Cardinals Win Home Opener

Brandon Nieva's two-out single in the bottom of the eighth cashed Matt Lonetto to give the Hamilton Cardinals a season-opening 3-2 win over the six-time defending champion Barrie Baycats Friday night at Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium.

Justin Gideon went 2-for-3 with a run for the Cards (1-0), who picked up five hits in total against a trio of Baycats' hurlers. 

Ben Braun (1-0) earned the win on the mound, striking out two in a scoreless inning of relief. Stefan Strecker picked up the save with a clean ninth, striking out one. Starter Chris Lazar allowed two runs (one earned) on nine hits with eight strikeouts. He didn't issue a walk. 

Lazar outdueled Barrie starter Juan Benitez, who threw five scoreless innings while scattering two hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Lucas Earle (0-1) took the loss, giving up two runs on one hit with a walk in 1.2 innings. 

Offensively, Ryan Rijo went 2-for-5 with a double and a run. Mike Cecchetto drove in the other run, while Marcel Lacasse and Tyler Plumpton each had a pair of hits. 

The Cardinals return to play on Sunday July 11 2:00pm at Carstar Park at Bernie Arbour Stadium as they welcome the Brantford RedSox to town.

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0      The number of walks the Hamilton Cardinals pitching staff gave up. Pretty good number since all 3 Pitchers used have not pitched in a game since 2019.

3      Ben Braun earned his 3rd career victory with a scoreless 8th inning

6      The number of Hamilton Cardinals position players making their IBL debut in the game.

43    Stefan Strecker pitches a scoreless 9th inning to record his IBL Record 43rd save.

51    Justin Gideon continues to hit in the IBL, with his 51st career double.

89    Anthony Rizquez returns to Hamilton after spending last few seasons in Brantford and records his 89th career hit.

125  With 8 strikeouts in the game Hamilton Starter Chris Lazar reached 125 for his career.

450  Ending the game with a strikeout, Strecker recorded his 450th career strikeout (17th all-time IBL )