|Seven-Run Eighth Propels 'Cats to Win over Danbury|
|10:04PM / Saturday, July 15, 2017|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The North Adams SteepleCats pulled away from the Danbury Westerners on Saturday night, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to claim an 11-3 victory at Joe Wolfe Field.
North Adams snapped a four-game losing streak in the victory, and earned just their second win of the season against a Southern Division opponent.
Saturday's game was tight for a majority of the contest, and the first run of the game did not score until the bottom of the fifth inning. Both starting pitchers posted quality outings, as Robert Donnelly (SUNY Oswego) tossed seven strong frames with seven strikeouts en route to his NECBL-best fifth win. Danbury's Eli Oliphant (Fairfield) went five innings, but was charged with the loss.
A pair of walks helped the SteepleCats take the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Bryce Peterson (UCF) and Joe Gillette (Menlo College) drew free passes to begin the frame, and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third with no outs. Jake Ackerman (Mission College) put North Adams on the board with a two-run single to center field, which drove in his first two runs of the season.
Danbury wasted little time in tying the score in the top of the sixth inning. Joe Drpich (Siena) singled with one out, and Giovanni Dingcong (St. Thomas Aquinas) belted a two-run home run over the left field wall, evening the score at two.
North Adams struck right back in the bottom of the sixth, taking the lead for good. Dillon Paulson (USC) started the inning with a single, which was followed by a walk to Eddie Haus (St. Mary's). After a wild pitch again moved runners to second and third, Taylor Lane (Arizona State) hit a sacrifice fly to left field, giving the SteepleCats a 3-2 lead. The lead widened to two runs when Haus scored on a passed ball.
Kevin Mohollen (Delaware) doubled and scored in the top of the eighth inning, coming across the plate on a SteepleCat error. The Westerners tried to tie the game with runners on first and third, but had Dingcong thrown out at the plate to keep a one-run lead intact for North Adams.
In the bottom of the eighth, the SteepleCats offense came alive for seven runs. North Adams loaded the bases with the first three hitters of the inning on two singles and a walk. Peterson drove in two on an RBI single, and stole second base on a double steal with Lane. Ackerman added to his season-best day with two more RBIs on a single, giving him the best single-game RBI total of the season for the SteepleCats. Liam Sabino (Pittsburgh) added a two-run double, and he eventually scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch.
Eight of the nine SteepleCat hitters reached base, and seven hit safely. Tim Fallon (UMass Lowell) and Ryan Schalch (Pacific) combined to pitch the final two innings to finish off the Westerners.
With the four-game losing streak behind them, the SteepleCats return to Laconia, New Hampshire on Sunday for a meeting with the Winnipesaukee Muskrats. Ryan Tapp (UNC Asheville) gets the ball for the SteepleCats at Robbie Mills Field.