Jackfish battle back to beat Maple Leafs and advance to IBL Finals

Tickets against Barrie on sale now

By ROD MAWHOOD • Photo by Brandon Taylor

The Welland Jackfish have advanced to the Intercounty Baseball League finals after outlasting the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games with a 7-5 victory.

The Jackfish actually trailed this game 5-1 in the second inning before blanking Toronto the rest of the way.

James Bradwell was the catalyst of the comeback, relieving starter Jake Harford and pitching five-plus innings of two-hit, seven strikeout baseball.

"Bradwell came in and completely shut their lineup down," said Manager Brian Essery  "And he was doing that on short rest after a great outing on Sunday."

Essery's decision to move Ethan Hunt from the two-hole in the lineup to number nine paid dividends.

Hunt's two-run double in the fifth inning gave Welland a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

"We moved Hunt to the nine-hole, and wow what a huge hit - series winning hit," Essery said.

Steven Moretto also drove in a pair for the Fish, while Hogan Brown had a pair of hits from the leadoff spot.

"Moretto's sac-fly in the eighth was huge, followed by three great at bats from (Tyler) Dupuis, Brown and (Gio) Morello.

Welland's win sets up a best of seven IBL Final series against the Barrie Baycats beginning Saturday night in the Rose City. First pitch flies at 6:05 pm.

"We split the season series with Barrie. They are a good team with a solid lineup," explained Essery.

"It's going to be a great finals."

Tickets for the finals are now on sale at wellandjackfish.com/tix