Jackfish strikeout seventeen Hamilton hitters but drop home opener

By Rod Mawhood • Photo by Brandon Taylor

The Welland Jackfish returned to The Pond Thursday night for their 2023 home and season opener, and despite striking out seventeen batters dropped a 3-2 decision to the Hamilton Cardinals in front of 1,276 fans. 

Jake Harford got the opening night start for Welland, and despite not making it out of the fourth inning still struck out eight.

"Definitely not the start we wanted, however it's only the first game of the season," said Jackfish Manager Brian Essery. 

"Jake struggled tonight which doesn't happen often, but he'll be fine and we're not worried. The bullpen was lights out tonight."

Mike Mueller, Brett Lawson, Chris Boatto and Deivy Mendez pitched five-plus shutout innings in relief of Harford striking out nine Hamilton hitters. 

James Smibert led Welland at the plate going 2-for-3 with two runs scored. The Jackfish did leave six men on base. 

"We couldn't come up with the timely hit which is frustrating," Essery said. 

The Jackfish return to action Saturday afternoon at home against the Brantford Red Sox in a 1:05 pm start time. 

It's Bark at the Park Day at Welland Stadium presented by Niagara Pet Depot. 

Tickets are on sale now at wellandjackfish.com 

Jackfish Jots: Welland honored Monique Coutu before the game. The longtime Jackfish season ticket holder passed away last November after losing her battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. 
Rose City Mayor Frank Campion addressed the crowd before the game.