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July 3rd Makeups: Grays Rally Late, Plugs Win It In Extras

Tim Sigda delivers a pitch against the Isotopes at Mitchell Field

Dorian Grays 8

Isotopes 5

WP: Tim Sigda

LP: Dave Warner

The Isotopes jumped out to a commanding start in their latest game against the Grays, launching an offensive barrage in the first inning, sending 10 batters to the plate, while racking up four runs on five hits off Grays' starter Chris Bernacki.

In the bottom of the first, the Grays sought to chip away at the deficit. Jay Sadowski delivered, driving in Ken Hartwright with a well-placed hit to make the score 4-1. But the Isotopes weren't finished yet. They added another run in the second inning, pushing their lead to 5-1. At this point, the game settled down, with both teams' defenses tightening up, the score unchanged through the next few innings.

The excitement resumed in the sixth inning when the Grays orchestrated a dramatic comeback. With renewed energy, they sent nine men to the plate and managed to score four runs, tying the game at 5-5. Reliever, Tim Sigda came on in the sixth and limited the 'Topes to a pair of hits, holding them scoreless.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Grays continued their offensive push. A leadoff single by David Poppie set the tone, and the team capitalized on the opportunity by scoring three more unanswered runs. This surge brought the score to 8-5 in favor of the Grays. Sigda was perfect in the 7th, retiring the Topes in order and preserving the Grays' win.

Key players for the Grays played pivotal roles in this comeback victory. Ken Hartwright had an impressive performance, going 3-for-4 with a double. Tim Sigda matched this effort with a perfect 3-for-3 night, including a double of his own and an intentional walk. Jay Sadowski was the standout, delivering a crucial 3-for-4 performance with a double and 4 RBIs, driving the Grays' offensive engine.

For the Isotopes, Ed Cauley and Diego Ortiz were the standout performers. Cauley went 3-for-4, contributing significantly to the early lead, while Ortiz was perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4. Dave Warner went the distance on the mound.

Plug Uglies 3

Wonders 2

WP: Jeff Whitehead

LP: Rick Stacy

Fourth of July fireworks were scheduled in South Hadley this past Wednesday evening, but the real action was at South Hadley High School in a matchup between the Plug Uglies and the home team Wonders. The Plugs sent Jeff Whitehead to the mound against Wonders ace Rick Stacy.

The scoring started in the top of the first when leadoff hitter Greg Elbaum reached on an E-5 and promptly stole second. He reached third on a fielder’s choice, then was driven in by a Jeff Whitehead sacrifice.

The Wonders struck right back in the bottom frame when Andy Ayres reached on a single and was driven home by a Tod Garfield double. After one inning it was tied 1-1.

In the top of the 4th the Uglies took the lead when Billy “Don’t Be A Hero” Evans singled, promptly stole second, and then stole third. Matt Boulanger reached on a walk, and was taking a generous lead when Stacy fired to first with a pickoff throw. The first baseman bobbled the catch, the ball got away, and Evans raced home. With Boulanger now on 2nd, Jeff Whitehead hit a searing line drive to the right side that had triple written all over it. But the ball was snagged by a contorting Chris Ciepiela at second base on an amazing play to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 4th the Wonders were able to get two runners into scoring position, but Whitehead took care of business by striking out two and ending the inning with a 1-3 putout. After four it was Uglies 2, Wonders 1.

The Uglies had a chance to blow things open in the top of the 5th with the bases loaded, but a fly out by manager Chris “Chaka” Scanlon ended the rally. Whitehead kept the Wonders in check in the bottom frame with a 1-2-3 inning, including two strikeouts.

The Wonders got back on the board in 6th when Tom Sebastyn reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second, then advanced to third on a 6-3. Scott Thompson hit a ground ball to second on what looked like an easy third out, but the ball was bobbled and Sebastyn scored. After six it was tied 2-2.

Rick Stacy pitched a masterful game, inducing ground ball after ground ball, with only a handful of times the Uglies could hit anything to the outfield. The same could be said of Jeff Whitehead, who was dealing all night and didn’t give up a hit after the 4th inning.

After a fruitless 7th inning for both teams, it was on to extra innings. Rob “Ecc” Eccleston, the automatic Plugs runner on second, was able to get to third on a passed ball that barely left the dirt around home. Up came big Steve Wall, who hit a sacrifice fly that sent Ecc home.

With the Uglies now leading 3-2 it was the Wonders' turn. Steve Ostrowski hit a ground ball to Whitehead that should have been an easy 1-3 to advance the automatic runner, but Steve “Higgy” Higgins staggered between second and third and was suddenly caught in a rundown. After a short cat-and-mouse routine Higgins was out, giving the Uglies a huge break. After taking out Ostrowski on a force at 2nd, the next batter grounded to the first baseman who tossed it to Whitehead covering the bag, and the ballgame was over. Plug Uglies 3, Wonders 2.

Players of the game:

Rick Stacy (8 IP, 3 H, 3 K, 0 ER, 3 BB)

Jeff Whitehead: (8 IP, 5 H, 5 K, 1 ER, 1 BB)

Game photos courtesy of Jeff Whitehead

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