|Mainers Grab Win Over SteepleCats|
|By John Wood, North Adams SteepleCats|
12:55AM / Sunday, July 08, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. —Four times wasn’t the charm for the 2018 SteepleCats against the Sanford Mainers as they learned Saturday night.
The Sanford Mainers made the long back to North Adams to face off against the SteepleCats for the fifth time this season with three of the previous games ending in wins for the SteepleCats; most recently being on 4th of July. However, Saturday’s game ended with a 14-7 victory for the Mainers behind big offense in the 6th and 7th innings.
The Mainers grabbed an early 1-0 lead after the first as Austin Lively scored on an error by the catcher. North Adams didn’t respond until the bottom of the 2nd with Tony Ortiz scoring on a passed ball, tying the game at one.
Hurling 3.2 innings, SteepleCats’ starter Cam Kovachik did his best to contain the Mainers offense in the game, but the away team was able to gather four runs off of six hits in his time on the mound.
Darren Williams, starting pitcher for the Mainers, had the SteepleCats under control, tossing 4.0 innings where he only allowed one run off of three hits while striking out seven.
Down 4-1, the SteepleCats offense finally broke out in the bottom of the 5th against relief pitcher Angelo Smith. North Adams found themselves with the bases loaded after Greg Cavaliere roped a double into the outfield, Jeffery Brown walked, and a shortstop error allowed Jackson Coutts to reach. Joe Porricelli then came up, as a wild pitch scored Greg Cavaliere and Porricelli reached first. Attempting to pick off Porricelli, right-hander Angelo Smith sailed the ball over the first basemen, allowing Brown and Coutts to score to tie the game at four. The next batter, Tony Ortiz, hit into a fielder’s choice in which Joe Porricelli beat out the throw to home and gave the Steeplecats their only lead of the night.
The SteepleCats lead did not last long however, as Sanford third baseman Austin Lively hit a two-run double off SteepleCats reliever Davis Brown to the wall, allowing the Mainers to regain the lead.
Brown’s night ended in the 7th inning, as three more runs came across off a Tyler Solomon homerun, a Brad Czerniejewski single, and a Carmine Pagano double.
Drury University’s Wiley Miller then took the mound for North Adams, making his first appearance for the SteepleCats. Yet four more runs came across the plate for the Mainers in the inning, as a hit batsman brought Carmine Pagano in and a dropped deep fly ball allowed Jonathan White, Austin Lively, and John Rizer all to score.
The North Adams bats were held quiet after their big inning as winning pitcher Jacob Dexter dealt 3.0 innings where he struck out six with only one SteepleCat hit registered.
Dillon Mendel made the move from shortstop to pitcher for the SteepleCats in the last inning. The Rowan University senior allowed just one run off two hits to limit any more damage for Sanford.
The bottom of the 9th inning showed some promise looking ahead for the home team, as RBI singles by Tony Ortiz and Dillon Mendel scored two more runs. The 6-3 putout ended the hopeful inning for the SteepleCats however, securing the win for the visiting team.
The SteepleCats face off against the New Bedford Bay Sox on Sunday in a rare home doubleheader with the first game starting at 2PM and the second at 4:30PM. Tickets for Sunday’s game can be found at www.steeplecats.org or can be purchased one hour prior to the game’s start at the ticket booth.