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Blue Sox Dragons Game Ends in Controversy

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By Timothy Charvat

 

The road has been rocky for the Utica Blue Sox this past week. After edging out the Albany Empire 2-1, the Sox returned to Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) action as they faced off against the Glen Falls Dragons.

What would follow is one of the most controversial games of the season, as the game ended in a 6-6 tie after ten innings.

Early Pitching Dominance
Throughout the first two innings, both starters would show off their talents to one of the biggest crowds of the season. Sox starter Ryan King would hold the Dragons to one hit, and another baserunner reaching on an error by third baseman Omar Carreras during this time frame, while striking out three.
But not to be outdone, Dragons starter Anthony Lombardi would not allow a hit throughout his first two innings of work, allowing one walk in the first but faced the minimum batters thanks to a double play.
Blue Sox Strike First
After the Blue Sox would struggle to hit off Lombardi, the bats would come to life in the bottom of the third. With runners on second and third and two men out, second baseman Benny Partridge would strike out, but would beat out a throw by Dragons catcher Kyle McNeff to give the Sox the early lead.
In the next at bat, extra hitter Daimen Witty would connect for an RBI single to left field, increasing the Sox lead 2-0.

Pitching Continues to Shine

The pitching would continue to shine throughout the game, as King would pitch one more inning, ending his night with three innings pitched, allowing the lone hit, and striking out four total. Giovanni Canales would take over in the top of the fourth inning, and would pitch two solid innings of relief, allowing one walk and striking out one.

Unfortunately for the Blue Sox, Lombardi would bounce back in a big way retiring the next six Blue Sox batters he faced. Sox threatened in the bottom of the fifth, as with runners on second and third and two out, Lombardi would get Patridge to line out to the third baseman Shane Wetherinaton to end the inning and end his with five innings pitched, allowing the two runs (neither of them earned), three hits, one walk and striking out three.
Dragons Break Free
It wasn’t until the top of the sixth that the Dragons would respond. Daury Rodrigez would replace Canales and would immediately give up two straight hits to put runners on first and second with one man out. With first baseman Jack Griffin at the plate, the Dragons would successfully initiate a double steal, and would also score their first run of the game after catcher Sean Marlou threw the ball past Partridge.
After Griffin would single to put runners on the corners, left fielder Stephen Katch would ground the ball to Patridge to begin a double play, that shortstop Gabe Cavazzoni would throw past the first baseman Matt Williams allowing the Dragons to tie the game at two, and putting the go-ahead runner in scoring position.
In the next at bat, right fielder Odilio Cespedes would connect for a single to right field that
Kevin Denty would boot allowing the Dragons to take the lead 3-2.
Blue Sox Fights Back
The Blue Sox would immediately respond in the bottom of the sixth. Logan Jamrosz would replace Lombardi, and the Blue Sox would immediately pounce, as Witty would lead off the inning with a double to left field and would score on two wild pitches to tie the game at three. After walking the next two batters, Dragons manager would remove Jamrosz from the game for George Creighton.
Three batters later, the Sox had the bases loaded and two out, Creighton would get Denty to fly out to centerfielder Nick Massarini to end the inning, and keep the game tied at three.
Back and Forth
The Dragons would also respond in the top of the seventh. With two men on and two out, shortstop Cody Meier would connect for an RBI single off Rodriguez, giving the Dragons the lead. They would take on another run on the same play after Denty would throw the ball past Carreras to increase the Dragons lead to 5-3.
In the top of the eighth, Cole Moore would replace Rodiguez, and would pitch two innings of scoreless relief, allowing no base runners and striking out two.
In the bottom half of the frame, Blue Sox threatened as with two on and two out Dragons manager removed Jamrosz, who had kept the Sox in check over two and two thirds innings of relief, in favor of Orlando Leon. Marlou would connect for an RBI single that Cespedes would throw the ball wide of third base allowing the game to be tied five all.
After Leon would retire the Blue Sox in order, the game would go into overtime for the first time this season for the Blue Sox.
Drama and Controversy
In extra innings, PGCBL rules dictate that in the tenth inning, each team would start with a courtesy runner. In addition, no matter the score, the game will end after the bottom of the tenth.
Charlie Collins would replace Moore in the top of the frame and would immediately get into trouble. With the bases loaded and one out, Dragons Ryan Jackson, who would pinch hit for Griffin, connected for a sacrifice fly to go up 6-5.
In the bottom of the inning Anderson Cowles, and with Williams at the plate, Witty would steal third base on a bunt attempt to put the tying run ninety feet away. Two pitches later, Williams would connect for a sacrifice fly to tie the game up at six.
In the next at bat, one of the most controversial calls would take place. Center fielder Norris
McClure would connect for a homerun that seemingly ended the game. During the celebrations, the umpires would determine that McClure did not touch third base and would deem him out, sending the remaining fans into a chorus of boos.
The Sox would get one more chance, as Carreras would get hit by a pitch, and would steal second to put the winning run in scoring position. Colwes would get left fielder Nick OConnor to pop out to shortstop to end the game in a tie at six.
What’s Next
The Blue Sox go back on the road Saturday, June 15, as they face off against the Watertown Rapids. The first pitch is at 6:00 p.m.
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