By Connor Stalker, Blue Sox Staff Writer
Little Falls, N.Y.– The Blue Sox faced off against the Diamond Dawgs for the second time of the season, after winning a slugfest on their opening night 13-10. Coach Doug Delett and boys in the blue looked to do the same tonight, though their valiant effort fell short.
Sidearm slinger Alex Canino started the game on the mound for the Blue Sox, while southpaw Matt Alduino out of Quinnipiac was his counterpart for the Diamond Dawgs. Leadoff Ben Partridge started the game off quickly reaching on an infield single to the shortstop. Pablo Santos drew a walk moving Partridge into scoring position. Alduino struck out the Blue Sox 3 and 4 hitters before centerfielder Easton Brenner snuck a groundball past the shortstop to score Partridge.
The Diamond Dawgs responded as a single by Quinnipiac star Sebastian Mueller plated a run, as did a single by St. Bonaventure outfielder Mark Darakjy. Mueller tried to push the envelope and score a third run in the inning; however, Wyatt Jensen exposed him with a laser from leftfield that cut him down at home, for out number 3.
In the top of the 2nd, Andre Demetral sent an 0-1 pitch from Alduino well over the left field fence, retying the game at 2 and giving Demetral his first home run of the summer.
After a rocky first inning, fan-favorite Alex Canino settled in pitching three scoreless innings before being pulled in the 5th. His teammates had his back, giving him the lead in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back walks to Will Shannon and Easton Brenner as well as a passed ball, set the stage for Taylor Kaufman to hit a sac fly giving the Blue Sox the lead. Later in the inning, Demetral again put the team on his back and poked a ball in a hole created by a steal attempt on the right side of the infield scoring Brenner. The Blue Sox increased their lead to 4 on a rope to leftfield by Brenner in the top of the 5th that scored Pablo Santos and Norris McClure.
Billy Rozakis was called into the game to hold the Blue Sox 4-run lead in the 5th. Unfortunately, Rozakis did not bring his A-game to the mound as he allowed 2 runs on a Mitch Balint single. Balint continued to torch Blue Sox pitching as he had 2 doubles in their previous meeting earlier in the season.
Demetral padded the Blue Sox lead in the top of the 6th with another towering blast, this time off star reliever Ethan Patch. Despite giving up the home run to Demetral and 2 more runs, Patch logged a solid outing, striking out 6 in 3.2 innings of work.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Diamond Dawgs exploded for 5 runs off Rozakis, retaking the lead for the first time since the beginning of the 2nd inning. A combination of singles, errors, walks, and a hit-by pitch allowed the Diamond Dawgs to take the lead. Justin Hackett led the charge during the inning with a single and an RBI.
Going into the top of the 7th, the Blue Sox were down 9-7. Patch mowed them down quickly 1-2-3. The Blue Sox turned to Ryan Dieguez to hold down Mohawk Valley’s potent offense. He allowed a leadoff single to Hackett, allowing Hackett to wreak havoc on the bases by stealing 2nd, and then reaching third on a wild pitch. The batter, Mark Darakjy, then walked to put runners on the corners with no outs. Darakjy stole 2nd before, Dieguez loaded the bases by walking 9-hitter Corey Adams. That brought leadoff Owen Pincince to the plate. Pincince turned on a pitch from Dieguez and lined the ball down the third base line. Josh Skowronski dove and made a fantastic play to knock the ball down. He quickly got himself to his feet to throw out the runner though made a bad throw that hit the base runner, allowing 2 more runs to cross the plate, making the score 11-7.
Down four, the Blue Sox needed to channel some late-game magic, and that started with a clutch at-bat from Norris McClure. McClure led off the inning with an infield single in which he showed off his jets and beat the throw. He then advanced to 3rd base on two wild pitches before scoring on a Brenner ground out, chipping away at Mohawk Valley’s lead.
Dieguez mowed down the Diamond Dawgs batters, giving his offense one last shot at a comeback. Arguably the hottest batter on the squad, Andre Demetral, smoked a line drive right at the center fielder for out number one. Catcher Gavin Lacoe started off a one-out rally with a single to the shortstop. A flyout to center field put the comeback in jeopardy before Ben Partridge sent a moon shot over the left field fence to put the Blue Sox behind by one. Diamond Dawgs reliever Owen Zadrozny induced a pop-up from Pablo Santos to end the scoring threat, handing the Blue Sox an 11-10 loss.
The loss was given to Billy Rozakis, while reliever Ethan Patch earned his first win of the summer. The Diamond Dawgs pitching finished with a combined 10 strikeouts, while the Blue Sox finished with a measly 3. Demetral led all batters with 3 hits and had an incredible day at the dish, with 2 home runs, 2 runs, and 2 RBI, all the while increasing his batting average to .435. Ben Partridge and Easton Brenner also had solid days at the plate. Partridge finished with a home run, a single, and 2 RBI, while Brenner finished with 2 hits and 3 RBI increasing their batting averages to .381 and .320 respectively.
On the Diamond Dawgs side, Darakjy and Hackett finished with 2 hits apiece, while Pincince and Balint had 2 RBI.
The Blue Sox fell to 2 and 5 on the season, with hopes of improving their record at home this Friday against the Albany Dutchmen.