'Cats Drop Slugfest to DanburyJune 13, 2012 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) North Adams SteepleCats
Zengel's clutch hit was his third of the night, part of a 3-for-4, four-RBI performance that evened the visiting Westerners' record at 2-2 on the young season. The SteepleCats fall to 4-1 on the year and fail in their bid to start the season 5-0 for the first time in the franchise's 11-year history.
With runners at first and second, the left-handed hitter deposited a 1-1 pitch into right center to plate both Jake Gronsky and Zach Shank - both unearned runs - after a two-out error extended the inning.
Brandon Adkins came on in the ninth and delivered a 1-2-3 inning for his first save of the year, while Ben Brewster picked up the win in relief after yielding just a walk in his perfect inning of action.
Danbury finished with nine hits, while the SteepleCats accumulated seven. As a team, North Adams stranded 10 base runners compared to eight for the Westerners.
Zengel's three hits led all players Wednesday night, as did his four RBI. Jake Gronsky (2-for-4, two runs scored) had two hits for the visitors, while both URI's Jeff Roy and Nova Southeastern's Brett Clements each had two hits for North Adams.
The SteepleCats got aboard early and often, plating four runs through the first two innings thanks mostly to starter Jimmy Coughlin, who yielded all four runs on two hits while walking six and striking out none.
But with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, and with North Adams looking to blow the game open, David Gibson relieved Coughlin and struck out two while allowing only a sacrifice fly to escape the jam relatively unscathed.
Danbury crept closer with a solo home run off the bat of Zengel in the top of the fourth, but the SteepleCats responded in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single after Roy scored earlier on a passed ball.
The turning point came in the top of the fifth, when the Westerners charged ahead to a 7-6 lead by means of a six-run inning during which only three hits were compiled.
After allowing three walks and an RBI single, North Adams starter Tyler Badamo (Dowling) was relieved in favor of left-hander Matt Longfield, who did not see much success either in two thirds of an inning, yielding three walks and two runs on two hits, allowing the visitors to take the one-run lead.
Finally, righty Dillon McNamara (Adelphi), who was tabbed to start yesterday's rained out game at Vermont came in and retired the side on a fielder's choice. McNamara stayed in and pitched a perfect seventh and was nearly through the eighth before Zengel's go-ahead RBI double.
North Adams managed to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth after Adrian English (Barry) stole home as part of a double-steal with Roy on base, but that was the last time a SteepleCats player would cross the plate as Danbury's strong relief corps over the remaining four innings kept the home side at bay.
McNamara wound up with the loss after finishing with 3 1/3 innings of three-hit ball while allowing two runs with three strikeouts. Sophomore Christian MacDonald (UNC-Wilmington) also made an appearance late in the game, during which he pitched a scoreless ninth.
Badamo finished with five runs allowed over four innings on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
The SteepleCats travel to Holyoke to take on the Blue Sox on Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m.
Notes and Notables
Roy has now reached base in all five SteepleCats games this season ... North Adams committed two errors and has totaled three miscues over the last two games after going errorless to start the season ... SteepleCats pitching has allowed 15 runs over the last two games after surrendering only three runs over the first three games.
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