North Adams Transcript
NORTH ADAMS -- Double plays and timely situational hitting allowed the North Adams SteepleCats to hang around long enough to complete the comeback and walk off with a win for the second straight night Thursday.
Brett Clements hit a single in the ninth inning to score Shane Klemcke for a 5-4 walk-off win over the Vermont Mountaineers. The win was an encore performance of Wednesday night’s 3-2 victory over Sanford.
"It’s the best feeling," Clements said. "I wish it could have been a home run, but a base hit is fine. I’ll take it."
Vermont’s Tyler Rogers hit Klemcke to start the ninth inning. Charlie Law then pushed a sacrifice bunt down the third base line, moving Klemcke to second. Clements didn’t wait long to win the game, as he ripped a first-pitch fastball in between the first and second baseman and into right field to score Klemcke.
Klemcke’s free pass was the second Rogers, a submarine style pitcher, issued in his outing.
"[Rogers] was all over the place coming for a weird spot when he drops down with his fastball," Clements said. "I was just looking for a ball in the zone to hit hard. With a guy on second you have to at least get him over. Luckily, it went through the hole."
The SteepleCats put the first run on the board off a Mountaineer error in the first inning. The lead didn’t last long.
Vermont tied it in the second, before
Starting pitcher Tyler Gebler struggled to keep the Mountaineers off the base paths, but was able to limit the damage, allowing just three earned runs. Vermont pounded out 12 hits against the starter, as well as two walks. Gebler was able to strand seven Mountaineers with the help of three double plays turned by his infield. All three of the double plays ended innings for Vermont.
"If we don’t get the twin killings there, then they get a run on an RBI," manager Bryan Adamski said. "[Gebler] wasn’t himself in the first three innings. He fell in love with his off-speed stuff a little bit to much, I thought, and was just leaving it over the plate."
Gebler allowed nine hits, including three doubles, in the first three innings. He then settled in, allowing just three hits over his final three innings.
"He started making really good pitches and took pride in making his fastball his priority, and putting it by people," Adamski said. "It was good to see. I know Kevin Smith, our pitching coach, was happy to see that, as was I."
Gebler’s teammates were also happy to see him fight into the sixth inning.
"I really do think it’s big," Clements said about Gebler limiting the damage. "I think it helps the team. I know he gave up 12 hits, but just the three [earned] runs through those hits. He just battled and that’s all you can ask for. He didn’t let them put up a 10-spot."
The SteepleCats started the comeback in the seventh inning. Will Klausing hit an RBI single to score Law, and then Clements scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
"The double plays were huge in terms of getting us out of innings and limiting the damage," Adamski said. "But the bats came to life in the fifth inning."
Entering the fifth, Vermont was out-hitting North Adams 12-4. Relievers Christian MacDonald and Matt Longfield combined to hold the Mountaineers to just one hit in the final three innings. The SteepleCats finished the night with nine hits.
Wednesday night’s hero, Julian Santos continued his hot hitting as he went 2 for 3 with a walk. For the second straight night, he has several at-bats of five or more pitches.
"He’s using the whole field. I think a very high percentage of those hits have come to the opposite field," Adamski said. "His two-strike approach has been very good, so he’s not striking out. He’s hanging around in at-bats and spoiling good pitches so he can see better ones."