– Jeff Roy (URI) went 3-for-4 and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth to spark North Adams over Holyoke, 4-2, in a Western Division matchup on Saturday evening at MacKenzie Stadium
The SteepleCats (9-5) slugged nine hits over the course of the contest and won for the second time in as many days, while the Blue Sox (5-8) had the tying runners on base in the bottom of the ninth but ultimately fell for a third-straight game.
For the second night in a row, North Adams enjoyed stellar starting pitching, as Narodowy worked seven stalwart innings while yielding an unearned run and two total while striking out five and walking one. Holyoke starter Andrew Thome was equally impressive with an eight-inning outing complimented by eight strikeouts and no walks over that span, opposed him.
Roy led all players with three hits while driving in a run and scoring twice, while six other SteepleCats batters each notched a base hit. Holyoke managed seven hits while committing three errors, compared to one miscue for the SteepleCats.
The SteepleCats struck first in the top of the first, as Roy legged out an infield single before stealing his league-leading 15th base of the season. Two batters later, Esteban Tresgallo (Miami) blooped an RBI single to shallow left to score Roy, pushing the visitors out in front, 1-0.
North Adams doubled the lead in the second after Shane O’Connell (URI) came in to score on an RBI single through the left side by Roy, but Holyoke edged closer with a run in the bottom of the third to trim the deficit to 2-1. Leadoff hitter Chris Wooley reached on an error and later scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jordan Keur to make it a one-run game.
Over the ensuing three innings, both starting hurlers settled into dominant grooves, as both Narodowy and Thome kept the respective offenses off the board from the fourth inning through the seventh before Holyoke evened the match at 2-2 with a run driven in on a groundout.
The SteepleCats did not wait long to respond, however, as Roy blasted a leadoff double that nearly left the yard at the start of the eighth and Sheehan Planas-Arteaga (Barry) drove him home with a single to center to put North Adams back on top, 3-2.
In the bottom of the eighth, right-hander Adam Sargent (Miami) was called upon out of the bullpen and retired the first two batters before plunking one, but induced a groundout to escape further trouble.
Conor Biggio (Notre Dame) added a pivotal insurance run in the top of the ninth, teeing off against new reliever Jack Shannon on his fourth jack of the year – a solo shot down the right field line.
Matt Longfield (Villanova) and Brian Hunter (Hartford) combined to keep the Blue Sox off the board in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win.
North Adams returns home to host Keene in a pivotal Western Division showdown at Joe Wolfe Field. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.