Law's Late Homer, Miami Duo's Clutch Hits HelpJuly 20, 2012 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) North Adams SteepleCats
After falling behind by margins of 6-4 and then 9-4, the SteepleCats (19-15) snapped a two-game skid in dramatic fashion, as the result keeps the 'Cats at least a game ahead of third-place Danbury in the Western Division. The Swamp Bats (23-8), meanwhile, still clinched a playoff spot coupled with a Holyoke loss to Vermont, but could not shut the door with a four-run lead in the top of the ninth.
An ineffective start by Tyler Gebler (Rutgers) proved to be costly early on, as the righty allowed six earned runs over five innings on 11 hits, striking out a season-high five and walking none over his seventh start of the year. But after the late rally, it was Western Division All-Star reliever Tom Bammann (Dowling) picking up his third win of the season after shutting down the Swamp Bats over the final three innings of the game.
Keene was bolstered by a strong five innings from right-hander Scott Simon, who limited North Adams to only one hit with six strikeouts and no walks over that span. But lefty David Mahoney allowed North Adams to tie the game on Law's blast in the top of the ninth, and pressed for arms late in extras, position player Austin Wheeler was forced to pitch in the 11th and surrendered the game-deciding run in a losing decision.
After the dramatic rally to tie the game, both sides threatened in the 10th inning but both Bammann and Mahoney kept the opposing offenses at bay. But in the 11th, Tyler Palmer (Miami) roped a bloop double down the right field line to move into scoring position and came in on his collegiate teammate Esteban Tresgallo's game-winning RBI single to score the go-ahead run.
Entering the 11th, Bammann set down the home side in order to clinch the victory.
North Adams finished with 12 hits while committing four errors, compared to 15 hits and three errors for the Swamp Bats. Both sides left 10 men on base, respectively.
Law and Tresgallo each led North Adams with two and three hits, respectively, while the former's three RBI were a side high. Meanwhile, Grant Kay and Dylan Moore each homered for Keene, as Kay led the Swamp Bats with three RBI, as well.
Keene inched ahead in the bottom of the first, as Dylan De La Cruz drove home Kay on a bloop single to right to give the home side a 1-0 edge. Kay reached on a one-out single before moving to second on a groundout and eventually scored all the way from second on the aforementioned hit by De La Cruz.
An inning later, the Swamp Bats struck for three more on their 49th home run as a team on the season courtesy of Moore, who blasted a shot to straightaway center that plated Evan Campell (leadoff single) and Brett Barrett (one-out bloop single), giving Keene a 4-0 advantage after two.
Following a scoreless third, the Swamp Bats struck for two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, as back-to-back sacrifice flies extended the lead to 6-0 after Moore led off the inning with a single before Mike Papi doubled.
The SteepleCats finally got aboard in the top of the sixth, plating four runs against the lefty reliever Ryan Horstman. Benefitting from a walk and a double off the bat of Adrian English (Barry), Horstman issued another walk to load the bases before a wild pitch scored the first run of the game in Shane O'Connell (URI). After another walk, Horstman followed suit with his second wild pitch of the inning, bringing home English and cutting the lead to 6-2.
Two batters later, North Adams trimmed the deficit to just two runs, 6-4, as Law roped a two-RBI base hit to left, scoring Jeff Roy (URI) and Julian Santos (Miami) on the play. Following a pickoff and a walk, the SteepleCats nearly squeezed in another, but Palmer was cut down at the plate trying to score from first on a two-out double off the bat of Tresgallo to end the inning.
But Keene answered right back with three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, as Kay smashed his seventh homer of the year to score Papi on a two-run jack before Campell doubled home JP Sportman later in the inning, stretching the Swamp Bat lead to 9-4.
North Adams managed to get a run back in the top of the seventh on an RBI groundout, as Sheehan Planas-Arteaga (Barry) made a leadoff single pay off as he later crossed the plate to cut the deficit to four runs, 9-5.
Following a scoreless eighth, the SteepleCats started the ninth with a single off the bat of O'Connell before a ball put runners at first and second. Down by four, Roy pulled off a perfect bunt single to load the bases, but Mahoney struck out the next batter for a huge first out.
With the bases still loaded and one out, Keene nearly had the game won on a game-ending double play, but Shane Klemcke (UT-Pan American) hustled out a potential 4-6-3 twin killing and North Adams benefitted from a throwing error on the play that allowed two runs to score.
With Klemcke at second and the deficit trimmed to 9-7, Law stepped into the plate looking for North Adams' first homer in three games at Alumni Field. Finally, with the 'Cats down to their final strike, Law teed off on a frozen rope, line-drive homer that tied the game up in the most dramatic of fashion.
The SteepleCats continue their season-long five-game road trip tomorrow, July 20, when they travel to Mystic for a showdown against the Schooners. First pitch from Fitch High School is set for 6:05 p.m.
• Discuss this story on the New England Collegiate Baseball League message board...
• Digg this story
• Add to Del.icio.us
New England Collegiate Baseball League Stories from July 20, 2012
- Blue Sox sweep double-header as Keene drops fourth straight - Keene Swamp Bats
- Holyoke Blue Sox to Host Throwback Night - Holyoke Blue Sox
- Former 'Cat Chris Cates' underdog story still resonates seven years later - North Adams SteepleCats
- Friday's game at Mystic canceled due to rain - North Adams SteepleCats
- Law's Late Homer, Miami Duo's Clutch Hits Help - North Adams SteepleCats
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.