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Fall League, Week 3: Rats Edge Millers, Pats Smash Hornets

Patriots SP, Ken Sloat delivers a pitch at Anniversary Field

Patriots 7

Murder Hornets 2

WP: Ken Sloat

LP: Steve Ostrowski

The Patriots and Murder Hornets faced off Sunday at Anniversary Field. Ken Sloat took the mound for the visiting Patriots; Steve Ostrowski for the home team, Hornets. A tight game early on, the score was knotted up at 1 after 4 innings.

Then came the fifth, an inning the Murder Hornets would prefer to forget... A combination of walks, errors, and timely base hits contributed to a six-run rally, breaking open the contest, propelling the Patriots to a six-run advantage.

The Hornets scratched across a lone run in the sixth, but Sloat and the Pats' defense clamped down, ending the threat. Mo Partee retired the side in the 7th and the Patriots earned their first victory of the fall. Final score: Pats 7, Hornets 2.

The Patriots offense was led by Mo Partee (1-4, 2 RBI), Tim Bombard (1-2, 2B, 2 BB), Shawn McMillan (1-2, 2R, BB), and Jack Wileden (0-1, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB). Mark Fox and Miguel Ringler each scored a run for the Hornets.

Millers 7

Diamond Rats 8

WP: Ricky Fleurent

LP: Mike Krezmien

It was an exquisite fall day at Mitchell Field where the league’s two undefeated teams faced off in a nerve-wracking 8-7 win for the Diamond Rats over the Holyoke Millers. Ricky Fleurent started for the D-Rats and Mike Krezmien for the Millers.

The Millers struck first in the top of the first. John Sullivan led off with a line drive double to left center, and Ken Hartwright immediately drove him in with a single past 1B. The D-Rats answered with one in their half. Micah Winston and Greg Elbaum both walked, and then Winston alertly raced home when Diego Ortiz grounded into a fielder’s choice to SS and the relay throw to 1B was late and in the dirt.

Both pitchers traded zeroes in the 2nd and 3rd frames, but the Millers put up a 3-spot in the 4th. Jeff Whitehead led off with a walk, Ron Totten lined a single into RF and manager Chris Scanlon reached on a fielding error to load the bases with no outs. John Wills drove in a run with a single, followed by RBI groundouts by Jeff Cahill and Tom Sebastyn. Not to be outdone, the D-Rats plated 7 in their half. Mark Caputo reached on an error, Ortiz singled, and after a long fly to right by John Malikowski was corralled by Scanlon, Hector Arroyo drew a free pass to load the bases. Fleurent’s RBI grounder was bobbled and all runners were safe, and then Stephen Higgins lined an RBI single and Joel Torres tied it with an RBI groundout. Arroyo scampered home on a wild pitch for the lead, followed by a walk to Tony Maspo, and then David Poppie’s grounder was bobbled, scoring another run. After Tom Neilson walked, Winston lined an RBI single to right. Following an HBP, Pres Pieraccini relieved and mercifully induced a groundout to end the 13-batter inning.

The Millers could have laid down their bats, down 8-4, but decided to battle back, scoring in each of the final three innings, while holding the D-Rats to zeroes. In the top of the 5th, Sullivan laid down a perfect bunt single and after Hartwright singled again, scored on Whitehead’s sac fly. Pieraccini gave up 2 loud outs in the bottom of the 5th, line drives to Whitehead in CF and Hartwright in LF, who both made nice running catches.

In the 6th, Wills led off with a single, advanced on a wild pitch and groundout, and then scored on an error. Whitehead relieved the effective Pieraccini and loaded the bases with one out on a single by Torres and a pair of walks but buckled down to retire the final two batters to keep his team within reach.

Going into the top of the 7th, and up 8-6, the D-Rats brought in closer Caputo to seal the win. The Millers O was unperturbed, and with one out, Sullivan reached on an infield hit, Hartwright blooped his 3rd hit of the game and Krezmien walked to load the bases. The Millers’ cleanup hitter Whitehead then lofted a high infield pop-up into the wind, and even though the umpire called an infield fly, the ball dropped and Sullivan ran home easily, to make it 8-7. Caputo didn’t bend, however, inducing a grounder to his right which he quickly snared and threw to first for the final out.

The Millers offense was led by John Sullivan (3-4, 3 runs, double) Ken Hartwright (3-4), Jeff Whitehead (BB, HBP, SF + 2RBIs) and Tom Sebastyn (2 RBIs). For the D-Rats, Micah Winston reached base 3 times (2BB, 1B, R, RBI), Diego Ortiz was 2-3 with a R + RBI and Tony Maspo walked twice and scored.

Game photos courtesy of Jeff Whitehead

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