Week 2: Grays Defeat 'Topes, Goats Walk-Off Wonders, Phils & Plugs Tie
Updated: May 21
Dennis Holmes delivers an RBI single in the bottom of the 7th for a walk-off win
Dorian Grays 6
WP: Chris Bernacki
LP: Steve Ostrowski
Chris Bernacki allowed 1 earned run while striking out 8 to lead the Dorian Grays past the Isotopes Wednesday evening at Mitchell Field.
The Grays jumped on the 'Topes early, scoring three runs in the first, and tacked on 2 more in the second and another in the third to build a 6-0 lead.
The Isotopes would rally, scoring 2 in the fourth and 1 in the fifth to cut the deficit in half, but Bernacki was dealing, striking out 3 in the final two innings and shutting down the Isotopes' attack.
Tim Sigda was 2-3 and rookie Dave Rist tripled for the Grays. Ed Cauley (2-3) led the Isotopes offense.
Fainting Goats 9
WP: Tom Conway
LP: Michael Krezmien
The weather at School Street Diamond in Agawam was baseball-perfect as the Wonders visited the Fainting GOATs*. The Wonders sent Chris Ciepela to the mound and the GOATs* countered with Pres Pieraccini.
A back and forth affair, the Wonders jumped out to an early lead in the first, but the resilient GOATs* leapt ahead in the second, and, after allowing the go-ahead Wonders' run in the third, battled back to tie the game at 5 in the home half.
The Wonders claimed the lead again, scoring 2 runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to take a 8-5 lead into the bottom of the inning. But the persistent GOATs* rallied to pull off the improbable victory when Dennis Holmes singled to knock in the winning run. Wonders 52 year old rookie relief pitcher Mike Krezmien, found out that nothing comes easy in this league, as he took the tough-luck loss. Several throwing errors contributed to the Wonders' second straight one-run loss and they remain winless at the School Street "Bermuda Triangle".
Paul Iellamo (3-4, 2R), Tony Maspo (3-4, 1R), and Pres Pieraccini (2-3) ignited the GOATs* offense. The Wonders were led by catcher Scott Taylor, who blasted an opposite field triple, left fielder Jeff Jarvis, who cracked a right center field double, and right fielder Luke Cavagnac, who hit a towering stand up double down the left field line.
*In keeping with custom, the Goats are referred to as the GOATs after wins.
Game photos courtesy of Patrick Johnson
Plug Uglies 7
It was perfect baseball weather at Mitchell Field in Holyoke. The Phillies sent Krafty Kenny Sloat to the mound against Uglies lefty Jeff Whitehead. The game proved to be a TNB classic and yet another Uglies/Phillies nail bitter.
The Plugs opened up the scoring in the top of the 1st with the first two batters reaching on errors, followed by 2 RBIs from Jeff Whitehead and one from Eric "Noodles" Bennett. The Phils struck back in the bottom of the first with RBI shots by Colin Hosley and Andy Klepacki. After one it was 3-2 Uglies.
In the third Greg "G-Bomb" Elbaum led off with a single, Matt Boulanger reached on an error, and Whitehead singled to load the bases. Jeff Cabana drove in 1 run on a sacrifice, and Bennett whacked a single up the middle to drive in another. Not to be outdone, the Phillies responded by loading the bases in the bottom of the third, with Paul "Gris" Griswold and Klepacki driving in 1 run each. Jon "JR" Ross hit a bomb to the outfield for a double that tied up the game at 5-5.
Things were quiet until the top of the 5th inning, when Colin Hosley took over for Sloat on the mound. Boulanger and Whitehead both reached on singles, then up came Cabana who hit an infield grounder to Klepacki at short. Whitehead was out at 2nd and Cabana appeared to beat the throw to first. The umpire, however, saw the play differently and called both runners out, claiming that Whitehead did not clear out of the way for the fielder making the play to first. The controversial call delayed the game for a few minutes and would prove to be consequential for the Uglies, as it left a runner on 3rd with two outs instead of one. The Phils retired the Uglies shortly thereafter.
In the bottom of the 5th the Phillies got to Whitehead again with hits by Winston, Griswold, Hosley and Klepacki. When the dust settled the Phils put up two more and held a 7-5 lead over the Uglies.
The Plugs fought back in the top of the 6th with singles by Bennett and Nolan Anaya. Mike Olkin drove in Bennett on a 5-3 sacrifice. Then up came Uglies rookie David Poppie with Anaya on third, who hit a tough grounder to short that drove in the tying run (his first RBI as an Ugly).
In the bottom of the 6th Elbaum came in to relieve Whitehead, and retired the side 1-2-3. The Uglies couldn't make anything happen against Hosley in the top of the 7th, who pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Elbaum faced the Phils again in the bottom frame, with the defending champs hoping for a walk-off win. Instead G-Bomb was masterful and sat them down again 1-2-3. With the score deadlocked at 7-7 after 7 (777?), the managers and umpire agreed to play one more inning.
In the top of the 8th the Uglies had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. The Phils decided to intentionally walk Anaya to load the bases. The gamble paid off as Hosley got Mike Olkin and David Poppie to each fly out to centerfield to end the inning. In the bottom half of the 8th it was deja vu all over again with the Phils looking for a walk-off and G-Bomb pitching another 1-2-3 gem that left the score tied.
With the sunlight rapidly disappearing the umpire called the game after 8 innings. The Uglies and Phils had to settle for a tie.
What happens next? The teams will play a 5-inning regulation game on June 15th, after which, they'll resume tonight's game with the remaining sunlight available. To be continued...
Shortstop Andy Klepacki (2-4, 3 RBI) and rookie Micah Winston (3-4, 3 R, 2 SB), led the Phillies' offense and also had highlights in the field. Eric "Noodles" Bennett (4-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB) and Greg "G-Bomb" Elbaum (3 IP, 0 H, O BB, O R) were the Uglies' stars of the game.
Game photos courtesy of Jeff Whitehead