SteepleCats round out homestand tomorrow vs. Holyoke
NORTH ADAMS, Mass.
– The New Bedford Bay Sox hopped out to an early 6-0 lead that proved to be insurmountable, as North Adams could only claw to within two runs, as the SteepleCats fell, 8-5, on Saturday night in a cross-division NECBL showdown at Joe Wolfe Field.
After plating three runs in the fourth to cut the lead in half, the SteepleCats (17-13) enjoyed back-to-back solo jacks in the fifth and had the tying runs in scoring position in the eighth, but the Bay Sox (20-11) benefitted from strong relief pitching to keep the home side off the board in the final four innings.
Frank Vilacha (2-1) earned his first victory since June 9 after going the minimum five innings allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking one. He edged Nick Narodowy (URI), who dropped to 2-2 after yielding six runs – four earned – on four hits, striking out four and walking a season-high five with two plunked batsmen.
The SteepleCats used four additional pitchers, as Adam Sargent (Miami) and Matt Longfield (Villanova) combined for three scoreless innings for North Adams. Meanwhile, Isaac Greenspon tossed an effective three scoreless innings and worked out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth with the tying runs in scoring position. The righty finished with four strikeouts and three free passes before Ty Walker notched his first save with a perfect ninth.
The visitors enjoyed a three-hit night by Sebastian Salvo, who finished 3-for-5 with a run scored and another driven in. The No. 5 through No. 8 hitters in the New Bedford lineup finished a combined 9-for-17, accounting for all but one of the 10 hits for the Bay Sox. The SteepleCats saw homers from Jeff Roy (URI), his first jack of the year, and Charlie Law (Rutgers), while Esteban Tresgallo (Miami) left the yard with a two-run homer in the fourth.
The Bay Sox hopped aboard with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead, as Evan King reached on a leadoff error followed by a walk to Zach Stone, putting the first two runners on.
But Narodowy induced a fly out before his collegiate teammate Roy made an outstanding basket catch on the run to limit the damage to just a sacrifice fly. But before the inning ended, Zach Graczyk would double home a run before he was thrown out trying to score from second at home plate on the next play.
New Bedford would tack on another run on a bases-loaded walk in the third before blowing the game open in the fourth, as Alex Baldock drove in three on a bases-clearing triple to up the edge to 6-0 after three and a half.
The SteepleCats responded with three runs themselves in the bottom of the fourth, as Tresgallo decked his second jack of the year over the left field fence. Before that, Law lined a double down the left field line which brought home Roy from first base, as North Adams pulled to within 6-3 after four.
After New Bedford tacked on an extra run in the top of the fifth, the SteepleCats pulled to within two runs in the bottom of the inning, as Roy and Law exchanged consecutive solo homers to cut the deficit to 7-5.
That would be the closest that North Adams would get, as the Bay Sox added an insurance run in the ninth before keeping the ‘Cats at bay over the remaining four innings to win by the final three-run margin.
The SteepleCats conclude Parents Weekend 2012 and their season-long four-game homestand tomorrow, July 15, with a Western Division showdown against Holyoke. First pitch from Joe Wolfe Field is set for 6:30 p.m., and the first 250 fans in attendance will receive free SteepleCat Sunglasses.