By Bruce Hack
Lexington Media Relations Director
Watertown – The beauty of baseball is that there is no clock telling us when the game ends. It ends when 21 outs are recorded or nine innings have been played and one team is ahead of the other. If not then extra innings are played.
Unfortunately sometimes a clock does come into play and that is what happened Tuesday night in a game between Lexington and Alibrandis at Victory Field in Watertown.
In what was a great baseball game that went back-and-forth between the first and second place teams in the ICL it was ultimately decided because time had run out.
In Watertown there is a rule that states “no pitch can be made after 10:12 P.M. So with a runner on first, two outs and two strikes on the Alibrandis batter in the bottom of the seventh with Lexington leading 8-7, thanks to a three-run rally in the top of the seventh, the game was called because 10:12 had been reached. It did not matter that the game could have ended on the next pitch or that both teams wanted to play on, the game was called. Because the home team, Alibrandis, did not get to finish its at bat in the seventh and the visiting team, Lexington, had taken a lead in the top of the inning, the game would revert back to the last full inning, in this case the sixth. This meant that the Blue Sox rally did not happen and the game would go in the books as a 7-5 Alibrandis victory.
How did the teams get to that point? In a playoff-like game that was tied three times, and had four lead changes, well actually only three since the top of the seventh does not count, neither team quit and fans were treated to a well-played game.
Let’s pick up the story in the fourth inning and Alibrandis leading 2-1.
In the top of the fourth Lexington’s Nate Wolf tied the game at 2-2 with an inside-the-park home run to right with two outs.
Alibrandis responded with its own two-out rally in the bottom of the inning. After two strikeouts by Blue Sox starter Drew Leenhouts, Ryan Leung and Anthony Perry singled to put runners on the corners. Juan Parra followed with a double to center and it was 4-2 Alibrandis. Parra scored on Michael Maguire’s single, the fourth straight hit, and it was 5-2.
The Blue Sox came right back with two in the top of the fifth. Dom Zaher starts the inning with a single to center. After an out Kyle Adie walks to put runners on first and second. Richie Burgos singles to left to drive in Zaher and Ryan Beradino follows with another single to left to plate Adie and Lexington had cut the gap to 5-4.
Lexington keeps Alibrandis off the board in the fifth for only the second time in the game and in the top of the sixth the Sox tie the game. Anderson Jimenez gets hit by the first pitch from Alibrandis relief pitcher Nate Beck. In his first at bat, Alex Voitik sacrificed Jimenez to second and the tying run was 180 feet away. After the second out Morgan Brown delivered with a single to right and the game was tied at 5-5.
Bill Christopher comes into pitch for Lexington in the sixth and walks leadoff hitter Parra to start the inning. Maguire singles for his third hit of the night and there are runners on the corners. After an intentional walk to Teddy Dziuba to load the bases, Christopher strikes out David Lightbody for the first out. Bobby Barrett hits a hard one-hopper to second that Jimenez fields and attempts to get a force at second as he throws while on the ground. His throw goes into shallow left and both Parra and Maguire score for a 7-5 lead.
The Blue Sox scored three times in the top of the seventh, the last two on a monster home run to left by Voitik, that gave Lexington the 8-7 lead, only to have it all wiped out by the clock.
Parra had two hits, scored three times and drove in two for Alibrandis. Dzuiba joined Maguire with three hits and Jake Miller doubled to drive in the second run.
For Lexington Wolf had two hits and two RBI including driving in the Sox first run with an opposite field single to left.
This was the third time this season that Alibrandis has had a game end this way at Victory Field. The first two games ended in a tie and a loss for Alibrandis.