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Underdog Hamilton Cardinals on verge of winning first round of IBL playoffs

Underdog Hamilton Cardinals on verge of winning first round of IBL playoffs

In the old Big Four football conference, playoff games between the champion and the winner of the ORFU were played on Wednesday afternoons.

The classic case of a conflct of interest presented itself 60 years ago when a player with the Tiger-Cats couldn’t get off work from his regular job to play.

The same thing happened Sunday when Sean Reilly, the Intercounty Baseball League’s all-time leader in hits and home runs, had to remain at home to work his shift as a firefighter.

As a result, the Hamilton Cardinals upset the Guelph Royals to take a commanding 2-0 lead in their best of five playoff series. The Royals, who narrowly missed winning the regular season pennant, must win in Guelph Tuesday night or they are done for the season.

Starter Corben Peters and reliever Daury Torrez combined to hold the potent Guelph offence in check in a 7-4 win at Bernie Arbour Stadium Sunday afternoon.

Former Blue Jay Dalton Pompey had two hits for Guelph, but struck out in his other three plate appearances.

Royals manager Dino Roumel was ejected for umpire-baiting halfway through the game.

Torrez also was used in relief of starter Sam Turcotte as the Cardinals won 4-3 in Guelph Saturday night. Turcotte hurled six strong innings, allowing only one run.

When the Royals threatened to tie the game, Hamilton manager Jeff Lounsbury called former Toronto Blue Jay Jose Fernandez in the from the bullpen. The lefty used his blazing fastball and struck out all six batters he faced to pick up the save.

Catcher Ryan Burnside shone for the Cardinals Sunday, going 3 for 5 at the plate. On Saturday night he also started a double play to kill a Guelph rally. Tyler Duncan hit a two-run homer for Hamilton on Saturday.

Guelph lost another good power-hitter on Saturday night when Josh Garton, who actually played for the Cardinals last season, collided with Hamilton runner Laine Renaud near second base. The ironic part is that Renaud takes weight-training lessons from Garton during the off-season.

If Guelph wins Tuesday night, Game 4 is scheduled for Bernie Arbour Stadium Wednesday night at 7:30. A fifth game, if necessary, would be played in Guelph on Thursday.

By DENIS GIBBONS

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