Royals Hang On To Beat Panthers - Clinch Tie For First

by Neil Srivastava

KITCHENER - The Guelph Royals have punched their ticket to a one-game sudden-death playoff game for the Intercounty Baseball League's pennant following their 8-7 victory over the Kitchener Panthers Sunday afternoon at Jack Couch Park.

The Royals built up early leads of 5-2 and 8-4 leading to a nervous ninth inning as the Panthers rallied to pull within one before Andrew Case closed out the victory by stranding the tying run at second base.

Malik Collymore was 3 for 5 with a pair of home runs and three RBI to lead the Royals at the plate.   Conner Morro had a triple and a single finishing with a pair of RBI.  Ashton Paterson added a pair of hits and two RBI as well.   J.D. Williams finished 2 for 4 and had a run scored.
Jeifry Nunez (2-0) pitched a solid seven innings for the win. He surrendered four runs on nine hits and struck out six.

Andrew Case earned his fifth save, allowing two runs on two hits in 1.1 innings.  Case walked two and struck out one.

With the victory, the Royals (31-11) their regular season tied for first (19-2 at home and 12-9 on the road).  The Welland Jackfish defeated the Hamilton Cardinals earlier on Sunday to claim a share of first with the Royals while the London Majors were postponed in Toronto and could cause a three-way tie for first with a victory.

If London wins Monday night in Toronto,  Welland finishes third as their head-to-head record among the tied teams would be 5-7 while London was 6-6 and Guelph was 7-5.     The Royals would travel to London for the one-game playoff to determine first place.

If London loses to Toronto Monday Night,  they finish third and Welland will travel to Guelph for the one-game playoff.

Once the one-game playoff takes place final seedings will be as follows for the best of five quarter-finals which should start Thursday night depending on park availability;
1st place vs  8th place Brantford
2nd place vs. 7th place Hamilton
3rd place vs.  6th place Kitchener
4th place Toronto vs. 5th place Barrie