By Connor Stalker, Blue Sox Staff Writer
Utica, N.Y.—After dropping a heartbreaker on Thursday night against the Diamond Dawgs, the Blue Sox were out for revenge, and they got exactly that.
Coming into the doubleheader the Blue Sox had only a 1 game lead over the Diamond Dawgs, meaning the game was a must-win to hold the 2nd spot in the division.
Coach Delett called on Brandon Scott to hold off the potent Diamond Dawg offense, and he did very well, throwing 4 scoreless innings before allowing 3 runs in the 5th.
The Blue Sox offense was on fire in the first game spotting 8 runs off starting pitcher Hayden Duke and then another 4 runs off reliever Julian Horan. The offense exploded in the bottom of the 4th with an unbelievable 10 runs.
Norris McClure broke out of his slump in a big way going 4 for 4 earning player of the game honors, while also netting 2 runs and 2 RBI. McClure improved his batting average to .387 on the year good for 3rd on the leaderboard in the East.
Will Shannon continued his tear at the plate roping 2 doubles (his 11th and 12th of the season). He also added to his RBI total knocking home 2, giving him 37 the season an impressive total that chases the Blue Sox record, and is 3rd on the RBI leaderboard.
Josh Skowronski and Peter Adams also contributed 2 hits and 2 RBIs apiece. At the top of the order, Ryan Rifenberg added a double and 3 runs.
Out of the bullpen, Greg Levin looked solid throwing 2 scoreless innings.
Mitch Balint and Corey Adams led Mohawk Valley’s offense contributing 2 hits and accounting for all 3 RBI for the Diamond Dawgs.
The final score was 12-3 in favor of the Blue Sox.
For the 2nd game in the set, the Blue Sox handed the ball off to local product Tom Roefaro. The Diamond Dawgs looked to southpaw Colton Trisch out of George Washington. Early into the game, it was apparent that it was going to be a pitcher’s duel.
The Diamond Dawgs struck first on a Nick Sturino single that plated catcher Brian Heckleman.
In the top of the 3rd things got interesting as Diamond Dawg outfielder Mark Darakjy seemingly fouled a ball off his leg. The umpire did not call it and Darakjy was called out at first. Darakjy did not take to the call and flipped out slamming his helmet, screaming at the umpire, and throwing his batting gloves, leading to his own ejection and the ejection of the Diamond Dawgs head coach. Both sides would remain riled up for the remainder of the game.
The Blue Sox battled back and used the skirmish as a rallying point, scoring a run on a sac fly by Benny Partridge.
Brady Shannon helped the Diamond Dawgs retake the lead in the top of the 4th on a line drive triple to center field. The Blue Sox would later retie the game in the bottom of the inning.
Brady Shannon then put his team on his back again, as a wild pitch during his at-bat and a single scored 2 giving the Diamond Dawgs a 4-2 lead. A sacrifice fly by Corey Adams in the top of the 6th gave the Diamond Dawgs a 3-run lead, and a tough hole for the Blue Sox to climb out of, but the Sox were not done yet.
Diamond Dawgs reliever Owen Zadrozny walked Taylor Kaufman before being replaced with Dom Perisichelli. Back-to-back singles by Skowronski and Easton Brenner allowed Kaufman score making the score 5-3. Perisichelli then beaned Kyuss Gargett loading the bases. Back-to-back strikeouts seemed to put the rally in peril, but a wild pitch and Pablo Santos, in his 2nd game back from injury, came up in a huge way lining a 1-0 pitch to right field for a double scoring both Gargett and Brenner and giving the Blue Sox a 6-5 lead. Andre Demetral beat out an infield single to pad the Blue Sox lead 7-5.
Kris Giangreco came in for the save and despite a little scare, worked a 1 run inning giving the Blue Sox an impressive 7-6 come from behind victory.
Reliever Brandon Millan got the win on the mound, while Giangreco got the save. Roefaro looked solid going 4 innings allowing 1 earned run and striking out 5.
Pablo Santos led the offense getting 3 hits including the clutch double in the bottom of the 6th. Demetral, Will Radich, and Partridge also had RBIs in the win.
Dom Persichilli got the loss on the mound. Brady Shannon had a big game including a triple and 3 RBI. Sam Miller added 2 doubles, while Corey Adams also had 2 hits in the losing effort.
The huge series win gives the Blue Sox a 2 game lead over the Diamond Dawgs, while also giving them a boost heading into tonight’s game against Amsterdam.