Wakefield drops a pair over the weekend
Published in the August 3, 2015 edition
By DAN MARGARITA
WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Merchants remained one win shy of clinching an Intercity League playoffs, falling to the Melrose Americans, 8-4, last night at Walsh Field.
The loss came after the Merchants were crushed by Lexington by a 15-1 score on Friday night at Lexington High School. The Blue Sox clinched the top seed for the upcoming playoffs with the victory.
Wakefield is now 10-16-1 on the season with three games remaining.
Melrose Americans Game
The Merchants will have to wait at least one more game to punch their ticket to the postseason with the loss to the Americans last night at Walsh Field.
“If we win this game, we clinch the playoff spot. But we kind of had no energy from the get-go. They put the bat on the ball. They didn’t hit the ball hard but they chipped away and took the lead and we just couldn’t recover from it,” said Wakefield manager Dave Ellegood.
The Americans scored in their first time at bat when Chris Sharpe singled to right with one out before moving to second on a wild pitch. Mike Addesa singled in Sharpe to make it 1-0. A strikeout followed and then a single but a ground ball ended the inning.
The Merchants tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Bobby Losanno led off with a triple to right. Scott Searles followed with a single to center that brought in Losanno to tie the game at 1-1. Searles was erased on a fielder’s choice and a fly out to center, a walk, and a fielder’s choice rounded out the inning.
Melrose jumped back out in front with another run in the top of the second inning. Ian Steckel led off with an infield single and then stole second. After a strikeout, Steckel took third on a wild pitch. He eventually crossed the plate to give the Americans a 2-1 advantage.
They added another run in the top of the third. With one out Addesa singled to center and then Steve Passatempo was hit by a pitch from Merchants pitcher Christian Ferlan. John Jennings reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Addesa at second. Austin Masel drew a walk to load the bases. Steckel then grounded to shortstop Mike Manoogian whose flip to second for an attempted force on Masel was late, leaving all runners safe and scoring Passatempo to put Melrose up 3-1 before a ground ball ended the inning.
Melrose extended its lead by one more run in the top of the fifth. Passatempo opened the inning with a single to left. Jennings followed with a single and both runners advanced on a ground out to first. After a fly out to left, Anthony Licciardello singled in Passatempo to make it 4-1.
The top of the sixth saw Melrose add another run. With one out, Sharpe and Addesa carved out consecutive singles. After a fly ball to center for the second out, Jennings hit a grounder that deflected off the second base bag, allowing Sharpe to score to put Melrose up 5-1.
“They had pressure on us. Every inning I think the lead off guy got on. We needed a lockdown inning there and we gave it right back to them,” noted Ellegood.
The Merchants closed the gap to within a run in the bottom of the sixth. Searles led off with a single to right and then Mike Sorrentino followed with a single to center. Louis Tarantino laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners along. A wild pitch scored Searles and put Sorrentino on third, from where he scored on another wild pitch to make it 5-3. Joe Breen singled and then went to second on the third wild pitch of the inning. After a fly out to right, Mike Manoogian doubled in Breen to make it 5-4 and then a fly out to left ended the sixth.
Melrose gave itself some breathing room with three more runs in the top of the seventh. Steckel led off with a single to center then stole second. Licciardello dropped down a bunt single to put runners at the corners. Kyle Autillo singled to bring in Steckel. Dan Cacciola sacrificed the runners over for the first out. With the infield in, Sharpe bounced a ball over the head of second baseman John Davison to score Licciardello and Autillo to put Melrose up 8-4 where it would stand.
“It’s frustrating because I think we’re a better team than Melrose. But you know what? They came ready to play. It’s that simple. They hit the ball up the middle and we saw some bleeders and we’ll just battle tomorrow night and see if we can get a win to get in the playoffs,” Ellegood said.
Lexington Blue Sox Game
On Friday night in Lexington, Dave Ahern (two hits) drove in five runs to pace the Blue Sox offense which had season highs in runs and hits. Lexington clinched the top seed for the upcoming playoffs at the Merchants’ expense.
Garret Smith (three hits, three RBIs), Kevin Davis (three hits, two RBIs) and John Puttress (two hits, two RBIs) also had big nights for Lexington.
Also getting hits for the Blue Sox were Kyle Adie (one hit), Ross Curley (two hits) and Chris Rucco (two hits).
Ahern, Davis and Puttress had doubles while Smith tripled. Adie stole a base.
Scoring the runs were Adie (two), Curley (three), Smith (two), Ahern (two), Davis (two), Puttress (two), Matt Bender (one) and Ruocco (one). Also getting RBIs were Adie, Curley and Ruocco.
Adie, Curley, Smith, Bender and Sal Mirabella all drew walks.
Lexington scored a run in the second inning, five in the third and nine in the fourth to account for its scoring.
BJ Neil (0-1) started and took the loss for Wakefield. He lasted three innings giving up 10 runs (eight earned) on eight hits while striking out three and walking three.
Christian Ferlan hurled an inning giving up five runs (three earned) on four hits while striking out one and walking one.
Jarrod Marchesi pitched two innings giving up one hit while striking out four and walking one.
Borja Jones-Berasaluce (1-0) pitched five innings for his first win for the Blue Sox. He yielded one run on five hits while striking out four and walking three.
Jeff Blout and Matt Keough each hurled a shutout inning giving up no hits. Blout also struck out two batters.
James Ramsey singled to drive in Bobby Losanno (two hits) with the Merchants run which came in the top of the first inning.
Searles and Manoogian had the other two hits. Also Losanno and Neil both stole a base and Sorrentino, Ramsey and Neil drew the three walks given up by Lexington.
The Merchants take on the Andre Chiefs tonight (8:15 p.m.) at Maplewood Field.
(Sports Editor Jim Southmayd contributed to this report).