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Date: Oct 17, 2018
By Collin Quinn
SANFORD, ME- The Valley Blue Sox (2-0) have been crowned 2018 Northern Division Champions after defeating the Sanford Mainers (1-2) 8-6 in a back and fourth game from Goodall Park.
The Blue Sox finally got what they were looking for early in the game by getting the first two runs of the game. Connor Pauly (Morehead State University) got the Blue Sox started with an RBI triple followed by an RBI double by Richard Constantine (Western Kentucky University) to put the Blue Sox ahead 2-0 right from the get go. The Sanford Mainers would immediately fight back and answer with two runs of their own in the first inning thanks to an RBI triple by Johnny Rizer (TCU) and a fielder’s choice that led to a run by Shane Marshall (Binghamton University).
The Mainers took their first lead of the game in the second inning when Jake Alu (Boston College) ripped an RBI single to center field, giving the Mainers a 3-2 lead. The Blue Sox would answer in the top half of the third inning when Richard Constantine notched his second RBI of the game with a single to left field, tying the game at three.
The scoring went back and forth throughout the middle frames as Johnny Rizer put the Mainers ahead again, this time with an RBI single. Nate Cardy (Gannon University) put the Sox back within a tie of the Mainers with an RBI double to deep left field. The Blue Sox would take the lead for the first time in the sixth inning since the first inning, in a big way.
After a quick lightning delay from Goodall Park, the Blue Sox bats caught fire and added four runs in the sixth. Jaylen Smith (Kennesaw State University) Connor Pauly, and Nate Cardy added hits with RBIs to put the Blue Sox ahead 8-4. The Sanford Mainers would not go away as they added two runs in the eighth to make the game close. Blue Sox closer Ricky Reynoso (University of Pacific) shut the door on the Mainers in the ninth and crowned the Blue Sox 2018 Northern Division Champions.
“To be able to take care of business is huge for us for a lot of reasons. Guys made plays, Kyle (Schmidt) was outstanding all night and we have a group of good players and we put them in spots that they are locked in and you get some special things that happen” said head coach John Raiola following being crowned Northern Division Champions for the second consecutive year.
The Valley Blue Sox will entertain the Ocean State Waves tomorrow night for the NECBL Championship. Holyoke native Endy Morales will take the hill tomorrow, in search of his first playoff win of the season. First pitch will be from Mackenzie Stadium at 6:35 PM. Help the Blue Sox #PackTheMac throughout the playoffs and follow them on Twitter @BlueSoxGameday and on Instagram and Facebook @ValleyBlueSox.