Custodio blanks Majors as Royals close in on first

by Neil Srivastava

LONDON- Claudio Custodio continues to show the Intercounty Baseball League why he is a legitimate contender for the league's Most Valuable Player.

Friday night Custodio held the first place London Majors to just three hits in a complete-game shutout as the Royals blanked London 2-0 Friday night at Labatt Park.

The Royals plated both runs of the ball game in the top of the third inning off Jose Arias.

Darius Barlas reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch while Kyle Degrace drove home Ashton Paterson on a fly ball single to center field that Drew Lawrence lost in the night sky.

Arias (10-2) stuck out 11 in the contest and in doing so he set the Majors new single-season record for strikeouts. He allowed four hits, walked three and was charged with both runs (one unearned).

Keith Kandel broke Custodio's no hit bid in the 5th inning on an infield single to third base by beating the throw to first. Kandel finished 2 for 3 with a double. Cleveland Brownlee singled off Custodio in the ninth. 

Custodio pitched the first complete game for the Royals and the 7th of IBL season. He struck out 15 and did not walk a batter.

With the victory the Royals (29-11) moved to within a half game of the Majors (30-11) for first place with two games left on their schedule.

The Royals host the Brantford Red Sox tonight at Hastings Stadium at 7:30 pm before traveling to Kitchener Sunday to face the Panthers at 2:00 pm.