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Blue Sox Hold Off the Rapids

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By Timothy Charvat

Momentum is running high for the Utica Blue Sox. After defeating the Albany Dutchman 16-2 on June 18, they returned for a rest day to face off against the Watertown Rapid.

And the Blue Sox would hold to win 10-5.

Rapids Strike First

The Rapids would strike first against Sox pitcher Anthony Anzaldi. In the top of the first, with runners on first and second only one man out, catcher Brendan Buecker would attempt a pickoff throw that went over first baseman Norris McClure’s glove, allowing the Rapids to gain an early lead.

Two pitchers later, Anzaldi would balk allowing another run to score, putting the Rapids up 2-0.
Blue Sox Respond
The Blue Sox would immediately respond in the bottom half of the frame. With a runner on first and nobody out, McClue would connect for a RBI triple off of Rapids starter Mike Flyzik to put the Sox on the board. On the next pitch, designated hitter Trace Hartman would ground out, but allowed the Sox to tie the game at 2.
Later on the inning, the Blue Sox would put runners on first and second and two men out, third baseman Wyatt Hunt would connect for a two-run double to put the Sox in the lead 4-2.
Pitching Comes Up Big
Anzaldi would settle in after his rocky first. He would go on to pitch four innings, allowing two runs, three walks, and striking out four in the blistering heat. While Sox manager Doug Delett would say that the heat lead to his weakest outing of the season, he has been impressed with Anzaldi.
“He knows how to pitch.” Delett said. “He did what he had to do, and he’s pitched well in all three outing.”
Likewise, Flyzik would make Anzaldi’s outing pitch for pitch. But he would run into trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning. With runners on the corners and one man out, Flyzik would throw a wild pitch to second baseman Benny Partridge, allowing a run to score to put the Sox up 5-2.
The Rapids would get out of the inning after Partridge flew out to left fielder Jake Blozy, who was able to double off shortstop Johnny Brucato. This would also end Flyzik’s night, allowing five runs (three earned) over four innings of work.
Bullpen Impresses

The bullpen for both teams would come up clutch over the next two frames. Cole Moore would enter for the Blue Sox, and would pitch two scoreless innings, allowing only one walk and one strikeout.

Likewise, Kolby Robinson would come in for the Rapids, and would only allow one walk while striking out five over the same stretch.
But the Sox bats would get Robinson in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and one man out, Hartman would walk in a run, putting the Blue Sox up four. Two pitches later, Robinson would throw a wild pitch to center fielder Damien Witty to give the Sox the lead of 7-2.
Rapids Show Life
The Rapids would show life in the top of the eighth. Gavin Enright would replace Moore in the inning prior and after getting through it, he ran into trouble. With a runner on second base and two men out, designated hitter Nick Bergamotto would connect for an RBI single to cut the deficit down to 7-3. He would then advance to third on a set of errors by Witty.
After a walk to put runners on the corners, Enright would strike out first baseman Ryan Kramer to end the threat.
Blue Sox Cut Through
The Blue Sox would immediately respond in their half of the inning. Will Russaotti replaces Robinson and would immediately walk the first two batters he faced. After a successful double steal by the Blue Sox, Buecker would ground out, allowing the runner from third to score, putt the Sox up 8-3
Later in the inning, the Sox would load the bases with two men out, forcing Rapids manager Matthew Perosi to remove Russaotti from the game for Greg Sherokow. McClure would connect for a two-run single, putting the Blue Sox up 10-3.
“Norris success come from using the whole field.” Delett said. “Tonight was a good sign.”
Rapid’s Last Gas
The Rapids would not go quietly in the top of the ninth inning. Matthew Williams would make his pitching debut and would work into trouble. With runners on first and second and two men out, Patrick Sullivan would connect for a two run double to cut the deficit down 10-5.
After a walk, extra hitter Jeph Hadson-Taylor would connect for a single to center field. But Witty would come up clutch, as he would make an incredible throw to get Sullivan out at the plate to end the game.
“The way that play was developing, when that kid was coming around third, I knew Damien was going to do what he did.” Delett would comment.
What’s Next
Blue Sox are on the road on Thursday June 20, as they take on their rival Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs. The first pitch is at 6:35.
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