BOONVILLE, N.Y. - The Utica Blue Sox traveled to "The Smith" on Thursday to take on the Adirondack Trail Blazers in their second doubleheader this season and completed a two-game sweep. The visitors came out on top in both bouts, earning a 5-0 shutout before doubling up the hosts 14-7 in game two.
In game one, Utica started out strong, including an RBI double from Devon Garcia in the top of the third. Garcia came around to score later in the inning off a base hit from Evan Lee.
Through the first three innings, Adirondack recorded only one hit, a single by Zach Zschering (Adrian).
In the the top of the fifth, the Blue Sox picked up their third run with a sacrifice fly to right field by Zane Harris, scoring Garcia and taking a 3-0 lead. A solo home run from Ryan Sargent in the sixth and Harris in the seventh, gave the Blue Sox a 5-0 lead and the win.
The Trail Blazers, tried as they might, could not get any runners across and recorded only four hits. John Michael Boswell (Furman) was responsible for two of Adirondack's hits, including a single and a double.
Brendan McNerney threw a complete game shutout, striking out seven Blazers in his first win in 2017; his record is now 1-2. Kyle Cashman (Pace) falls to 0-5 following the loss.
In the second game, Utica took the lead in the first inning and never looked back. Nathan Thyssen his an RBI double scoring Garcia and Harris scored from third on a wild pitch from newly-added Trail Blazer Kyle Naylor, taking a 2-0 lead.
Adirondack answered the call with a run of their own in the bottom half of the first, an RBI double by Matt Codispoti (SUNY Albany) scoring Boswell.
Unfortunately for the Trail Blazers, the Sox opened the flood gates in the top of the third, bringing in a total of seven runs, increasing their lead to 9-1. Thyssen hit a three-run home run and 11 batters in total came to the plate. All but one reached base safely at least once.
In the top of the fifth, Utica added five more runs and continued their punishment. After four consecutive walks allowed by the Blazers' bullpen, Garcia hit a grand slam and gave the Sox a commanding 14-1 lead. The minimal three would be retired in order in the sixth and seventh innings.
Adirondack did their best to mark a comeback and did have some success. Back-to-back RBI doubles from Codispoti and Chuck Hooker (Alderson Broaddus) in the fifth put three runs on the board. In the sixth, a balk scored Joe Simone (Rider) from third and Boswell recorded a two-RBI double. Boswell finished game two three-for-five.
Despite scoring seven runs, it was not enough and the Trail Blazers dropped game two 14-7.
Naylor picked up the loss and three strikeouts in his first appearance. Nolan Freeman wins his first game of the season and is now 1-0.
The Blazers and Blue Sox have one final match up, another doubleheader, on Saturday, July 15, in Utica.