Hall of Fame Inductee Spotlight
Date: Dec 14, 2018
By Colin Casey
HOLYOKE, MA - In his third season with the Valley Blue Sox, Endy Morales continues to dominate in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Morales (Southern New Hampshire) pitched six shutout innings for the Blue Sox on Wednesday night to help them end a three game losing streak with a 6-2 victory over the North Adams SteepleCats.
Morales moves to 5-0 on the season with an exceptional ERA of 0.96. This was his first game at Mackenzie Stadium in 2018, a place extra special to him, having grown up right in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
"I receive a lot of support from the Holyoke community. Unfortunately I can't see all of my supporters face-to-face, but they're always reaching out to me on social media and giving me the support I need to succeed," Morales said after the game.
The Blue Sox (18-8) had plenty of struggles at the plate during their three-game skid coming into Wednesday, but Nate Cardy (Gannon) was able to put Valley ahead after a scoreless first four innings. Cardy lined a fastball into the Blue Sox bullpen in left field to give the Sox a 2-0 lead in the fifth.
Valley wasn't done scoring yet. Jaron Robinson (Murray State), who drove in a pair of runs Tuesday night against Ocean State, added an RBI single to the cause in the sixth. He came around to score on a passed ball later in the frame to extend the lead to 4-0.
After the SteepleCats (11-17) cut the lead in half to 4-2 in the top of the eighth, three straight two-out walks in the bottom of the inning set the stage for Kyle Schmidt (Richmond), who grounded one into left scoring Jaylen Smith (Kennesaw State) and Andre Marrero (Quinnipiac). Smith also had three stolen bases while Marrero reached base four times in five plate appearances.
The Blue Sox's four run lead was more than enough for lefty Ricky Reynoso (Pacific) who retired the side in the ninth to secure the victory.
"I think we got away from our approach that had worked for us for the majority of the season these last few games," said Valley manager John Raiola following the win. "Tonight we were able to get back to doing what we do and played with a lot of energy."
The Blue Sox continue their grueling stretch of nine games in eight days Thursday night back home at Mackenzie Stadium, where Valley will host the Vermont Mountaineers. Thursday night is Military Appreciation and Hat Giveaway night presented by VA Healthcare , so be sure to be one of the first 350 fans in attendance and you'll receive a free, digital camouflage hat as we pay tribute to those who keep us safe!