Written by Jacob Ouellette
The momentum seemed to have turned around for the Sanford Mainers. Even though they were 1-3 through the past four games, the team showed signs of a new direction.
Bringing this momentum into North Adams against the SteepleCats, the Mainers hoped to pick up their sixth win of the season. However, in a well fought game between both teams, the SteepleCats came out on top in the bottom of the eleventh inning with a final score of 3-2.
The SteepleCats put themselves on the board first in the second inning when Brian Soloman hit an opposite field solo home run to jump his team to a 1-0 lead.
After being no-hit through the first three innings, the Mainers tied up the score in the top of the fourth. Ino Patron lead off the inning with a single up the middle. The next two hitters both struck out, and Patron now found himself still on first base. Anthony Hajjar came up to bat and kept the inning alive by hitting a single to right-center field. Patron hustled around second and go to third where he beat the throw. Hajjar then advanced to second on the throw from center field.
With two runners in scoring position and still two outs, Paul Kronenfeld sent a ground ball through the left side scoring Patron to tie the game up at one.
Over the next three innings the story of the game continued to be starting pitching.
Rohn Pierce got the start for the Mainers. In his outing he set new season highs for himself, but would not get a decision. He went six strong innings, giving up only four hits and one run. He didn't surrender a walk and struck out eight.
On the other side of the score book, Tyler Badamo made his second start against the Mainers this season. He pitched in the Opening Day game against the Moose and got the win. In this game, Badamo lasted seven innings, gave up five hits and a run. He walked only one batter and struck out nine. He would not record a decision in this game.
In the top of the eight, Brian Hunter came in to replace Badamo who through over 100 pitches in his outing. Patron reached base for the third time, but this time on a throwing error on the third baseman, Soloman. Will Cooper came in to pinch run for Patron and moved up to second on a walk issued to Jordan Hagel. On a deep fly ball to left, Cooper tagged up from second to third on a fly out by Jordan Betts. The Mainers now had runners at the corners with two outs. Hajjar hit a line drive to right scoring Cooper for the go ahead run.
With a 2-1 lead over the SteepleCats, John Gorman was in for his second inning of relief. He gave up a lead off walk to Adrian English. Will Klausing came up to bat and pinch hit for Conor Biggio and hit a soft ground ball to second allowing English to advance. With one out, Tyler Palmer hit an RBI double to score Klausing to tie the game. On the double, Mainers second baseman Jose Torralba dove for the ball, but it ricocheted off of him sending it into left field.
It was all up to pitching the rest of the game for both teams in order to keep the game alive. Charlie Haslup came in to pitch the tenth as well SteepleCats Thomas Bammann. Neither team was able to get something going through the ninth and tenth innings. In the top half of the eleventh, Hajjar got his third hit of the game, but was retired on a 6-4-3 double play by Kronenfeld.
In the bottom of the eleventh, Haslup gave up a lead off single to Charlie Law. Shane O'Connell would hit a soft ground ball down the line, but Betts over threw Torralba who was covering first. The ball ended up behind the bench in the Mainers bullpen allowing runners to now be on second and third.
Haslup got the next hitter swinging for the first out of the inning. Soloman came up to bat, but headed down to first on an intentional walk to load the bases. With the game winning run just ninety feet away, Julian Santos hit a ground ball up the middle to score Law for the go ahead and game winning run.
The Mainers fall to 5-13 on the season while still remaining in fourth place in the Eastern Division. The Mainers will be off on Thursday, but will return home to play a double header against the Mystic Schooners. The first game will start at 4pm with the Schooners acting as the home team at Goodall Park in Sanford. The second game will be treated as the normal Mainers home game at 6pm.
Catch all the action on the NECBL Broadcast Network.
Final Box Score
WP: Thomas Bammann (2-0) LP: Charlie Haslup (1-1) SV: None
Notes: Jordan Betts' hitting streak ends at 9... Anthony Hajjar extends his hitting streak to 5 games... This was the first extra inning game both teams played all season... In six innings, Pierce retired the SteepleCats in order four times... 4,326 people were on hand at Joe Wolfe Field, a 2012 league high...