WAKEFIELD — The Unknowns collected their first wins of the new 2022 Wakefield Twi League season by dismantling the Expos 15-1 on June 29 and then on Bobby Bonilla Day, July 1, overcoming a blown save and darkness to prevail 8-7 against the Loafers at Moulton Park.
The Orange got great production out of their first round pick, Chris Porter as he picked up his first Twi League victory against the Expos while also chipping in with two doubles and four RBIs.
The second win was a total 180 from the previous game. Christopher Power got the nod on the hill for the Unknowns and pitched two scoreless innings.
The Loaf started Luke Ickes on the mound and Power greeted him with a first inning single. Scott Elwell followed with a walk and a stolen base. Power eventually scored on a wild pitch and Elwell moved to third base. Brett Maloney then lined a hit to right field, scoring Elwell to put the Orange up 2-0.
In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Chris Porter continued his torrid hitting by ripping a hard drive to left field for a single. Two infield groundouts later led to ‘The Wub” knocking in Porter with an infield chopper to put the Unknowns up 3-0.
The Loafers tied up the score in the top of the 5th inning. Third baseman Justin Sencabaugh led off the inning with a walk off Orange reliever Tommy Caron. Kevin Deleary singled to right field moving Sencabaugh to third base. Caron recorded the inning’s second out by strikeout, but rookie Don Dubuque slapped a single up the middle to plate both Loafer runners. Dubuque would come around to score the tying run on a Caron wild pitch.
The Unknowns would retaliate in the bottom half of the 5th inning. Geoff Eriksen led off with a hit to right field. Bryan Butt then walked and Heffy Power sacrificed both runners up a base. Ickes then struck out the Orange’s hottest hitter in Porter for the second out. Right fielder Sean Alexander came up with a clutch two-out base knock to center field, scoring both runners and putting the Question Marks up 5-3.
After a quiet 6th inning for both teams, the Loaf exploded for four runs in the 7th.
Unknowns closer Maloney loaded the bases on two hit by pitches and a walk. Loafer veteran Matt Russo then hit a long fly ball to left center field that just glanced off Elwell’s glove – it cleared the bases and Russo ended up on second base.
Another walk was followed by Nick Raimo reaching on an infield error, allowing Russo to score and make it 7-5 Loafers.
With darkness upon the players, the game went to the bottom of the 7th inning where the Orange faced Loafer closer Nick Lamberti.
Butt beat out an infield single to lead off the inning and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Lamberti struck out the next hitter and then Porter rapped his third hit of the game, knocking in Butt to make it 7-6.
Brandon Baeringer pinch ran for Porter and skipped to third base on Alexander’s double down the left field line.
This set up a situation that the Twi League has seen many times over the last few decades.
Coach Ian Power, with the game on the line and sunlight fading fast, stroked a hit to right field, scoring the tying run in Baeringer. Alexander rounded third base trying to score the winning run, but was held. The throw in from right field hit the infield grass and careened over the catcher and into the parking lot allowing Alexander to cross the plate with the winning run and for the Unknowns to complete an incredible comeback and earn their second win of the season.
The Unknowns are now 2-1 and tied for first place with the 2-0 Slappers and 2-1 Brewers. The Highlife and Expos are both 1-2 and the Loafers are 0-2.
There will be two games tonight as the league returns from a 4th of July break. The Unknowns and Highlife will match up at Moulton Park while the Expos and Brewers will play at Walsh Field. Both games are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
The Brewers will meet the Slappers on Thursday and the Highlife will play the Loafers on Friday, both games 6 p.m. at Moulton.