Expos stay alive with 10-3 game two lead

Aug 8, 2018 by

Conclusion of game two on Thursday before likely game three

Published in the August 8, 2018 edition

By DAN PAWLOWSKI

WAKEFIELD — Game two in a Wakefield Twi League playoff series is always an elimination game for one team. Usually it’s evident in the first inning who that 0-1 team is.

If game two was a corner that the Expos were backed into after the Highlife crushed them 13-1 in game one on Sunday, lets just say they’re out in the open now.

Last night’s game two at Moulton was technically postponed heading into the bottom of the 6th with the Expos up 10-3. The two teams will finish this game up on Thursday, with a deciding game three likely to follow.

Greg Jain got the ball for the Expos and put together a gutsy performance, scattering seven hits and allowing two earned runs over five innings against a typically explosive lineup.

It was actually the Life who drew first blood, scratching around a run in the first when Ryan Doyle was hit by a pitch, moved to third on a Jason Federico single and scored on an error in the middle infield off the bat of Matt Davis.

The Expos, matching up against an always tough Nick Dettorre on the mound, made it clear they intended on being back at Moulton on Thursday.

MARK SULLIVAN tags out Chris McNall at the plate after Jason Federico made a nice throw from left in the bottom of the 4th, but the damage was already done in the four-run inning as the Expos took an 8-1 lead. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

A four-run first was started up with a leadoff base hit from John Grossi. Steve Boughus walked but Dettorre got the next two, first a Nick Roberto fly out to right fielder Cliff Silva who made a nice sliding catch, then a called third strike on Mike Canatta. Steve Fiore regained the momentum for the Expos with an RBI seeing-eye single through the hole between third and short to tie it at 1. Mark Andrick followed with a single that shortstop Doyle kept in the infield with a dive. With the bases loaded, Chris McNall ripped a single up the middle to give the Expos the lead for good. Jain then stepped up and helped himself dropping a single just out of the reach of a diving Silva in right-center, scoring both Fiore and Andrick.

The 4-1 lead lasted all the way until the 4th when the Expos added to it.

Meanwhile, Jain and the Expos’ defense stepped up, especially McNall in center who made a couple of great catches on the run. Jain always seemed to get the big out to end the inning, like in the top of the 4th when with two outs and the bases loaded, he got Doyle to pop up to second letting loose a yell with the rest of his teammates as they got ready to hit.

Following that energy, the Expos put up four insurance runs in the bottom of the 4th. Grossi walked, Boughus hit a single and Roberto smacked one to deep left center where Highlife centerfielder Danny Concessi saved a run by getting to it quickly and firing the ball back through an Elm tree. Dettorre struck out Canatta looking again, but Fiore continued his great night with an RBI single to right. A sac fly from Andrick made it 6-1; a blooper from McNall made it 7-1 and a base hit from Jain made it 8-1 but ended the inning as left fielder Federico threw out McNall trying to score from second.

In the top of the 5th, Davis hit a single and Silva scored him with an RBI infield single. Mark Sullivan singled and Eric DiTonno was hit by a pitch to load the bags again. Jain got his first and only strikeout of the game on Jason Vezga to end the inning emphatically once again.

The Expos put up two more in the bottom of the 5th. Kyle Grossi reach on an error and John Grossi hit a single. Boughus dropped in an RBI bloop to right, knocking out Dettorre in the process. Roberto ripped an RBI single to left off new pitcher Anthony Caracciolo for a 10-2 Expos lead.

With darkness slowly creeping onto Moulton, Concessi led off the top of the 6th with an opposite field bomb to left center that resulted in a triple, finally sening Jain off the hill. Doyle grounded out to second off new pitcher Danny O’Brien but Concessi scored to make it 10-3. O’Brien came back and struck out Federico and got Davis to ground out.

With the Expos due to hit in the bottom of the 6th, the umps called it. It wasn’t the most popular decision. With a full inning left to finish up on Thursday, a likely game three would already be up against the clock from the first pitch. Even still, it would be a great game. An elimination game for both teams this time.

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