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Week 7: Goats & Plugs Advance in Standings; Wonders & Grays Tie

Tom Conway delivers a pitch against the Isotopes at Mitchell Field

Fainting Goats 9

Isotopes 6

WP: Tom Conway

LP: Gary Webber

In an intense showdown, the Isotopes surged to an early 6-1 lead over the Goats after five innings, with their top lineup hitting on all cylinders. However, the Goats' Hector Arroyo, Jeff Burniske, and Paul Iellamo ignited a comeback in the 6th and 7th innings with crucial hits, leveling the score by the 7th inning stretch.

Gary Webber stepped in for Dave Warner in the 7th, shutting down the Goats' rally and preserving the tie. The 8th inning was a quiet one, setting the stage for a dramatic conclusion in the 9th.

Pres Pieraccini led off with a single, and after a strikeout, Tom Conway doubled. Tony Maspo was then intentionally walked, setting up Arroyo to deliver a double, scoring Pres and TC. Iellamo followed with a double of his own, scoring Maspo, putting the Goats ahead 9-6.

In the bottom of the 9th, the 'Topes managed a leadoff single but were thwarted by a fly ball and a pop-up. Burniske then made a spectacular play on a grounder to seal the victory, preventing the Isotopes from mounting another comeback and securing the dramatic come-from-behind win for the Goats.

Wonders 8

Dorian Grays 8

SP: Rick Stacy

SP: Chris Bernacki

The Wonders exploded out of the gate, seizing an early 4-0 lead in the first inning by sending nine batters to the plate and pouncing on a pair of costly errors by the Grays.

The Grays fought back, chipping away at the lead with single runs in the second and third innings off Wonders' starter Rick Stacy, closing the gap to 4-2.

Undeterred, the Wonders tacked on another run in the fourth, but the relentless Grays countered with two runs of their own, tightening the score to a nail-biting 5-4.

The Wonders extended their advantage with a solo run in the fifth and two more in the sixth. However, the Grays refused to back down, answering with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to keep the game within striking distance at 8-6 as they headed into the final frame.

Grays' reliever Tony Zager shut down the Wonders in the seventh, setting the stage for a dramatic finish. The Grays, whose bats had been largely silent, suddenly came alive. Marin Goldstein ignited the rally with a booming double, followed by clutch singles from Tim Bombard, Ken Hartwright, and Jay Sadowski, narrowing the deficit to 8-7.

Then, with the crowd on the edge of their seats, John Malikowski delivered a deep sacrifice fly, bringing in the tying run and making it 8-8. The game, pulsating with excitement, was called after seven innings due to darkness, ending in a thrilling tie.

Plug Uglies 4

Phillies 0

WP: Jeff Whitehead

LP: Colin Hosley

The Plug Uglies faced off against the home team Phillies on a beautiful night at School Street Park in Agawam. The visiting Uglies sent Jeff Whitehead to the mound against Philly starter Colin “Hos” Hosley. It was yet another close Uglies/Phillies classic that could’ve gone either way.

It was looking like a pitching duel for the first two innings, with both starters taking care of business efficiently. Scoring didn’t happen until the top of the third when, with two outs, Plug Ugly Nolan Anaya hit a single and then stole 2nd on a bold close play. Jack Wileden hit a single up the middle that sent Anaya racing around third to score.

The Plugs added another run in the fourth when Whitehead reached on an error, then was knocked in with an RBI single from Bill Evans. Midway through, Plug Uglies 2, Phillies 0.

The Plugs scored again in the top of the 6th and 7th. In the 6th Matt Boulanger singled and was knocked in with a Jeff Whitehead double. In the 7th Steve Wall singled and was knocked in with another “Jack Attack” from Wileden. Going into the bottom of the 7th the Uglies were up 4-0.

Hosley pitched a solid game, giving up three earned runs and striking out three, but the Phillies bats could not get anything going against Whitehead, who pitched a 3-hit complete game shut out while striking out three. Final score Plug Uglies 4, Phillies 0.

Game photos courtsey of Jeff Whitehead

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