Mike Martinez Walks It off in New Bedford's 4-3 Win in Home Finale
Michael Martinez (Rutgers) knocked a two-out double to left field to drive in Karsten Sherman (Keiser) from first base to give the New Bedford Bay Sox a 4-3 win over the Sanford Mainers in their home finale on Saturday night.
Sherman drew a walk, which set the table for Martinez' second hit of the night, a long double into the gap in left field to snap the Bay Sox' nine game losing streak.
Mike Young (Stonehill) picked up the victory in his first appearance for the Bay Sox, as he tossed two scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Cody Doyle (Sacred Heart), Corey Joyce (North Carolina Central), and Dan Schock (Sacred Heart) also picked up multi-hit games for New Bedford, who won their first home game since July 15th.
Austin Cline (Dayton) drew the pitching assignment for the final home game of the season for New Bedford, and he quickly retired the Mainers in order in the top of the first. The Bay Sox got an early lead in the bottom of the first, as Joyce struck a double to the gap in left-center field with one down. Joyce moved to third on a wild pitch from Sanford starter Henry Curran, and Chandler Debrosse (Central Connecticut State) walked to put runners on the corners. After a strikeout, Joyce scored on another wild pitch that allowed Debrosse - who was running on the pitch - to advance up to third. Martinez drove a pitch deep to right field that was pushed to the wall by the winds at Paul Walsh Field, but it was snagged by J.T. Pittman to end the inning.
Sanford strung together two consecutive singles with one out in the second, then catcher Brock Keener blooped another single between Joyce and right fielder Jordan Fucci (Samford) which advanced the runners up. Fucci tried to cut down Justin Lavey at second base, as both runners were initially going back to their bags on the wind-aided fly ball, but the Samford outfielder's throw was errant. Jimmy Kerr scored from third on the E-9 to tie the game at 1-1. Cline did bounce back to strike out the final two Mainers, which left two runners in scoring position.
Doyle, who is headed to the NECBL All-Star Game on Sunday after winning the Fan Vote earlier this week, singled to lead off the third, and was joined on the bases by his collegiate teammate Dan Schock after striking his own single with two down. Reliever Benjamin Lambert, who entered to start the frame, struck out Sherman to leave Bay Sox on the corners.
New Bedford also left two runners on base in the fourth, as an error and a passed ball on a K had two on for Doyle, who laced a liner right at left fielder Bryan Sturges for the final out of the inning.
Sanford utilized two singles to threaten in the top of the fifth, but Cline induced a grounder to Nick Neville (Notre Dame) at short to end the inning. Cline struck out six through five innings without issuing a walk in his most impressive start of the season. Saturday was the fourth straight start for Cline, who made his first eight appearances of the year out of the Bay Sox bullpen.
The home team continued to get runners on base, as they loaded them up on a single from Joyce and consecutive walks to Sherman and Martinez, but Neville popped out to short to leave the sacks packed.
Andrew Tumbelty (Rider) was first out of the pen for New Bedford, as he began the top of the sixth inning. Tumbelty sat the side down in order, retiring all three Mainers via strikeouts looking.
Tumbelty started the seventh in the same manner, striking out the first batter he faced, then retiring the next hitter via a fly out to center. But a four-pitch walk to leadoff hitter Carmine Pagano put a runner on for Colby Maiola, who launched a two-run homer to straight-away center for a 3-1 lead.
Joyce led off the bottom of the inning with a four-pitch walk of his own, which was off of the sixth Sanford pitcher of the game, Perez Knowles. Debrosse knocked a triple to the gap in right-center field to drive in Joyce to cut the deficit to 3-2, and the former New Bedford Whaler tied the game at 3-3 after hustling home on a wild pitch. Schock followed up with a single, and some heady baserunning got him to third base on a single from Martinez. The Bay Sox got aggressive with Neville up, as they attempted a suicide squeeze, but Neville was unable to lay the bunt down, which allowed Schock to get stuck in a rundown. Neville struck out after the failed bunt attempt to end the inning.
Young made his Bay Sox debut after the eventful seventh, and worked around a two-out walk to keep the score tied at 3-3. He also struck out the side wrapped around a double from Pagano, which set the table for the dramatic ending.
The Bay Sox will send three players to Sunday's All-Star Game - Luke Bakula (Kansas), Brent Teller (Sacred Heart), and Cody Doyle (Sacred Heart). They will close the season out on Monday night in Plymouth.
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