HOLYOKE – The Valley Blue Sox broke out the bats while taking two out of three games during a recent road swing, including an 11-run explosion on June 14.|
After defeating the Keene Swamp Bats 6-0 on June 12 behind a three-run homer by Trey Sikes – the Blue Sox’ first of the season – and a combined eight-hit shutout by Nick Lewis and Springfield native Harrison Paige, the Blue Sox erupted for 11 runs in an 11-5 victory over New Bedford on June 14.
Right fielder Bobby Stahel led the way, taking a 1-0 pitch and drove it over the 370 marker in center field for his first home run of the year. He finished with four RBI on the day.
Westfield’s Todd Ezold added a solo shot and scored two runs while Kevin Barker laced a triple and knocked in two and Garrett Black added two RBI.
Tucker Simpson started the game, but threw only three innings of scoreless ball, while Anthony Elia relieved him, tossing four shutout innings, allowing just two hits while striking out six to earn the win.
New Bedford finally broke through in the eighth against Adam Rutz, taking advantage of a walk, a hit batsman, and single before a grand slam home run to center off the bat of Brad Johnson, but Kyle Rasmussen came in and picked up back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.
The Blue Sox’ winning streak was snapped at three games as a defensive meltdown in the second inning proved costly in a 6-5 loss to the Ocean State Waves on June 16.
In the second, the Waves erupted, getting a runner on with an error, a walk, and back-to-back singles to make it 2-0. They reloaded the bases on another error, and scored on an RBI groundout and a seeing-eye single to make it 4-0. A line-drive single made it 5-0 and a passed ball then made it 6-0.
The Blue Sox were able to get two back in the following half frame on an errant throw on a double steal that scored left fielder Storm Wilson and an RBI single by catcher Josh Graham that plated Stahel.
In the fourth inning, shortstop Angelo La Bruna knocked an RBI double down the left field line and Sikes drove an 0-1 pitch into the Blue Sox bullpen to make it 6-4 in the fifth.
Joseph Carconea drove a single to center to plate Sikes in the seventh to cut the deficit to one run, but could get no closer.
Graham was cut down at home to end the seventh and the Blue Sox got the tying run to third with one out in the ninth, but a strikeout and a groundout left it there.
A June 13 home game was also rained out. The contest has been rescheduled for July 17 at 6:35 p.m.
Additionally, the Star Wars Night and Darth Vader appearance that was planned for this evening will take place on the rescheduled date of July 17.
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