|SteepleCats Drop Marathon Game in New Bedford|
|10:50PM / Friday, July 14, 2017|
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- The North Adams SteepleCats played their longest game of the season on Friday night, losing in 15 innings against the New Bedford Bay Sox, 3-2.
Nick Matera (Rutgers) won it with a single to center field in the bottom of the 15th inning.
Blake Whitney (South Carolina Upstate) and New Bedford starter Jack Nelson (Boston College) went back-and-forth through the first four innings, keeping the game scoreless into the fifth. Nelson tossed seven innings for the Bay Sox, while Whitney went six frames with seven strikeouts. The seven-strikeout outing ran Whitney's strikeout total to 69 on the season, one short of tying the North Adams franchise record set by current Marlins farmhand Scott Squier in 2013.
North Adams struck first with three consecutive singles in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Taylor Lane (Arizona State) singled for his second hit of the game. Joe Gillette (Menlo College) followed with an infield single down the third base line. Bryce Peterson (UCF) then gave the SteepleCats the lead with a single to center field. Peterson also stole second base, but the 'Cats could not manage any more offense in the fifth.
The 1-0 lead for the SteepleCats held until the bottom of the seventh, when New Bedford took the lead with a pair of runs. Chandler Debrosse (Central Connecticut State) and Luke Bakula (Kansas) hit consecutive singles, and Nick Matera followed with a single of his own to tie the game and spell the end of the night for Whitney. After a sacrifice bunt and a walk, Dante Baldelli (Boston College) drew a bases loaded walk to give the Bay Sox a 2-1 lead. TJ Pagan (Pittsburgh) came on with the bases loaded, and induced a groundout to keep the New Bedford lead at one run. Pagan struck out six hitters in his 3.1 innings on the mound.
A run in the top of the eighth inning again tied the game, and took Whitney off the hook. Jonathan Engelmann (Michigan) walked to lead off the inning, and was able to easily steal second base. He remained on second after a strikeout and a flyout. Dillon Paulson (USC) tied the game for the SteepleCats on a double into left center field. Paulson's sixth double of the season drove in his 16th run, both team-bests.
From the eleventh inning on, both teams went with pitchers named Zach Reid. New Bedford's Reid (UMass Dartmouth) worked five scoreless innings, and North Adams' Zach Reid did not allow a run until New Bedford brought Cody Doyle home on Matera's game-winning single.
The SteepleCats, who have not been at home since Monday night, return to Joe Wolfe Field on Saturday for their first meeting of the season with the Danbury Westerners. Robert Donnelly (SUNY Oswego), the North Adams leader in wins, will climb the mound. First pitch in North Adams is set for 6:30 p.m.