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Jake Rockefeller's Outstanding Relief Work Allows Bay Sox to Hold on in Wild 13-9 Win over Schooners

June 29, 2018 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) - New Bedford Bay Sox News Release

The bats were as hot as the weather at Paul Walsh Field during the early stages of Friday's Southern Division encounter between the New Bedford Bay Sox and the Mystic Schooners, but a clutch relief outing from Jake Rockefeller (Rhode Island) secured a 13-9 Bay Sox win that pushed New Bedford closer to first place in the crowded race.

The two teams combined for 18 runs through the first three innings, as New Bedford put up a 10-spot on the board in the first and led 13-5 through the first third of the game. Mystic got as close as 13-9 in the fifth, but Rockefeller did not allow a hit in his 4.2 inning outing.

Karsten Sherman (Keiser), Rafe Chaumette (Trinity) and Justin Lamazares (Barry) each had two hits apiece, while Sherman led the way with three RBIs while four other players had two runs batted in each.

Mystic jumped out in the top of the first inning off starter R.J. Wagner (Dayton), as both Sebastiano Santorelli and Mic Wilson doubled to almost the identical spot in right field to plate the first Schooners' run. It was the first earned run that Mystic had scored since Monday night, as they had seven unearned runs against the Bay Sox in Tuesday's contest and were shutout by Sanford in 11 innings on Wednesday.

Wagner left the mound in the first with a one-run deficit but returned to begin the second with a nine-run lead, as the Bay Sox put up double digits in the first inning on six hits, five walks, and a hit batter. Mystic starter Brett Clarke was wild from the first pitch, as he walked four straight batters to start his outing. Chaumette drove in two with a single, and after Clarke retired Jacob Yish (Boston College) and Lamazares, the barrage continued, with Sherman and Chandler Debrosse (Central Connecticut State) singling to bring home two more runners. With the bases loaded, Jack Winkler (San Francisco) was hit by a pitch from reliever Grant Burleson, and the 3-4 hitters of Andrew Rapoza (Barry) and Austin Markmann (Sacred Heart) singled to drive in runs as well. Rapoza scored on a wild pitch for the tenth run of the first, and Burleson was finally able to end the lengthy inning after 15 Bay Sox hitters came to the plate.

The Schooners came back with four runs in the second inning, with the Bay Sox gifting them two errors to continue the theme of poor defense with the two squads this week. Tuesday's meeting in New Bedford had 11 errors combined, and the two teams had four through the first two innings and eight total on Friday night. Conor Moriarty and Santorelli drove in runs with hits, and another run scored on an error from Debrosse at second base.

The Bay Sox added one in the second inning, as Winkler drove in Sherman with a single to right field. Winkler, Brown and Rapoza had three at-bats each through the first two innings, which was three more than the San Francisco sophomore had expected. Winkler was originally out of the starting lineup, but Logan Allen (Bridgeport) was struck with a ball in warm-ups and diagnosed with a concussion.

Sherman continued his strong night at the plate in the third, driving in two more runs with a two-out single to plate Yish and Lamazares to make it 13-5 through three innings.

Mystic trimmed the lead to 13-7 in the fourth, as Chris Winkel and Tommy Gardiner drove in runs with RBI singles off reliever Tylor Arruda (UMass Boston), and put two more runs on the board with a deep drive over the fence in center field by Mic Wilson in the fifth to cut the lead to 13-9. Wilson is tied with Newport's Cole Austin for the NECBL lead in home runs with six apiece.

Both Mystic's Christopher Troye and New Bedford's Rockefeller silenced the offensive fireworks in the middle and late innings. Troye allowed just one base runner on a walk to Lamazares, and struck out 12 batters in 5.1 innings, while Rockefeller tossed 4.2 hitless innings with seven Ks. Wilson's homer was the last Schooners' hit, while Sherman's single to drive in two in the third was New Bedford's final hit in a game that took nearly three and a half hours to complete.

The win pushed New Bedford to 11-8 on the season, and they are within a game of first place Plymouth in the tightly contested South. The Bay Sox have a pivotal doubleheader with the Pilgrims in Plymouth on Sunday afternoon, and travel to Danbury on Saturday for another important contest, as the second half of the season in the NECBL has officially begun. New Bedford's next home game will be on Tuesday night, as the Ocean State Waves make their first trip to the Whaling City for another Southern Division matchup.

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