By Bruce Hack
Lexington Blue Sox
Media Relations Director
Melrose – A pair of former Northeastern Huskies teammates put Lexington one win away from its 12th Intercity League championship with a 5-0 blanking of the Andre Chiefs Monday night at Morelli Field.
Drew Leenhouts (Franklin/Northeastern) pitched his second complete game shutout of the playoffs and improved to 3-0 in postseason play. Although the lefty was not as dominant as he had been in his previous two playoff starts he shut down one of the league’s top offenses.
Leenhouts pitched a no-hitter in his first outing of the postseason on August 9 at Somerville in game two of the first round series. He walked none and struck out 11. In game two against Watertown in the semifinals, he pitched six shutout innings, giving up three hits and striking out six. Leenhouts started the game against the Reds with four perfect innings.
In this game he uncharacteristically walked four batters and the only 1-2-3 innings he had were the second and the seventh, he pitched effectively out of the jams he was in and his defense helped him out.
In the third inning with Chiefs on the corners and one out Blue Sox first baseman Dorian Rojas (Boston/Cumberland) turned a 3-6-3 double play to end the inning. In the sixth with one on and no one out, the infield went around the horn for the twin killing as third baseman Thomas Russo (Weston/Holy Cross) started the double play.
Catcher John Puttress (New Providence, NJ/Northeastern) was making his first start of the finals and second of the postseason. Not only did an outstanding job behind the plate he went 1-for-2 with two RBI. He hit a sacrifice fly to right in the third to drive in Dan Graham (Lowell/Central Connecticut), who reached on the second of his two singles, to give Lexington a 3-0 lead. Putty closed out the scoring for the Sox with an RBI double to left that plated Rojas, who had reached on a walk.
For the second straight night, Lexington struck in the first scoring twice on three walks, a single, and a sacrifice fly. The Blue Sox received assistance thanks to some wildness by Chiefs starter Sam Kasten (Manchester, NH/Muhlenburg). Kasten had struck out Julian Alvarez (Boston/Lee) for what appeared to be the second out of the inning, only to see Alvarez reach on a wild pitch that allowed Taylor Ferguson (Holden/Rollins) to score the first run. Dan Graham (Lowell/Central Connecticut) scored the second run on a sacrifice fly by Rojas.
Lexington finished off the scoring by putting together a patented two-out, none on rally in the fifth. Jeff Vigurs (Allston/Bryant) singled to right for his second hit of the game to start the two-out action. That hit brought Chiefs manager Chuck Andre to the mound to make a pitching change and bring in Mike DiCato (Winthrop/UMass-Amherst). DiCato walked Rojas on a 3-2 pitch, gave up the RBI double by Puttress and an RBI single to Russo as the Sox took a 5-0 lead.
During the regular season, the Chiefs swept the Blue Sox for the first time in the past 11 seasons. Now Lexington is a win away from sweeping the Chiefs for the second straight finals.