North Adams Transcript
NORTH ADAMS -- The 4,326 fans that packed into Joe Wolfe Field in anticipation of the post-game fireworks had to wait a little bit longer than expected.
The North Adams SteepleCats and Sanford Mainers had to settle a baseball spectacular before the "Fireworks Spectacular" could take place.
In the bottom of the 11th inning, Julian Santos put an end to the waiting when he came up with the bases loaded and nobody out. He drove a full-count fastball up the middle to score Charlie Law from third base, causing his SteepleCat teammates to sprint from the dugout and the large crowd to erupt, as the ‘Cats won 3-2 in 11 innings.
"I love those situations to be honest with you," Santos said. "I was telling these guys that in my at-bat before, in the ninth, I thought I was going to end it right there. And I told them that it wasn’t going to happen twice. I was going to do it again. I was pretty confident going up there."
He should have been confident. He was 2 for 4 with a double before the game-winning at-bat.
He thought he ended the game in the ninth inning with an at-bat that yielded a single. Sheehan Plantas-Arteaga over ran third base and was thrown out to end the inning.
In all five of his at-bats, Santos saw five or more pitches.
"It was a great at-bat [in the 11th], and he had great at-bats all night," SteepleCats manager Bryan Adamski said. "He extended a couple
The key to the SteepleCats win came in late-inning bunting situations. After Sanford’s Paul Kronefield walked to leadoff the ninth inning, Shane O’Connell fielded Jose Torralba’s bunt in front of home plate and threw Kronefield out at second. Then, with a runner on in the top half of the 11th, pitcher Tom Bammann forced Kronefield to ground into a double play to end the inning.
O’Connell then came up to bat in the bottom half of the inning with Law on first base. He put a bunt down in front of home plate and Sanford’s Brett Armour threw the ball over his first baseman and into his team’s bullpen. The error put runners on second and third with no outs. Santos took care of the rest.
"It was nice to get back to playing clean baseball, and doing the smaller things well," Adamski said.
"This is what we live for," starting pitcher Tyler Badamo said. "This is a lot of fun, a walk-off in front of a lot of people. It’s just exactly what we wanted to do."
The starting pitchers dominated the early part of the game. Badamo went seven innings and allowed five hits. He struck out nine and issued just one walk.
"Everything was working well, just being able to get in and out with my fastball," Badamo said. "My curveball, this was one of my better nights with it. And the changeup worked when I needed it."
Sanford’s Rohn Pierce went six innings for his club, recording eight strikeouts and allowed just four hits.
Each starter gave up just one run.
"Tyler is going to do that as long as he is locating, because his stuff is excellent," Adamski said. "[Pierce] was doing the same thing, not as tricky, but obviously he was keeping us off balance a lot."
Eleven SteepleCats and 12 Mainers struck out in the game.
"I don’t think our two-strike approach was bad," Adamski said. "The zone got expanded a little bit, but it was consistent for both sides, and I think that led to a higher strikeout total than normal."