Blue Sox Send Moose Home Empty Handed in Doubleheader Sweep
HOLYOKE - The Mainers took on a Valley Blue Sox team with playoff aspirations, which they confirmed by winning twice in two games over their Northern Division counterparts.
Game one featured stellar pitching performances from Jackson Svete and Darren Williams (Maysville, Ky./Eastern Kentucky) who went back and forth, matching each other pitch for pitch. Each hurler threw a complete game and registered at least five strikeouts and three walks, holding their opponents in check.
However, the Blue Sox offense did just enough to win, scraping across all their runs with two outs en route to a 3-1 victory.
With two outs in the third, the hosts kicked into gear. Carter Williams ripped a single to right field, scoring Cody Littlejohn from second base. Griffin Lockwood-Powell took Williams's place on the basepaths one swing later, drilling a double and giving Valley a two-run advantage in the middle innings.
The Moose finally got on the board in the top of the fifth inning by reaching base in a variety of different ways. Ryan Turenne (Lynn, Mass./Maine) led off and hustled out of the batter's box, getting to first on a dropped third strike before Elliott Curtis (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada/Kentucky) followed up with a line-drive base hit. A Reece Armitage (Falmouth, Maine/Marist College) base on balls loaded the bases for Sterling Hayes (San Diego, Calif./Vanderbilt) whose sacrifice fly plated Turenne and cut the Blue Sox lead in half.
Unhappy to be ahead by just one, the Blue Sox set out to add some insurance in the bottom of the frame. Williams punched out the first two batters he faced, but the combination of Carter Williams and Griffin Lockwood-Powell struck again. A single, stolen base, and double got the third Valley run on the board to restore their two-run edge.
Svete made sure those two runs held up for the rest of game one. He retired the final six batters he faced to put away the Mainers and secure the win.
Despite their performance in game one, the Blue Sox stumbled out of the blocks in game two. Gage Feeney (Cutler, Maine/Southern Maine) made his Mainers debut and rolled through the Valley lineup in his first two innings.
Though Joe Pepe did the same, the Moose got to him in the third inning. Gerry Siracusa (Kinnelon, N.J./UMass Lowell) took a fastball to the forearm in his first NECBL plate appearance and moved up 90 feet on a Hayes single. Connor Tate (Bishop, Ga./Georgia) drilled a single to score Siracusa while he and Hayes got one more base via a throwing error. Curtis made left fielder Williams pay for his mistake with another knock, racing the Mainers to a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the Blue Sox immediately made sure it would not hold up. They struck three times in their half of the third, sending all nine batters in their lineup to the plate to take turn the score in their favor.
They kept their bats going the very next inning, notching four more runs on six hits, two of which for extra bases. When all was said and done, the Blue Sox led 7-2.
Three innings stood between Valley and a doubleheader sweep, and manager John Raiola trusted the bullpen combination of Rob Griswold and Korey Bell to see his team. His faith in the two right-handers was rewarded with three scoreless frames including four punch outs. The only batter to reach against the two, Curtis, did so on a free pass.
The wins bring the Blue Sox to an 18-13-1 record, good for third place in the Northern Division as the Mainers drop to 13-23.
The Moose have a scheduled day off tomorrow before they return to Goodall Park on Tuesday for a date with the Upper Valley Nighthawks. You can follow all the action starting at 6:30 PM on the Patriot Subaru Sanford Mainers Radio Network powered by the NECBL Broadcast Network. Until then, stay in touch with all things Mainers by heading to sanfordmainers.com and following the team on social media.
• Discuss this story on the New England Collegiate Baseball League message board...
New England Collegiate Baseball League Stories from July 22, 2019
- Six Gulls Selected to All-Star Team - Newport Gulls
- Murphy Named Pitcher of the Week - Vermont Mountaineers
- Simone, Murphy Nab Week 7 Distinction - NECBL
- Blue Sox Send Moose Home Empty Handed in Doubleheader Sweep - Sanford Mainers
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.