Swamp Bats Offensive Outburst Stuns Mainers
Date: Jul 20, 2019
Photography by Remi Frisby
Written by Ryan Zimmerman
Director of Broadcasting and Media
SANFORD – Mainer batters put their patience on full display against the Danbury Westerners by taking six walks, but they only recorded three hits and a single run in a close 3-1 loss.
Despite strong outings from the five pitchers who took the mound, a lack of run support slapped Kyle Skidmore (Franklin, Mass./Hofstra) with a tough-luck loss.
Matt Rudis (Madisonville, Texas/Texas Christian) took the ball and made his first start of the 2019 season. Although he got into early trouble by loading the bases in the first inning, he showed off the electric stuff that made him a Perfect Game All-American as a high school senior, striking out two consecutive hitters to work out of the early jam.
However, Danbury got to him in the second inning. Matt Zaffino led off the frame with a double to the left-field wall and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jack McCarthy drove him in with a sacrifice fly, putting the Westerners up 1-0.
After issuing a leadoff walk in the third inning, Rudis would make way for Gerry Siracusa (Kinnelon, N.J./UMass Lowell) to make his second appearance this summer. With the help of catcher Ryan Turenne (Lynn, Mass./Maine) gunning down a would-be base stealer in Luke Brown just two pitches into his outing, Siracusa picked up where the starter left off. He went three innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits and racking up two strikeouts in the process. Siracusa also featured his quick pickoff move, freezing a helpless Noah Dickerson off of first base in the fourth inning.
The Mainers got their offense going in the fifth as their plate patience finally led to a run. With two outs and nobody on base, Sterling Hayes (San Diego, Calif./Vanderbilt) drew his team-leading fifth walk and promptly took second on a wild pitch. Connor Tate (Bishop, Ga./Georgia) followed up with a double that one-hopped the left-field wall, scoring Hayes and tying the game 1-1.
Unfortunately, the team’s newfound momentum did not last long as the Westerners restored their lead the very next inning. Against Skidmore, Dickerson atoned for his baserunning miscue by grounding a two-run single into right field, putting his team ahead 3-1.
Gavin Bates (Auburn, Maine/Dayton) became the next Mainer to take the mound in the seventh, and he continued the bullpen’s dominance of Danbury batters. With the exception of a Brown single, which was erased when Turenne caught him stealing a second time, Bates was untouchable. Of the six batters he faced over his two innings of work, four went down on strikes.
Nolan Wilson (Atlanta, Ga./Virginia Tech) was just as good in the ninth inning, setting down the Danbury lineup in order while fanning a batter of his own.
On this night, though, the Westerner bullpen was equally good. In their five innings of work, they allowed just two Moose hits and prevented their opponents from making solid contact. Outside of Tate’s RBI double and an Orlando Adams (Atlanta, Ga./Kentucky) single in the ninth which got the tying run to the plate, they stepped up and got the key outs that ended their team’s three-game losing streak and earned a win.
The loss drops the Mainers to 3-6, tied for fifth place with the Vermont Mountaineers in the Northern Division.
The Moose will hit the road tomorrow as they travel to Alumni Field to do battle with the Keene Swamp Bats. As always, you can catch Ryan Zimmerman on the call on the NECBL Broadcast Network and 104.3 FM/1220 AM “The Legends” back in Sanford. In the meantime, head over to sanfordmainers.com and follow the team on social media to stay in the loop about all things Mainers.
To watch the game highlights, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1HpwlxdPto&t=124s