SANFORD, Maine – Conor Biggio went 4-for-5 and hit for the cycle, starting hurler Tyler Badamo threw seven lights-out innings, and North Adams cruised to a 6-0, season-opening victory over Sanford on Thursday evening at Goodall Park.
The SteepleCats (1-0) turned in an impressive 13-hit outing, while Badamo limited the Mainers (0-1) to a meager two hits over his first start of the season to kick off the 2012 campaign on a positive note on a chilly June evening.
Biggio, meanwhile, wasted no time adjusting to the wooden bat, turning in one of the finest rookie debuts in franchise history. The Notre Dame freshman doubled on a 2-2 count and later scored the SteepleCats’ first run in the top of the first before blasting the only home run of the game – a two-run jack – over the right field fence in the third to put the visitors ahead by an insurmountable 6-0 margin.
Before his night was over, however, Biggio wrapped it up with a one-out triple in the top of the sixth before clinching the rare cycle with a leadoff base hit to center in the top of the eighth.
Badamo, meanwhile, performed exactly as advertised on the mound, striking out seven while yielding only one walk and two hits over seven dominant innings before Villanova junior Matt Longfield and Hartford sophomore Brian Hunter – who went 3-for-5 at the dish as the SteepleCats’ designated hitter – chipped in two scoreless innings of relief for the hold.
The SteepleCats took an early, one-run lead after Rutgers redshirt junior Charlie Law launched an RBI double to score Biggio in the top of the first before the visitors made it a 4-0 advantage with three more runs in the following frame against Sanford starter Tripp Davis (five innings, 10 hits, six runs, four strikeouts). Shane Klemcke plated an RBI single through the right side to score Shane O’Connell, and a two-base throwing error in the next at-bat pushed another pair of runs across to put North Adams ahead by four runs after an inning and a half.
Two innings later, Biggio tacked on two more scores with a two-out, two-run blast to deep right, and that was all of the offense that North Adams would need, as the 6-0 edge was more than enough for Badamo, who cruised through the rest of the way.
North Adams returns to the Berkshires for a Friday (June 7) home opener against Western Division rival Vermont at Joe Wolfe Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
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