Malden – What a difference a day makes!
In a game that was the opposite of the first game’s pitcher’s duel, Lexington outslugged Andre for the 9-6 win and a sweep of their semifinal series at Pine Banks Park Thursday night and advance to the finals.
Ross Curley’s grand slam in the top of third gave the Blue Sox the lead for good at 5-2. The first Blue Sox run in the inning came after a walk to Taylor Ferguson and a single by John Puttress put runners on the corners with no outs. Aaron Barbosa followed with a single up the middle that scored Ferguson and it was 2-1. Kyle Adie reached on a fielder’s choice and the bases were loaded for Curley. He quickly cleared them with a drive that went well over the leftfield fence.
Last night a lone run won the game. In game two that number was eclipsed in the bottom of the second when the Chiefs finally put a crooked number on the scoreboard.
With one out Matt Maloney walked and was followed by singles by Nick Leva and Mike Burgoyne to load the bases. Tony Serino singled for his second of three hits on the night, and was 1-0 Chiefs. Mike Gedman walked with the bases loaded to force in a run for a 2-0 lead.
Though Andre’s Zach Kirby lasted until the sixth, neither starting pitcher was as good as in the first game.
After his teammates gave him a 5-2 lead, Lexington starter Junior Pena could not shut down the Chiefs who cut the lead to 5-3. The Chiefs also suffered a loss in the inning. Maloney, who hit a line drive into center for what appeared to be a single, and that drove in Nate Witkowski (double). Unfortunately Maloney had collapsed at home plate and was eventually tagged out by Sox catcher Puttress. Maloney left the game with a knee injury.
Sox reliever Jake Vesling had come in in the third and struck out Leva to end the threat. He started the fourth by getting Mike Burgoyne on a fly ball to right. The next five Chiefs batters reached base on three singles and two walks to close to within 7-6. Ben Waldrip’s RBI single brought in the first run and Kyle Dembrowski closed out the scoring for Andre with a two-run single.
Bill Christopher entered the game for Lexington after Dembrowski’s single and got a strikeout and ground out to end the fourth. He retired the Chiefs in the fifth, despite giving up two walks and was the first Sox pitcher to not give up a run.
Borja Jones-Berasaluce had a 1-2-3 sixth with two strikeouts and Lexington was three outs from a sweep.
Lexington closer Manny Delcarmen entered the game in the seventh and gave up a two-out single to Burgoyne before getting Serino looking for the final out and the Blue Sox were on the way to the championship round.
Curley was 4-for-4 with three runs and four RBI to lead Lexington. Richie Burgos added a two-run single in the fourth. Number nine hitter Puttress had two hits and scored twice.
Serino had three hits and scored and drove in a run for Andre. Waldrip scored and drove in a run for the Chiefs.
Lexington awaits the winner of the Alibrandis – Wakefield series which Wakefield knotted at 1-1 with a 2-1 win in 12 innings Thursday night. The third and final game will be at Victory Field Friday night starting at 7:30.
The finals will for the held at Melrose’s Morelli Field for the sixth consecutive season.
By Bruce Hack, Lexington Director of Media Relations