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Kitchener Panthers deliver massive Father's Day win over Hamilton

Kitchener Panthers pitcher Yonder Martinez winds for a pitch, with first baseman Chris Iltshishin in the background. (Mark Pare - 570 NEWS)

It’s a Father’s Day Kitchener Panthers (12-4) players, staff and fans will remember.

From humidex values cracking the low 40’s, to the home side cracking the baseball with regularity, Sunday afternoon had it all.

“It was nice just having my girls here at the park today,” Panthers Manager Luke Baker says, “We did a Father’s Day (batting practice), so we kind of got the dad’s out so they can enjoy it and pay our respects to them because obviously, they’ve helped us out, get to where all the guys wanted to be. It was fun.”

As for the game itself, the Panthers got the 15-3 win over the Hamilton Cardinals (4-8) at Jack Couch Park in Intercounty Baseball League action.

The offense was spread out quite a bit.

Five Kitchener batters had multi-hit and multi-RBI afternoons, including Tanner Nivins’ IBL-leading ninth home run of the year, a two-run HR in the 3rd.

Chris Iltshishin came off the bench, nabbing a solo HR and walked in his only two plate appearances.

Baker says everybody’s contributing well.

“Little bits from everybody is just so nice,” he said, “It’s not relying on one or two guys ever.”

“And then we had some pitchers that came in and did really well, that haven’t gotten a ton of innings and it was really awesome to see.”

Speaking of pitching, it started a bit shaky for Panthers hurler Noelvis Entenza.

He gave up a home run on just his second pitch of the game, then hit the next batter and walked a third.

But as Baker alluded to post-game, his starter settled in and pitched a great game.

“Just kind of got into his groove and did well,” he said, “Noelvis has been really good for us.”

Entenza struck out seven in seven innings of work, giving up six hits and three runs while walking just one batter.

The win puts him at 3-0 on the year, and also the fourth best ERA — 2.23 — in the IBL among starters.

Josh Freeman took the loss for Hamilton.

Baker says all around, it was a good win, but he could do without the high humidex values next time around.

That next time around comes Thursday, when a battle of the top two teams in the IBL meet at Jack Couch Park.

The Barrie Baycats (10-6) will be in town, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:30 p.m.