The race in the PGCBL Central Division was tight in the homestretch of the 2021 season as Utica and Auburn were tied for first with Mohawk Valley just a half-game behind both teams entering July 28, the second-to-last day on the regular season schedule. All the Blue Sox needed to clinch a playoff spot that night was to beat the last-place Watertown Rapids at Murnane Field. The Blue Sox had defeated Auburn 5-0 at home the night prior thanks to a combined one-hitter, but it would be the offense that would be the story of this ballgame. After starter Sam DiGeorge worked an efficient 1-2-3 top of the 1st, the Blue Sox pounced on Watertown starter Ian Haigh for three runs in the bottom of the frame on RBIs by Eddie Javier, Luis DeLeon, and Jeff Nicol. Although the Rapids answered with a run in the top of the 2nd, Utica countered with a four-spot in the home half of the inning, highlighted by a bases-clearing triple with nobody out for DeLeon that officially made him the franchise’s all-time hits king. The Rapids then tacked on another run in the top of the 3rd, but Utica exploded for nine runs as they sent a total of 13 hitters to the plate in response, highlighted by back-to-back two-run doubles from Kyle Schmack and Tanner Kim. Watertown scored yet another run in the top of the 4th, but just like the previous two innings, Utica answered in a big way as they tacked on three more runs on a sacrifice fly from Schmack, a bases-loaded walk for Angel DiFederico, and a single off the bat of Ryan Enos that plated Kim. However, Nicol was thrown out at the plate for the final out as he attempted to score the team’s 20th run, which would have broken the franchise record for most runs scored in a single game. The red-hot bats of the Blue Sox would not be denied of setting a new single-game runs record. In the bottom of the 6th, DiFederico crushed a solo shot down the line in left to break the record, a perfect exclamation point on a 20-3 blowout win that not only locked Utica into the playoffs, but also unofficially gave them the Central Division title because of rainouts the following day.