NECBL: Valley Blue Sox take down North Adams for 8th win in last 10 games

By HANNAH BEVIS 

Staff Writer 

Published: 06-21-2023 11:12 PM

HOLYOKE – The Valley Blue Sox kept their hot streak alive on Wednesday night, winning for the eighth time in their last 10 games with a 7-2 victory against the North Adams SteepleCats at MacKenzie Stadium.

The win moved the club’s record to 8-4 on the season. They’ll host Newport at home on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. before traveling to North Adams on Friday for a rematch.

The SteepleCats handed the Blue Sox a loss in the first game of the season, but the Blue Sox made sure that this time they were on the winning end.

“We walked a lot of guys early on and fell behind, and we weren't able to come back,” Blue Sox head coach Pedro Santiago said of the first meeting between the two sides. “This time we did the opposite. Guys came in throwing strikes and we got ahead right away.”

The Blue Sox struck early, scoring twice in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Matthew Garcia doubled to start off the inning and teammates Matthew Bergevin and Michael Zarrillo both walked to load the bases. Garcia and Bergevin both scored on a hit from Jeff Pierantoni. 

The home team pulled off an identical play in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases and driving in two runs on a hit from Garcia that brought in both Pierantoni and Zach Ketterman to take a 4-1 lead.

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The SteepleCats scored one run in the top of the fifth when Nathan Lincoln scored on a Sam Sherman put-out. 

“We wanted to stay aggressive (at the plate) the whole time,” Santiago said. “See if we could get into plus counts and barrel some balls up.” 

Valley broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh. Ketterman doubled to bring in Bergevin and Zarrillo, and Pierantoni scored on a Sean Scanlon single.  

Blue Sox starting pitcher Graham Jeffries threw four scoreless innings, striking out five and walking four before Dillon Ryan came in to relieve him. Ryan threw three innings, striking out five, walking two and allowing one hit and one run. Closer Harrison Durow hurled the final two innings, allowing two hits and striking out three.  

Hannah Bevis can be reached at hbevis@gazettenet.com. Follow her on Twitter @Hannah_Bevis1.]]>