By Connor Stalker, Blue Sox Staff Writer
Utica, N.Y.–Last night, the Blue Sox hosted the Lumberjacks for the 4th time this season. Early on in the day, the game appeared to be a washout, however, hard work by the grounds crew, the sky clearing, and a pushed-back game time allowed the game to go on. Thus far, the Blue Sox own a 2-1 record against the Lumberjacks, a team that has found itself at the cellar of the East Division.
On the mound, the Blue Sox started Holden de Jong, a pitcher for NJIT who has gotten off to a strong start this summer. To date, de Jong has maintained a 1.23 ERA, through 7 innings, while also striking out 8. The Lumberjacks tasked Albert Bobadilla with the start, a solid arm sporting a 4.24 ERA through 3 starts.
The Blue Sox scored early off Bobadilla. Andre Demetral continued his strong start to the season roping a single to left field before reaching 3rd base an errant pickoff move. Pablo Santos grounded out short, allowing Demetral to score putting the Blue Sox up 1-0.
De Jong and Bobadilla held down both offenses in the 2nd and 3rd before de Jong gave up his first run of the game in the top of the 4th. De Jong allowed 2 runners to reach base on walks, bringing Santiago Jimenez to the plate with 2 outs. On the 0-1 pitch, Jimenez smoked a double down the left field line tying the game at 1.
The Blue Sox responded quickly in the bottom of the 4th, as 1st baseman Will Shannon leadoff with a double. The next batter, Greg Kopp, popped out before Ryan Rifenberg singled on a ground ball up the middle putting men on 1st and 3rd. Gavin Lacoe flew out to center field for out number 2, though the rally did not stop there. C.J. Wisniewski ripped a hard ground ball down the 3rd baseline line, that the 3rd baseman knocked down but could not make a play on scoring the Blue Sox 2nd run of the game.
The Blue Sox would spot 7 more unanswered runs off the Lumberjacks’ pitching including run-scoring singles by Demetral, Wyatt Jensen, and Adam Haidermota. Pablo Santos also singled, scoring 2 runs, while Will Shannon smoked his 2nd double of the inning plating the Blue Sox’s 8th run of the game, increasing the lead to 8-1 in favor of the Blue Sox.
An error to lead off the bottom of the 5th put Ryan Rifenberg in scoring position. A hard ground ball to third and an error allowed Rifenberg to score and Gavin Lacoe to reach base. Another single by Wisniewski put men on 1st and 2nd, bringing up Wyatt Jensen who hit a screaming line drive in the left-center gap scoring both runners and putting the Blue Sox up big, 12-1 within mercy rule territory.
Blue Sox relief pitching held the Lumberjacks at 1, leading to the game ending early as the 10-run rule went into effect in the 7th inning.
The Blue Sox won in convincing fashion, an important win for both confidence and the standings. Holden de Jong earned his 1st win of the season despite dealing with control issues throughout his outing. He also impressed working out of jams, while allowing only 1 run. On the Lumberjack side, Bobadilla fell to 2-2 on the year with an inflated 6.10 ERA.
On the relief side, Trey Sejnoha looked solid throwing 2 scoreless innings, while the Lumberjacks relievers struggled, specifically Eli Snelson who gave up 5 runs in 2/3rds of an inning. Ben Bohlman helped clean up some of the mess pitching 1.2 scoreless innings, but it was not enough as the Lumberjacks fell 12-1.
Wyatt Jensen and Pablo Santos each had 3 RBIs apiece, while Jensen also contributed with 2 knocks, one being a double. Demetral, Shannon, and Wisniewski also contributed multi-hit games, with Shannon doubling twice. The Lumberjacks were held to 3 hits all game. First baseman Santiago Jimenez contributed 2 of those hits, while also plating the lone run for Boonville.
All together it was a strong winning effort for the Blue Sox. Today they take on Saugerties at home at 5:15 with hopes of continuing their tear at the plate and improving their record to .500.