The Guelph Royals opened their 2019 season Saturday with a 5-4 loss to the Kitchener Panthers Saturday before around 750 fans at Hastings Stadium.
The Royals took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning before the Panthers rallied for three runs off relievers Brett Lawson and Edwin Javier, spoiling a strong five-inning start by Fernando Fernandez-Beltran, who struck out six and walked one.
Guelph managed just four hits off four Kitchener pitchers.
Sean Riley had a pair of RBIs for Guelph.
The same two teams play in Kitchener Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.