Week 10: Wonders Walk Off Phils, Grays Spank 'Topes, Plugs Double Up Goats
Updated: Jul 15
Plug Uglies' shortstop Bill Evans scampers home against the Fainting Goats Thursday at School Street Park.
WP: Chris Ciepela
LP: Ken Sloat
The Phillies and Wonders clashed at Herlihy Field on Wednesday night in another classic one-run nail biter. A game which featured three lead changes, the Phillies lost the seesaw battle in walk-off fashion as the Wonders capitalized on a dropped pop-up with two outs in the 7th, scoring the game winner.
Trailing by two in the 7th, the Wonders defense cut down two Phillies baserunners at the plate. While the defense may have set the stage for a late-inning rally, keeping the game close heading into the bottom half of the inning, it was the Wonders offense that led the charge, hammering six consecutive hits, and tying the game.
The game appeared to be heading to extra frames tied at 8, when the Wonders hit a week pop up to second base with two outs. Whether it was the glaring Herlihy sun or a swirling wind, the normally sure-handed second baseman could not make the play and the Wonders scampered home to a 9-8 victory.
Starters Rick Stacy and Max Strubel kept their teams in the game, but neither factored into the decision.
Game photos courtesy of Stu Clark
WP: Rick Fleurent
LP: Gary Webber
The TNB+50 matchup of the week featured a battle between the first place Grays and second place Isotopes at Herlihy Field. Gary Webber took the mound for the 'Topes against Grays starter, Rick Fleurent.
Tied at 1, the Grays offense exploded for 5 runs in the second inning on 4 hits and three costly Isotope errors. The Isotopes plated two runs in the fifth to cut the lead to two, but the high-powered Grays offense answered with three more in their half to seal the victory.
Jay "Supe" Sadowski led the Grays with a 2-4 night. Lundy Bancroft went 2-3 for the Isotopes and scored a run.
"The Grays played a great game," said 'Topes manager, Doug Stowers, noting his team's 7 errors were too much to overcome. "Every time we committed an error, they made us pay with timely hitting."
Plug Uglies 15
WP: Jeff Whitehead
LP: Eddie Esposito
At School Street Park in Agawam it was Jeff Whitehead vs. Steady Eddie Esposito as the Plug Uglies faced the Fainting Goats.
The Plugs scored early and often, putting the game out of reach by the fourth.
The Uglies scored a run in the top of the 1st after leadoff batter, Bill Evans walked, stole 2nd and 3rd, then scored off a Whitehead single. The Plugs added 5 runs in the third off a triple by Whitehead and singles from Morriss Partee and Jon Adolph. The Goats got another run back, but the Uglies added 5 more in the 4th that included a Matt Boulanger triple. After 4 innings it was the Uglies 11, Goats 1 and this ballgame was over...
Whitehead left after pitching 5 innings, earning the win while striking out 5, giving up 3 hits and no earned runs (he also went 4-4 at the plate, including a triple with 4 RBIs). The Uglies then scored 4 more in the top of 6th.
Toward the end of the game each team had to get creative with their bullpen, with very different results. Eric "Noodles" Bennett came on for the Uglies in the 6th and Stu Clark toed the rubber for the Goats in the 7th in his TNB+50 pitching debut. Noodles, who hadn't pitched since 2015, got roughed up for 5 runs and couldn't get out of the inning. Clark pitched a scoreless top of the 7th with a K.
Goats third baseman, Paul Iellano also got in on the fun, pitching the fifth and sixth for the Goats in his first pitching appearance.
Despite some late game rallies the Goats could not get back in the game. Plug Uglies 15, Fainting Goats 7.
Bill Evans (3-4, 4 runs), Eric Bennet (3-4, 2 RBI) and Jack Wileden (3-4) led the Pluglies attack.
Game photos courtesy of Patrick Johnson/Stu Clark