Royals win pitchers duel and their 5th in a row.

by Neil Srivastava

Photo By Gar Fitzgerald

The game felt like a playoff game both on and off the field and yes it's only June 28th.  

From the opening pitch, both starters were on their game as the Royals in front of an electric hometown crowd at Hastings Stadium found some timely hits to down the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 Tuesday night.

The Royals struck for a run in the home half of the first inning when J.D. Williams' ground out to third allowed Dalton Pompey (who walked and later stole third on a double steal) to score from third to open the scoring off Leafs' starter, Zach Sloan.

Sean Reilly's solo blast to left in the 4th inning put the Royals up 2-0 off Sloan and sent the Hastings Stadium into a state of euphoria as they roared behind their hometown squad.  

Sloan pitched five innings allowing two runs on four hits, and a pair of walks while he struck out seven. 

The Leafs answered back in the top of the fifth inning plating home an unearned run off Royals ace Claudio Custodio as  Greg Carrington scored from third on a passed ball.

The Leafs' bullpen held the Royals off the scoreboard again until J.D. Williams tripled and scored on a clutch two-out single by Justin Interisano off Adam Marra who replaced  Dustin Richardson who left the game with an arm injury after walking Sean Reilly.    Reilly would score a batter later on a single by Ethan Hammond to close out the scoring.

Custodio pitched seven complete innings allowing the unearned run on five hits, a walk, a hit batter, and another 11 strikeouts which upped his league-leading total to 91 on the season.

Brandon Deans pitched the final two innings for the save he allowed a hit and had a strikeout.

With the Royals (11-7) fifth win in a row they moved into sole possession of third place in the Intercounty.    The Leafs fell to (11-8)

The Royals are back in action on Canada Day Friday in an afternoon contest at Hastings Stadium vs. the Kitchener Panthers starting at 1:00 pm.    They host the Maple Leafs again on Saturday night at 7:30 pm