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Panthers claw back and walk-off the Leafs

The Kitchener Panthers came back from 5-0 down to nab their second win in a row
Panthers 2019 victory
Kitchener Panthers celebrate a walk-off victory. Mark Pare/KitchenerToday

You can never really count out the Kitchener Panthers (18-6).

Despite an early 5-0 deficit by the second inning, the offense woke up and Jeff Hunt hit a walk-off single in the ninth to give the home side a 6-5 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs (9-16) at Jack Couch Park Thursday night.

Hunt's winning hit came with two-out and the bases loaded.

The Panthers got solo home runs from Mike Gordner in the fourth and Yorbis Borroto in the eighth.

They also benefitted from 12 walks issued by Toronto's pitching, including seven from starter Alberto Tirado.

Otherwise, Tirado was brilliant, allowing just one run on two hits and striking out six on 5.1 innings of work.

Yoennis Yera went five innings of nine-hit ball for the Panthers, giving up five runs.  But he was rather stingy otherwise, walking just one batter while striking out six.

Panthers closer Miguel Lahera struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth, and captured his second win of the season.

Andrew Simonetti was saddled with the loss for the Leafs, giving up six hits and three runs --- two earned --- on 2.1 innings work.

The Panthers are now a half game up on Barrie for top spot in the IBL, with both teams in action Friday night.

Barrie is home to Toronto, while the Panthers are in London.

Kitchener hosts Hamilton on Sunday afternoon.


Mark Pare

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