UTICA N.Y. – With the Blue Sox nearly halfway through the regular season they sit at 9-10. It has been a frustrating start to the season for a team that has only won back-to-back games twice this summer. However, despite the frustrations, there are a lot of positives to take away from the season up to this point.
Benny Partridge had a massive sophomore season with the Rockland Hawks where he had a .422 batting average along with a whopping 38 stolen bases. And he has not missed a beat transitioning into the summer, batting .388 through the team’s first 19 games. He’s also been flawless on the basepaths with six steals on just as many attempts.
Norris McClure is another hitter who has been fantastic for the Blue Sox in the early goings of the season. He was named the PGCBL East Player of the Week after starting the season going 12 of 17 at the plate to start his summer. He started to struggle after that however, going 1/13 over a five game span. But even through those struggles he was getting on base, drawing 7 walks over that same span. He has since broken out of that slump however, hitting .545 over the last week with three stolen bases.
The Blue Sox also had a delayed addition to the roster in the form of Kyuss Gargett who has been fantastic through the first half of the season. Gargett has been a blessing for the squad this summer, raking his way to a .455 batting average over six games. He has also flashed his next-level speed earning six steals on seven attempts.
On the mound, Daly Skees has been excellent for Utica. The big righty has started three games for the Blue Sox, giving them 15 scoreless innings across all three outings. After a strong junior season he has done a great job carrying over the momentum he built up in the spring as he is one of two pitchers with at least 15 innings pitched who has not given up a run in the PGCBL.
Avery Cook has also been dominant for the Blue Sox in each role he has been thrust into. He started the home opener and tossed four no-hit innings, flashing his dominant fastball. Since then, he has exclusively pitched in relief, and has continued to dominate opposing hitters logging 11 strikeouts over 6 hitless innings. And with his recent commitment to Georgia Southern he is anticipated to move back into the starting rotation to build up his arm.
However, despite those great performances on the mound and in the box, the Blue Sox sit a game below .500. Offensively they have been one of the best in the league, hitting .285 as a team and getting on base at a 40% clip. The team has primarily been relying on singles, however they have done a better job of getting extra bases. Will Shannon has been a massive contributor to that recent change as five of his last six hits have gone for extra bases. They have also supplemented the lack of extra-base hits with stolen bases as they have the third most in the league with 56.
The pitching side of things has been solid, but has had some bumps in the road. They have had great performances out of the starters, with Daly Skees and Holden de Jong leading the staff. Teams are hitting just .207 against the Blue Sox, the third lowest mark in the entire league.
The Blue Sox sit in fourth place in the East Division. With the team currently inside the playoff bubble, they look to strengthen their position in the standings. With hot hitting efforts from guys like Andre Demetral and Pablo Santos and a monstrous new addition to the pitching staff in Marcus Kruzan the team looks to rebound for a massive second half.