and McLaren for his sixth and 7 RBI in simply two video games.

The Leafs opened the scoring within the second inning when Marcus Knecht belted a leadoff double dropping Hamilton starter Curtis Lazar after which got here round to attain on a error by Burnside at shortstop.

Lazar would go seven innings, giving up 5 runs on eight hits and 4 walks. He struck out seven.

Toronto would add two extra runs within the fourth. Solazzo and Dan Marra hit back-to-back singles after which pulled off the double steal with Solazzo coming into rating on Hamilton catcher Jeremie Veilleux’s errant throw to 3rd.

Justin Marra adopted with a sacrifice fly to usher in his brother Dan.

Justin Marra would add to the lead with a solo homer within the prime of the sixth, earlier than Connor Lewis made it 5-0 the following inning when he singled dwelling Dan Marra.

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