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Maple Leafs advance to IBL final

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have ended the Barrie Baycats six-year title run at the moment are off to the Intercounty Baseball League championship.

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Marcus Knecht belted a first-inning grand slam and drove in 5 runs and Justin Cicatello pitched his second-straight collection clincher to assist the Leafs get rid of the Baycats with a 13-11 win, Saturday night, at Coates Stadium.

Toronto, which swept the best-of-three semifinal collection in two straight, will now await the winner of the London Majors and Brantford Pink Sox for the Jack and Lynne Dominico Trophy.

London led the collection, 1-0, heading into Recreation 2 Saturday night time in Brantford.

The Leafs are again within the finals for the primary time since 2016 after they have been swept by the Baycats.

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“So many instances we have been so shut on this ballpark and to win an enormous recreation right here was actually significant for the franchise,” stated Toronto supervisor Damon Topolie.

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Cicatello (2-0), who wrapped up the first-round win over Hamilton with a seven-inning shutout gem, was sturdy once more on the mound for Toronto.

The precise-handed veteran went six innings, giving up only a run on 10 hits and no walks. He struck out three and left the competition with the Leafs in command, 11-1.

“He pitched nice once more,” Topolie stated. “He’s dwelling for these moments. We’ve been making an attempt to get to this spot within the playoffs for just a few years to let him do his factor.”

The Baycats, although, wouldn’t go quietly on this one. They tagged reliever Adam Marra for 5 runs in 1.1 innings after which, trailing 13-6 heading into the underside of the ninth inning, rocked reliever Mateo Kekatos for 5 extra runs, together with a three-run homer by Jeff Cowan, to chop the Leafs result in simply two runs.

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Topolie then turned to nearer Dustin Richardson with none out. The lefty slammed the door on Barrie’s championship run, retiring the following three batters.

“We’ve the back-pocket ace,” Topolie stated. “We’ve him there to provide us the maintain or save or no matter we’d like him to do.”

Much like their opening-series win in Toronto on Wednesday, the Leafs struck early on the plate with the lengthy ball.

Jordan Castaldo led off the competition in opposition to his outdated group with an opposite-field shot to proper off Barrie starter Juan Benitez (1-1).

Toronto would then load the bases, earlier than Knecht cleared them with a grand slam simply over the left-field fence in a five-run first inning.

“I wasn’t anticipating the primary inning that we had, but it surely was simply superior and these guys got here able to play,” Topolie stated. “They’re a greater ball membership they usually know what to do and when to do it.”

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The Leafs added to the lead within the second inning with RBI doubles by Castaldo and Sean Reilly and a sacrifice fly by Knecht.

A two-run single by Reilly within the third put Toronto up 10-0.

It was one other big effort on the plate for Reilly. The IBL home-run chief and 2021 batting common champion, who went 4-for-5 within the collection opener, completed 4-for-5 with a house run and 4 RBI.

“It’s been a grind and these guys carried out each time they stepped as much as the plate each step we’ve had,” Topolie stated.

Topolie and his group know there’s nonetheless very a lot some unfinished enterprise with the championship collection forward of them.

“Completely,” he stated with out hesitation. “We simply have to attend and see who we play and prepare for Recreation 1,”

Benitez lasted simply 2.2 innings on the mound for Barrie, giving up 10 runs on 9 hits and two walks. Cowan, in what was probably his final recreation for the Baycats, went 4-for-5 with a homer and 5 RBI in a dropping trigger.

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