Game 3 Thursday Night in Lexington
- Bruce Tilman for the Andre Chiefs
Mike Andre (right) delivered a two out, two RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel the Chiefs to a come from behind and edge of your seat 3-2 win in Game Two of the Intercity League ‘s Championship series at Maplewood Park on Wednesday night.
With the win, the Chiefs take a 2-0 lead in the best of five series with Game Three scheduled for Lexington High on Thursday at 8:00 PM.
This one had all the twists and turns of an evening commute on Storrow Drive as the Chiefs pulled off more seventh inning dramatics to put themselves on the brink of an ICL Championship.
The Chiefs appeared poised to take a lead in the bottom of the first inning against Blue Sox starter Drew Brzozowski. Hal Landers got things going with a long double to left-center. Tony Deshler was next and he grounded out to Steve Gath at shortstop with Landers moving to third. Juan Portes followed with a hard grounder to Ross Curley at third, and with Landers going on contact, Curley threw a strike to catcher Jeff Vigurs to erase Landers at the plate. Jeff Bercume then drove Dave Ahern back to the fence in center to make a nice catch in his bid for a two run homer that ended the inning.
It was the Blue Sox who drew first blood and took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Ahern went the home run route and drilled a 0-2 Tim Dunphy change-up over the centerfield fence to give Lexington a one run lead.
In the Chiefs second, Andre flew deep to center for the first out and former Minnesota Twin Edward Ovalle singled sharply to left. Brzozowski kept the Chiefs scoreless when he struck out Mike Baillargeon and then got Mike DiCato to fly to center.
Dunphy got the Sox in order in the top of the third inning and the Chiefs threatened with two outs in the bottom of the inning but couldn’t come up with the equalizer. Deshler and Portes both singled with two away before Brzozowski retired the dangerous Bercume on sharp grounder to Jason Twomley at first to end the inning.
Lexington’s lead doubled to 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning, again thanks to Ahern. Gath drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on Dan Graham’s grounder. Ahern picked up his second RBI of the night with a single to left, scoring Gath, to make it a 2-0 ballgame.
The Chiefs got their first run of the night in the bottom of the fourth inning. Andre led things off with a single to center and Ovalle reached on an infield error. With Baillargeon at the plate, he missed on a bunt attempt that was a called strike and was dropped by Vigurs. Unsure if the ball was bunted or dropped, Andre headed for third where he was gunned out by Vigurs for the first out of the inning. The Chiefs then caught a break when Wright misplayed Baillargeon’s grounder sending Ovalle to third. Mike DiCato then a hit a grounder at Twomley at first who tagged the bag but Baillargeon beat his throw to second allowing Ovalle to score the Chiefs’ first run that cut the lead to 2-1.With Baillargeon in scoring position, Brzozowski got Nick Leva to bounce out to Wright at second to end the inning.
Dan Capra reached on an error by Baillargeon on a hard hit ball and stole second with one out in the Lexington fifth. Dunphy kept it at 2-0 when he got pinch-hitter Dan Haugh on a groundout and Justin Wright on a flyout to Landers in center.
Brzozowski enjoyed his best inning of the night in the Chiefs’ fifth when he struck out Landers, Deshler and Portes in succession.
Gath drew his second consecutive leadoff walk from Dunphy to start the Lexington sixth but he was erased when Graham hit into a 4-6-3 doubleplay. The inning ended when Ahern was retired for the first time in the game on a fly to Ovalle in right.
The Chiefs looked to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth but were once again turned back by Brzozowski. Bercume led off with a line single off Twomley’s glove to right. Rob Caggiano came on to pinch for for Bercume who has been nursing a hamstring pull suffered in the Watertown series. Andre then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt moving Caggiano to second. Ovalle followed and drew a walk. With Baillargeon at the plate, Vigurs attempted pickoff of Ovalle got past Twomley moving the runners up to second and third. Brzozowski came up huge when he caught Baillargeon looking at a breaking ball for the second out and then got DiCato to bounce out to Wright to keep it 2-1 heading for the seventh.
Dunphy struck out Vigurs and Twomley for the first two outs of the seventh before Jack Laurendeau singled sharply to left. Capra sent a shot deep to right-center that Landers made a nice running catch on to end the inning an set up the dramatic Chiefs’ seventh.
Brzozowski hit Leva with the first pitch he threw in the bottom of seventh and Paul Yanakopulos came on as a pinch-runner. Landers then moved Yanakopulos to second with a sacrifice bunt. Deshler was next and he beat out an infield grounder to Haugh who was subbing for the injured Curley at third. Portes followed and he worked a full count walk to load the bases for Matt Boleski who was hitting for Bercume who was lifted for a pinch runner an inning earlier. Brzozowski was equal to the task and struck out Boleski swinging to put the Sox an out away from tying the series. Andre took a fastball for a strike and then saw another pitch for a ball to even the count. Brzozowski’s 1-1 offering was the last of the night as Andre singled to right center scoring Yanakopulos from third and the sliding Deshler from second to give the Chiefs the dramatic two out 3-2 comeback win.
For the Chiefs, it was their fourth straight walk off win against the Blue Sox in Malden dating back to last year’s game three of the championship series when they rallied from a 4-1 seventh inning deficit to take a 5-4 win. In game four of that series, Andre delivered a walk off tenth inning grand slam to give the Chiefs a 6-2 win. Back on July 2, Portes provided the walk off game winner with a two RBI single giving the Chiefs a 5-4 win.
Dunphy allowed four hits (Ahern 2, Gath & Laurendeau) and struck out five. Brzozowski allowed eight hits (Andre 2, Deshler 2 and Portes, Ovalle, Bercume & Landers one each) and struck out six.