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Corey Cater, Andrew Rapoza, Paul Gozzo KO Keene as Bay Sox Beat Swamp Bats 5-3

July 26, 2019 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) - New Bedford Bay Sox News Release

After a tough loss earlier this afternoon, the New Bedford Bay Sox bounced back, belting two home runs and holding on late to defeat the Keene Swamp Bats 5-3 on Friday night at Paul Walsh Field.

Corey Cater (Trinity) was sensational on the mound, tossing 5.1 scoreless innings to earn his first win of the season. Andrew Rapoza (Barry) and Paul Gozzo (UConn) lifted home runs over the left field fence in consecutive innings, and the Bay Sox bullpen held on, as the Swamp Bats (23-16) scored all three runs in the final three frames. Keene brought the go-ahead run to the plate twice in the ninth, but Matthew Stansky (Bryant) righted the ship to lock down his third save of the year.

The Bay Sox (12-27) took an early lead in the bottom of the second, with Gozzo drawing a key walk to begin the inning after trailing 0-2 in the count. Zach Buck (Holy Cross) laced a one-out single down the third-base line, and both runners moved into scoring position on some typical Bay Sox hustle on the bases. Hometown outfielder Rapoza hit a sacrifice fly to foul ground in right field, with Gozzo just evading the tag from Keene catcher Seth Caddell to give the Bay Sox a 1-0 advantage.

A heads-up play in the New Bedford outfield prevented a leadoff hit in the third, with Tommy Seidl (Harvard) demonstrating his Ivy League smarts on what seemed like a routine single by David Matthews. Seidl snagged the ball on the bounce and fired a strike to Rapoza at first, beating a lackadaisical Matthews at the bag.

The Bay Sox added an unearned run in the third, with Josh Goldstein (Southern New Hampshire) reaching on an error by starting pitcher/DH Logan Mathieu. Mathieu seemed to have Goldstein picked off first base, but the New Bedford infielder sprinted to second and beat out the throw from Matthews, who hesitated before tossing to the bag. Goldstein remained at second for two flyouts to the outfield, but All-Star Rafe Chaumette (Trinity) came through in the clutch with an RBI single to right field, earning his 10th RBI of the year for a 2-0 lead.

Rapoza deposited the first pitch he saw with two outs in the fourth inning over the left field fence for his third home run and first since July 5th vs. Martha's Vineyard to give the Bay Sox a three-run lead.

The offensive production continued in the fourth, with Chaumette singling and coming home on another first-pitch blast to left field, as Gozzo launched his first homer of the season to make it 5-0. Gozzo began his year with the Bay Sox on June 30th, and had reached base safely in his first 15 contests before going 0-for-7 in his last two starts prior to Friday night.

The Swamp Bats left the sacks packed in both the fourth and sixth innings, with Cater working around two walks and a single in the fourth, and Christian Rosati (Southeastern) coming in with one down in the sixth and retiring the final two Keene hitters to preserve Cater's shutout start.

Keene's bats finally arrived in the top of the seventh, striking for two runs with two down off of Rosati. Kevin Welsh walked, David Bedgood doubled to deep right field, and Randall Bednar singled to plate both runners to cut New Bedford's lead to 5-2.

The only negative of the contest for the Bay Sox occurred in the bottom of the seventh, as Ryan Markey (St. John's) was struck by a pitch on the helmet and was forced to leave the game. Markey had two hits in the first game earlier on Friday, and has made stellar catches in left field throughout the season.

Logan Maitland (UMass Dartmouth) came in for the eighth, and walked two consecutive Swamp Bats with one down, but was able to escape on two flyouts to the infield to keep his squad up three runs.

Stansky made it extremely interesting in the ninth, as Bedgood walked, Bednar singled - with third baseman Thomas Blandini (Southern New Hampshire) making a terrific diving stop to prevent extra bases - and cleanup hitter Will Wagner doubled to score one run and place two Bats in scoring position. Mathieu struck out - then broke his bat over his leg in anger - and Kyle Ball flew out to center field to close out the victory.

New Bedford split their two-game doubleheader on Friday, as they lost 3-1 to Newport earlier, and next move on to North Adams on Saturday before the All-Star break on Sunday. They'll host their final two home games of the year on Tuesday with another twin-billing with the Ocean State Waves, and close out the season with another two games at Winnipesaukee on Wednesday.

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