By GENE PEREIRA
Connor Lewis says he’s just trying to put a good swing on the ball.
There was no doubt of that June 3rd at Christie Pits, as the speedy outfielder pounded out three hits to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to an 11-5 win over the Guelph Royals in Intercounty Baseball League action.
Batting at the bottom of the order, Lewis tripled, singled twice and drove in a pair of runs, while finishing 3-for-5 at the plate. He also scored a run and stole his third base of the year to help Toronto (7-3) complete a weekend home-and-home sweep of Guelph (3-4).
Lewis was certainly in the zone against losing Royals starter Yomar Concepcion (1-1).
“I’m just trying to put a good swing on the ball,” said the fourth-year veteran, who is hitting .393 on the year. “(Concepcion’s) a good pitcher, so coming into the game I wasn’t trying to do too much.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play and let the field do the work.”
Lewis had himself a pretty good weekend against Guelph pitching, finishing the two games 5-for-10 at the plate with three runs scored and a pair of RBIs and steals.
Toronto teammate Greg Carrington followed up a three-hit June 2nd effort in their 11-8 win in Guelph with a two-run double the next day, before being replaced by Zac Orchard, who belted a pair of hits himself.
That’s some pretty good production from the bottom of the lineup, which Leafs manager Damon Topolie was certainly pleased to see.
“One through nine (in the order) has been solid every game,” Topolie said. “Whoever I put in that day has been performing. Yesterday Carrington had three hits and today Connor Lewis, so we’re getting a real good team effort.”
Toronto starter and winning pitcher Zac Sloan (4-1) had another solid outing on the mound despite a Leafs defence that committed four errors behind him. Sloan gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings. He walked just one and struck out four.
Neil DaSilva picked him up in the seventh and struck out the side in between a pair of singles. Adam Marra mopped up the win over the final two innings, giving a just a single.
“He fills it up,” Lewis said of Sloan. “When he throws strikes it keeps the defence active. Errors will happen, but we need to make good plays, big plays when they need to be made.”
Lewis put Toronto ahead in the second when his triple scored Dan Szpik, but the Royals moved ahead in the top of the next inning on a two-run single by Sean Reilly.
The Leafs scored four times in the bottom of the third and twice more in the fourth and never looked back after that.
“We got another great pitching performance from Zac today,” Topolie said. “The errors cost him a couple of innings, but we just have to clean that part of the game up. Other than that, it’s been two really good days against Guelph back-to-back and I couldn’t be happier with the performances we had.”
Justin Marra had three singles and drove in a pair of runs, while brother Dan Marra finished 2-for-5 at the plate with a run scored.
Concepcion went five innings and gave up nine runs, four earned, on 10 hits, while walking five and striking out four.
Quinton Bent had three hits and an RBI and Matthew Pilarcyzk at the plate for Guelph.
The Leafs are back in action June 6th when they host the Barrie Baycats at Christie Pits. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
PHOTO: Toronto starting pitcher Zac Sloan gave up five runs, four earned, on seven hits over six innings to lead the Maple Leafs to an 11-5 win over the Guelph Royals in Intercounty Baseball League action, June 3rd, at Christie Pits. Sloan improved his record on the mound to 4-1. ERIN RILEY PHOTO