Cardinals edge the Royals 4-3 to take series lead

by Jake Eagle

Photo by Gar Fitzgerald

The Hamilton Cardinals executed their plan to perfection Saturday night at Hastings Stadium to take a 1-0 lead in their best of five quarter-final series over the Guelph Royals with a 4-3 victory on the road at Hastings Stadium.

The Cardinals knew heading into the contest that the key for them was to take the lead early and hold onto it till their high-leverage pitchers could take over. 

The Cardinals struck in their first at-bat for a pair of runs on to a two-run home run to centerfield by Tyler Duncan and let Sam Turcotte baffle the Royals for six innings.

 The Royals had runners on base in the first three innings, but Turcotte left them stranded.

The Royals got on the board in the 4th inning on a two-out single by Sean Reilly that was lost in the lights in right field, allowing Dalton Pompey to score.

The Cardinals tacked on insurance runs in the seventh inning increasing their lead to 4-1 and chased Royals starter, Jeifry Nunez, from the game.  

Duncan again powered the Cardinal's offense with an RBI single.   He finished 3 for 4 with the HR, a double, a single, a walk, and a run scored with 3 RBI. 

Malik Collymore brought the Royals back to within a run with a two-run homer in the 7th inning off relieve Daury Torrez.

Jose Fernandez took over for the Cardinals in the 8th and the former Blue Jays farmhand stuck out all six batters he would face preserving the victory.

Turcotte picked up the win going six solid innings allowing just one run on seven hits, and four walks, and had five strikeouts.

 Nunez took the loss working 6.1 innings, allowing all four runs on seventh hits, walking four, and tallying seven strikeouts.

 The Royals will send Brandon Deans to the mound Sunday afternoon in Hamilton as they look to even the series.  The first pitch at Bernie Arbour Stadium is set for 2:05 pm