Bay Sox Snap Skid
Quality starting pitching, terrific defense and timely hitting were just what the New Bedford Bay Sox needed to snap their three-game losing streak to begin their 2016 campaign.
Starting pitcher Samuel Nepiarsky (UConn) was outstanding on the mound, tossing seven scoreless innings in New Bedford's 4-3 win over the Upper Valley Nighthawks on Wednesday night at Paul Walsh Field.
Andrew Penner (Los Angeles Valley College) launched his first home run of the season, as the Bay Sox broke open a 1-0 game with three runs in the seventh inning to pad their lead. Zach Perry (Northeastern) drove in the third New Bedford run with an RBI single, and the Bay Sox exhibited a perfect double steal with runners on first and third to plate their fourth run, with Keith Klebart (Sacred Heart) crossing the plate.
Nepiarsky scattered five hits in his seven innings of work, pounding the strike zone throughout his lengthy first outing of the year. He looked to tire during his last inning, allowing two hits for the only time during his start. With two runners in scoring position and just one Nighthawk retired, the junior hurler reached back and struck out first baseman Charlie Concannon. After an intentional walk, which was his only free pass of the night, Nepiarsky escaped the bases loaded threat with a pop out, which ended his outing.
Brandon Schlimm (St. Bonaventure) allowed three runs in the eighth inning, with the Nighthawks plating all three runs with two outs in the frame. Cleanup hitter Grayson Padgett was a few feet away from tying the game with a deep double to center field, but he was stranded at second on Schlimm's third strikeout in his inning of work. Schlimm rebounded to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning, securing the first win of the season for the Bay Sox (1-3).
The middle infield combination of 2B Ted Shaw (Sacred Heart) and SS Connor Hoover (North Georgia College and State) made some outstanding plays in the early stages of the contest to keep Upper Valley off the scoreboard. Shaw, who has been stellar in the field all season long, made a spectacular diving play to record the first out of the night, and then was the center of a key double play in the third to erase a runner from scoring position. Hoover made his own Web Gem in the fourth inning, traveling from his post at short all the way to the foul line in left field to make a sprawling over-the-shoulder catch.
Nepiarsky was also part of the stellar defense exhibited by the Bay Sox throughout the evening, as the pitcher helped his own cause in the fifth inning by making a diving catch on a failed bunt attempt. The righty, who was 3-2 with a 2.26 ERA last season for the Mystic Schooners, struck out two batters to pick up his first win of the year for the Bay Sox.
Next up for the Bay Sox is a road tilt with the Newport Gulls on Friday night. Their next home game is a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon with the Danbury Westerners, which begins at 5pm and will end with a fireworks display after the second game.
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New England Collegiate Baseball League Stories from June 15, 2016
- Four Homers Power Gulls to 11-4 Victory - Newport Gulls
- Swamp Bats give up 16 hits, commit 4 errors in first loss of the season - Keene Swamp Bats
- Vermont Drops Fourth Straight - Vermont Mountaineers
- Bay Sox Snap Skid - New Bedford Bay Sox
- Nearly 20 NECBL Alumni Named Minor League All-Stars - NECBL
- SteepleCats Cruise to Third Straight Win - North Adams SteepleCats
- Schooners Stumble to Fourth Straight Defeat - Mystic Schooners
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