By Connor Stalker, Blue Sox Staff Writer
Utica, N.Y.—The Utica Blue Sox lost in heartbreaking fashion in their home opener. Avery Cook started on the mound for the Sox and pitched brilliantly through four innings, striking out 6, while allowing no hits and 1 earned run. Unfortunately, his efforts were not enough as the Outlaws slipped past the Blue Sox in the 10th inning.
The Blue Sox scored first on a Norris McClure single that plated Ben Partridge, who reached scoring position on a stolen base. Later in the inning local product Todd Abraham, in his first appearance as a member of the Blue Sox, roped a single that scored McClure. Andre Demetral finished off the scoring in the 1st with another single putting the Blue Sox ahead 3-0.
The Outlaws struck back with 2 runs in the top of the 3rd, on two ground outs by Connor Roche and Chris Ubner. After four innings, Coach Delett went to his bullpen and brought in Siena lefty Billy Rozakis. Despite throwing well, Rozakis ran into trouble into the 5th allowing a walk to 2nd baseman Brody Raleigh and a double to center fielder Logan Haskell, which led to a past ball that scored two and gave the lead to the Outlaws.
The Blue Sox quickly responded with two more runs in the bottom of the 6th retaking the lead at 5-4. In the 7th the Blue Sox turned to their bullpen again bringing in righthanded pitcher Carlos Castillo from Hamilton College. Castillo immediately struggled allowing back-to-back walks, a double steal, and then a double to Haskell, his second of the night.
Oneonta’s relief arms held the Blue Sox for the 7th and the 8th before coming into the 9th inning. In the bottom of the 9th, the Outlaws brought in Justin DeCastro. After recording a quick first out, Greg Kopp ripped a single to help start a rally. DeCastro retired the batter, however, Easton Brenner kept the rally going by getting a bunt single that pushed Kopp into scoring position. The bunt brought Norris McClure who up that point had already notched 4 singles on the night. McClure jumped on the first pitch shooting a single to left field that brought the tying run home.
The 10th inning started on a wrong note for the Blue Sox, as reliever Kris Giangreco balked the extra innings ghost runner over to third. The Outlaws capitalized with a sac fly allowing them to regain the lead.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Blue Sox could not regain momentum as a popped-up bunt, a ground out, and strike out ended the bid for a comeback rally.
Justin DeCastro earned his 1st win of the season, while Kris Giangreco was handed the loss. At the plate, McClure stayed hot finishing the game 5 for 5 improving his batting average to .692. Binghamton commit Todd Abraham, Hamilton College bat, Greg Kopp, and NIU infielder Andre Demetral finished with two hits apiece. The Blue Sox fall to 1-2, while the Outlaws earned their first win. The Blue Sox return to action Sunday, June 3rd at Booneville.