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Date: Oct 17, 2018
By: Chelsea Roemer
SANFORD, MAINE- RHP Cooper Bradford (North Florida) threw the second no hitter in program history as the Valley Blue Sox earned an 11-inning, 4-0 win over the Sanford Mainers Saturday in game one of a doubleheader. Bradford is the first pitcher from a Holyoke-based NECBL franchise to throw a no-hitter since 2007. The last no-hitter came from Michael Thompson, who threw a nine inning no hitter against Sanford for the Holyoke Giants.
Bradford’s no-hitter was even more impressive considering he threw 11 innings, and earned 13 strikeouts against only five walks.
The Blue Sox claimed the victory 4-0 in game one, but fell short 2-1 in game two, splitting the double header.
Both teams were consistent and strong on defense in game one. Neither team earned a hit until catcher Ciaran Devenney (Mercer County CC) crushed the ball to right field for a double in the sixth inning.
The Mainers were unable to respond, Bradford consecutively struck out their hitters to shut Sanford down.
In the top of the 11th, the Sox were able to put runs on the board. Jaylen Smith (Kennesaw State) was walked with the bases loaded to bring in a run. Simone Whitman (Yale) tagged third on a sacrifice fly to score another run followed by a double by Devenney to give the Sox a 4-0 lead.
Bradford went back to the mound for the bottom of the 11th and completed the game to earn a no-hitter and a standing ovation from the Sanford Crowd.
“The competition was tougher so I had to have all three of my pitches working for me today,” Bradford said. “ I was trying not to think about the no hitter going into the bottom of the 11th.”
In the first and second innings the Mainers score right away to jump to a quick 2-0 lead. Sanford also performed well on defense grabbing nine consecutive outs to rattle the Blue Sox on offense through the fifth inning.
Despite a double by Devenney in the fifth and back to back singles in the sixth, the Sox were not able to bring in any runs.
Things didn’t come easy for Sanford however, as the Sox gave them all they could handle in the 7th.
A single by Richard Constantine (Western Kentucky U) advanced Tyler Kapuscinski (Marist) to second to get the tying run on base. The Sox load the bases after Nate Cardy (Gannon U) hits a single deep tonight field. Kapuscinski would eventually score from third to get the Sox on the board 2-1.
Unfortunately the Sox would fall short and split the double header with Sanford after the Mainers closer Jack Wiesenberger (Michigan) stopped the Sox from being able to get on base.
The Sox are back at Mackenzie Stadium to compete against the Mystic Schooners on
Saturday July 14th. Saturday is Holyoke Gas & Electric Night. Gates open at 5:35pm with first pitch at 6:35pm.The first 250 fans in the door get a Seat Cushion and the first 500 fans in the door can get their hands on the second set of 2018 Blue Sox baseball cards.
Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for kids and seniors. To get yours - call the Blue Sox ticket office at (413) 533-1100, grab them at the gate or order online at valleybluesox.com