(Photo courtesy of Zach Foley)
By Kieran Wilson
On a misty evening at “Red” Wilson Field, the Y-D offense appeared to be lulled to sleep by the dreary conditions. They had a few hard-hit balls, and worked good counts, but only managed to scratch across one run in the first eight innings.
But in the bottom of the ninth inning, down 5-1, the Red Sox rallied to score four runs and sent the game to extra innings. Nick Mitchell earned a pinch-hit walk, and Brady Day doubled to put runners on second and third with one out.
Enzo Apodaca hit a grounder to the Warhead first basemen, Grant Hussey, who let it skip under his glove, allowing both Mitchell and Day to score, and bringing the Red Sox within two.
RJ Austin worked a walk, and a groundout to the second baseman by Zander Darby moved both runners over. With two outs, Max Viera earned a walk to load the bases for the second time in the inning and bring Anthony Martinez to the plate.
Martinez shot a grounder to the Garen Caulfield at second base, who mishandled the ball and let it get through to the outfield, scoring Apodaca and Austin, and tying the game at five runs apiece.
Cole Hillier pitched a scoreless tenth inning, stranding the ghost runner with a groundout and two strikeouts, giving the Red Sox a chance to earn their sixth win of the season.
Jakob Christian started the tenth at second base as the ghost runner and represented the winning run. Nick Mitchell laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt and then beat out the throw to first, putting runners at first and third. Then, Brady Day drew a walk to load the bases for Enzo Apodaca. In anticlimactic fashion, Apodaca worked a walk-off walk, scoring Christian, and sending the Red Sox team and fans home happy.
Apodaca said, “I just really tried to stay true to myself, not chase out of the zone. I know that last guy was a little bit wild on the mound, so I really wanted to make sure he came to me instead of me going to him, and it paid off.”
After the game, manager Scott Pickler praised his team for the comeback win. He said, “If we would have lost that game in the ninth inning, I was gonna tell them that I loved the at-bats we had in most situations. I thought we pitched well. They battled the whole way through.”
This game marked Y-D’s second walk-off win of the season. Their first came last week after they scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Harwich 7-6. Pickler spoke to the fight that the team has shown so far, saying, “We’re never out of the game, you know. We’ve got the right guys, they come up and want to continue to compete. It’s been good.”
Apodaca also echoed these sentiments: “We don’t quit, no matter what, no matter how much we’re down. We always find a way to keep battling…we always go down fighting.”
On the pitching side of things, Smith Pinson recorded another strong start, allowing three runs while striking out five batters over four innings. Landon Beidelschies followed him with a great outing of his own, going five innings, allowing two runs, and striking out eight. Cole Hillier picked up his first win of the season after pitching a flawless tenth inning.
After that exciting win, the Red Sox moved to 6-4-1 and remain in second place in the East Division. Their next game is scheduled for Friday, June 23, when they play the Brewster Whitecaps at Stony Brook Field at 5 PM.