By Connor Stalker, Blue Sox Staff Writer
Utica, N.Y.–The Blue Sox had a huge day sweeping Oneonta in a doubleheader, firmly securing the 2nd position in the East ahead of their rival the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs. The Blue Sox have had a strong season thus far going 25-13 and holding a 2-game lead over the Diamond Dawgs, while Oneonta has limped to a 12-29 record holding down last place in the East.
The first game of the set was a resumption of play from a game started at Oneonta on July 24th. The game reached the middle of the third before the umpires called for a suspension due to rain. The Blue Sox took an early lead in the top of the 2nd on a single by Pablo Santos. Starting pitcher Avery Cook held the Outlaws scoreless before the rain stopped play.
When play resumed, Cook again took the mound and looked electric throwing a complete game shutout, while striking out a season high of 12 for the Blue Sox.
It took a while for the Blue Sox bats to wake up, but when they did, they exploded for 12 runs, leading to an easy 12-0 victory.
The offense spotted 4 runs in the 6th and 6 runs in the 7th. A towering double from Will Shannon with bases loaded cleared the bases in the top of the 6th giving the Blue Sox a 5-0 lead. A wild pitch by Matt Dubois scored another making the score 6-0.
Dubois loaded the bases in the top of the 7th on a walk, a single, and a hit by pitch, forcing the Outlaws manager to use his bullpen, opting to pitch lanky righty, Liam Blair. Blair could not find the zone walking the first four batters, before a sac fly and a double play finally ended the inning, though not before the Blue Sox increased their run total to 12.
Avery Cook got the win on the mound, his 1st of the season, while also earning player-of-the-game honors for his outstanding outing. Kyle Mahady got the loss despite giving up only a single run. The Outlaws relievers struggled mightily with Dubois allowing 8 runs and Blair giving up 3.
Will Shannon led the offense batting 2 for 2 with a double, 2 walks, and 4 RBI. The last RBI marked Shannon’s 41st of the season, breaking a previous Blue Sox seasonal record of 40 set by former Blue Sock Scott Krutel.
Pablo Santos finished with a pair of hits, an RBI, and a run. Pete Adams, Wyatt Jensen, and Norris McClure also had 1 hit each.
The 2nd game of the nightcap was a much closer affair as the Blue Sox snuck by the Outlaws 4-3.
The Blue Sox bats jumped on Oneonta’s starter Jordan Goble (Herkimer CC) early scoring 1 run in the 1st and 2 more in the 2nd.
Andre Demetral sent a towering fly ball to left field that the left fielder caught resulting in the first run of the game on a sac fly. In the next inning, Goble loaded the bases before hitting Todd Abraham with a pitch and walking Ben Partridge to make the score 3-0.
Tom Roefaro got the start on the mound for the Blue Sox and cruised along until the 4th when the Outlaws put up 3 runs tying the game up at 3 apiece. Connor Roche led off the inning with a rope to center field. Two wild pitches put Roche on 3rd, though Roefaro was able to get the 1st out of the inning on a strikeout. The next batter, Erik Smith, knocked Roche home on a single to left. Later in the inning, catcher Chase Regan tied the game up on a line drive single to right.
Roefaro was pulled after the 4th giving way to Brandon Scott who pitched a scoreless 5th. Greg Levin then took the ball in the top of the 6th and also pitched a scoreless inning.
Oneonta’s R.J. Latkowski threw scoreless innings in the 4th and 5th before the Outlaws called on Joel Hayner in the 6th.
Kyuss Gargett jumped on Hayner quickly lining a 2-strike pitch up the middle for his 3rd hit of the evening. He then stole 2nd, though Josh Skowronski would walk, putting men on 1st and 2nd. During the next at-bat, Gargett proceeded to steal 3rd. An offline throw to 2nd then allowed him to take home giving the Blue Sox the 4-3 lead.
Greg Levin made quick 1-2-3 work of the Outlaws in the bottom of the inning to give the Blue Sox the win.
Levin got the win on the mound, while Hayner was handed the loss. Roefaro finished the night with a game-high 6 Ks.
Gargett earned player of the game honors going 3 for 3 with 2 runs (including the game-winning run), a double, and 2 stolen bases. Josh Skowronski chipped in 3 walks, meanwhile, Partridge and Shannon added 1 hit each.
In just his 2nd game in the PGCBL, Kyle Caccamise had a solid night going 2 for 3 with a walk. His teammates Connor Roche and Erik Smith also recorded hits in the losing effort.
The win improves the Blue Sox record to 27-13 on the season and officially makes them the 2 seed for playoffs, a huge development for the surging squad. Tomorrow night, the Blue Sox travel up to Watertown to take on the Rapids, before heading out east to Little Falls to take on the Diamond Dawgs for a double header to finish up their regular season.
As things stand, the Blue Sox’s first playoff game should be at home this Monday at Dononvan Stadium. Fans should stay tuned for further details.