– The Danbury offense exploded for a season-high 19 hits and scored a run in each of its first five trips to the batters box, as the Westerners handed North Adams a lopsided 11-3 defeat on a scorching-hot Thursday night at Rogers Park.
The SteepleCats (7-5) could only muster three hits over 6 2/3 innings against righty Brett Houseal, as North Adams fell to 1-4 over its last five games. Houseal, the junior from Marist College, earned his second win of the season for the Westerners (5-6) with a quality start while allowing only three runs on three hits while walking three.
North Adams starter Tyler Gebler (Rutgers) was tagged for six runs – four earned – while allowing a whopping 12 hits over only 3 2/3 innings after coming into the contest leading the NECBL with 16 innings of action over his previous two starts. The Island Heights, N.J., native struck out one and walked two over that span.
Danbury scored early and often, as the home side tacked on a single run in the first and second before back-to-back solo homers put them on top by four after three innings of play by means of nine hits.
Mike Orefice drove home Daniel Spingola, who led off the inning with a double down the right field line, to put Danbury on top in the first. In the second, the Westerners tacked on another by means of four consecutive singles to start the inning, and in the third Tom Zengel and Jake Gronsky went deep in consecutive plate appearances to double the lead to 4-0.
That offense outpouring was just the beginning for Danbury, however, as the Westerners got to Gebler for two more unearned runs in the fourth after loading the bases. The SteepleCats hurler nearly got out of the jam, but Gronsky delivered another two-RBI base hit to make it a 6-0 advantage.
In the fifth, Danbury went back to the long ball again, as Scott Hagan and Daniel Spingola homered in consecutive at-bats – marking the second time that the Westerners accomplished that feat in the contest – to go up ahead by a comfortable 8-0 cushion.
The SteepleCats finally got on the board with two runs in the sixth, as both Julian Santos (Miami) and Jeff Roy (URI) came in to score on a fielding error, resulting in an RBI for Sheehan Planas-Arteaga (Barry). North Adams got another in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Adrian English (Barry), but Hagan answered with his second solo shot of the night in the bottom of the frame before Danbury plated two more to go ahead by eight, 11-3.
In addition to Gebler, righties Dan Kolodin (UC-San Diego) and Bubba Baroniel (Nova Southeastern), as well as southpaw Will Klausing (UT-Pan American) all saw time out of the bullpen for the SteepleCats.
North Adams returns to Joe Wolfe Field on Friday (June 22) evening for a 6:30 p.m. tilt against Laconia.