Intercounty Baseball playoffs: London Majors trounce Burlington

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The London Majors would like nothing better than to get rid of the Burlington Herd on Tuesday.

Leading 3-1 in the best-of-seven Intercounty Baseball League playoff series, the Majors put the Herd on the edge with a 15-2 win in Burlington on Sunday.

Another win Tuesday night at Labatt Park would give the Majors a couple of day’s breathing space against their most likely opponents, the Kitchener Panthers. The Panthers lead their series 2-1 over the Hamilton Cardinals. Those teams resume their series Tuesday as well.

The Majors could use some time to rest. Tuesday will be their 10th game in 12 days. That includes the resumption of a suspended game that started in the ninth inning and went four extra innings. The regularly scheduled game began after the suspended game.

“We’re starting to get back into it,” Majors manager Roop Chanderdat said. “We went through a rough stretch, but we’re starting to play well again. It was going to take some time with some of the things we went through.”

Nothing hurts a team more than injuries late in a season and having to make changes when players leave before the end of the season. Both those happened to the Majors and it cost them a long losing streak and second place in the IBL.

But it also gave a number of players a little more playing time and the all-hands-on-deck approach has been beneficial to the team.

There was no need to look any further than Sunday’s win. Seldom used starter Chris Boatto gave the Majors a great outing.

The Majors made it a lot easier for him though by running out to an 8-1 lead after three innings.

Boatto went six innings giving up only one hit and two runs during that stretch.

The combination of Braeden Ferrington and Mike DeLong didn’t give up a hit over the last three innings in relief of Boatto.

“We used him a lot more right after we lost (Murilo Gouvea,)” Chanderdat said. “He’s given us some good innings. (Sunday) he kept their batters off-balance.”

The Majors have also gotten a lot of production from Kyle Gormandy. Gormandy only had 50 at-bats this year in 22 games. He’s played every playoff game and in 15 at-bats is hitting .400.

The Majors top of the order has also been special. Chris McQueen, Carlos Arteaga and Byron Reichstein were 8-of-14 Sunday with six RBI.

In the playoffs McQueen is hitting .350 and creating havoc with his speed on the bases. Arteaga is hitting .474 while Reichstein is hitting .417 with a .500 on-base average.

“The top’s been really good,” Chanderdat said. “Carlos has been having a great series and (McQueen) has been our table-setter. Bryon hit a couple and Mike Ambrose he’s been having a good series. He’s been catching and he’s back to himself behind the dish and his bat is coming alive.”

Ambrose missed some time with a head injury but he’s in many ways the team leader.

Besides playing the game on the edge he hit a pair of home runs on Sunday. The Majors hit five home runs on the day including a pair from Reichstein and one from the bat of Gormandy.

Game time Tuesday is 7:05 at Labatt Park.

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