Local roundup: AJ Guerrero shines in Valley Blue Sox debut

Staff Reports
Published: 6/27/2022 8:26:45 PM

Welcome to Holyoke, AJ Guerrero.

The Valley Blue Sox’ newest player delivered with a monster performance on Monday. The University of Washington outfielder made his season debut one to remember against the North Adams Steeplecats. Guerrero smacked a grand slam to go with an RBI double and an RBI single, helping Valley to a 10-5 victory in a New England Collegiate Baseball League West Division title on Monday night at Joe Wolfe Field in North Adams.

On the strength of back-to-back four-run innings in the top of the third and fourth, the visiting Blue Sox stormed out to a sizable early lead and held on.

Sam Franco’s two-run triple in the third inning helped jumpstart Valley, which continued a strong stretch of play to improve to 11-7 on the season – just two games back of the West-leading Bristol Blues (13-5). Guerrero, who gave the club a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with an RBI double, followed with an RBI single in the third extended the visitors’ lead to 5-0.

That set the stage for Guerrero’s big blow in the fifth inning. With one out and the sacks packed, the new acquisition, who came over after a short stint with the Cape Cod League’s Hyannis Harbor Hawks, delivered a grand slam that blew the game open at 9-0.

It was 10-1 before North Adams (4-14) rallied thanks to a three-run home run from Will Binder. But the relief work of Christian Fagnant and Lucas DiLuca nailed down the win for starter Emmanuel Corporan, as he worked seven solid innings allowing four runs on nine hits. Corporan struck out two and walked just one.

Guerrero finished 3-for-5 with six RBIs in his Valley debut. Jevon Mason was 4-for-4 at the dish in the victory, while Franco (three RBIs) and Daniel Melnick had two hits apiece.

Next up for the Blue Sox is a 6:35 p.m. home game at Mackenzie Stadium in Holyoke on Tuesday against the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks.

Youth sports

12U softball

Juliana Eichenlaub scored the game-winning run in the sixth inning, capping a seven-run rally in the frame to lift Hadley to a thrilling 11-10 win over Northampton in the District 2 12U softball tournament final over the weekend.

Hadley’s Bella Bramucci singled to start the inning, and walks to Sylvan Coco-Romano and Haven Jones loaded the bases. Olivia Earle then plated Bramucci on a catcher’s interference call. Northampton pitcher Greta Lepore struck out the next two batters, but Hadley’s Morgan Augustin reached first base on an error and Lucia Jacoby singled to put runners on first and third. Eichenlaub then doubled home Augustin, and Jacoby and scored on an overthrow from the outfield.

Eichenlaub and Bramucci led Hadley’s offense with two hits apiece, while Kiely Kinchla scored twice in the win.

Ryleigh Pease scored twice for Northampton, with Talia Garretson adding a single to pace the offense. Lepore struck out 11 in the loss.

Hadley will play in the final Friday against an opponent to be announced later.


Carr sinks hole-in-one

Beth Carr had quite the Monday.

Carr recorded an ace on the eighth hole at Northampton Country Club. She used a 7-wood to accomplish the feat, which was witnessed by Chrissy Casagrande, Mo Mahar and Kathy McClaning.


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