Blue Sox blow 3-1 lead, rally in the 11th for 5-3 victory over Marshals

by dentonramsey

Blue Sox blow 3-1 lead, rally in the 11th for 5-3 victory over Marshals



 
 

The Blue Sox picked up an impressive two-run extra inning victory over the first-place McKinney Marshals on Friday night at Gabe Nesbitt Field, once again proving that Plano’s best games occur when facing the best opponents.

Plano took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as McKinney’s defensive flaw to begin the game allowed Skyler Stromsmoe to reach second base with Maurice Cole at the plate.

Cole grounded out to the second baseman, safely moving Stromsmoe to third base.

Ben Maitland followed with an RBI double to left field, plating Stromsmoe for an early 1-0 Blue Sox lead.

Mitchell Putman then stepped to the plate and ground out to the shortstop, moving Maitland from second to third base with two outs in the inning.

After Jeff Boes was hit by the pitch to put Plano runners on the corners, Brett Manning struck out swinging to end the early Blue Sox threat with a 1-0 lead still intact.

The score remained the same until the top of the seventh inning due to solid pitching and defense for both squads, although McKinney opted to use six pitchers on Friday night compared to the two pitchers used by Plano.

Trey Presswood began the Blue Sox seventh inning with a single to center field, as Stromsmoe followed by reaching first base safely on an error by Marshals second baseman Matt Cavagnaro.

Cole followed suit, smoking a single to load the bases with Blue Sox with nobody out.

Maitland then stepped to the plate, hitting a grounder to the first baseman as Presswood crossed home plate before Cole was thrown out at first.

However, speedy Stromsmoe took a risk by continuing past third and barreling towards home, but was gunned down at the plate as Plano held onto a 2-0 lead with two away in the inning.

A Putman strikeout ended the Blue Sox seventh inning, setting up the bottom of the seventh inning for the Marshals with starting pitcher Bill Purdy still on the mound for Plano.

 
 

After a Matt Smith ground out began the Marshals seventh, things were looking good for Purdy as Wilson Tucker strolled to the plate.

And Tucker belted a solo homerun to get McKinney back into the game, cutting into the Blue Sox lead at 2-1.

A groundout, followed by a single and a walk, led to pitcher Jake Wortham entering the game to relieve Purdy.

Wortham escaped the bottom of the seventh without allowing another run to cross the plate, keeping the Plano lead alive at 2-1 to begin the eighth inning.

Boes began the frame with a solid single to left field before Manning reached first on a McKinney error with Austin Reilly at the plate for the Blue Sox.

Reilly came through with the hit needed, laying down a sacrifice bunt to move the Plano runners over to second and third base.

With Sperring at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Boes to score as Manning advanced to third, giving the Blue Sox a 3-1 lead with one out.

However, the Blue Sox were unable to get Manning home as both Sperring and Presswood grounded out to end the inning.

Wortham remained on the mound for Plano as the bottom of the ninth inning got underway on Friday night, with McKinney’s Smith leading off the frame.

Smith got things started on the right foot, connecting for a leadoff single as the Marshals brought in Michael Richard to pinch run for Smith.

Tucker followed with a ground out before Richard successfully swiped both second and third base with Joe Oliveira at the plate.

After a walk to Oliveira, who stole second as Wortham struck out Craig Stinson with Jeff Texada due up for the Marshals.

And Texada kept the game alive, smoking a single to left field to plate both Richard and Oliveira to deadlock the game at 3-3.

Wortham escaped any further damage, getting Scott Gaffney to pop up to the first baseman for the final out of the inning as the Blue Sox and Marshals remained tied at 3-3 through nine innings of play.

After the Blue Sox were set down in order to begin the 10th inning, Wortham followed with a 1,2,3 inning of his own, setting down the Marshals batters in order to preserve the 3-3 tie.

Sperring began the 11th inning by reaching first base on McKinney’s fourth error of the night as Presswood stepped to the plate and laid down a sac bunt to move Sperring to second base.

The Marshals then opted for a pitching change, bringing in Smith to replace Michael Wild.

Stromsmoe began Smith’s relief appearance with a base on balls with Cole coming to the plate for Plano.

Cole followed with an RBI double to right field, plating Sperring and sending Stromsmoe to third with Maitland due up.

Maitland plated another run for Plano, sending a sac fly to center field to plate Stromsmoe and give the Blue Sox a 5-3 lead before a Putman ground out ended the inning.

And Wortham was pitcher perfect in the bottom of the 11th, striking out two while setting down the side in order for the second consecutive inning.

Wortham, who picked up the win on Friday night to move to 3-1, pitched 4.1 innings of relief for the Blue Sox, allowing two runs (both earned) on two hits while walking one and striking out three.

Plano starter Purdy went 6.1 solid innings, allowing one earned run on four hits while walking two and striking out two.

For McKinney, Allen Harrington began the game as the Marshals starting pitcher, going two innings while allowing one run (unearned) on two hits while striking out two.

Jonathan Runnels took the next three innings of work for McKinney, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out one.

Randall Taylor pitched the sixth inning for the Marshals, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out one.

D. Miller, who pitched the seventh and eighth innings for McKinney, allowed two runs (one earned) while surrendering three hits and striking out one.

Wild went the next 2.1 innings for the Marshals, allowing one unearned run on one hit before McKinney turned to Smith.

Smith pitched the game’s final 0.2 innings, taking the loss to move to 3-4 on the season, allowing one run on one hit with one walk.

With the win, the Blue Sox move to 18-28 on the season while the Marshals move to 30-17 to remain 0.5 games ahead of Coppell for first place as of press time.

After a match-up on the road in Duncanville last night, the Blue Sox wrap up their season tonight in Euless, with the first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m.

Sports Editor Denton Ramsey can be reached via e-mail at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

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