Lexington – The Lexington Blue Sox squeezed home the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and then held on for the 1-0 win over Alibrandis. With the win the Blue Sox advance to the Intercity League finals where they will play the Watertown Reds in a best of five series that will begin Thursday night at Melrose’s Morelli Field.
Aaron Barbosa lead off the fifth with a bunt that was fielded by Alibrandis pitcher Lamarre Rey who bounced his throw past first baseman Gordie Gronkowski and into right field. Barbosa motored all the way around to third base on the error. After an infield out Taylor Ferguson laid down a suicide squeeze bunt that Rey attempted to push to catcher Teddy Dziuba, but the ball went over Dziuba’s head and Barbosa slid home for a 1-0 lead. Ferguson took second on the error. Ferguson stole third during Richie Burgos at bat, which ended in a strikeout. A walk to Dorian Rojas put Sox runners on the corners, but there would be no more scoring.
Lexington starter Tony Annino pitched six shutout innings for the win, his first of the postseason. He scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out five and pitched out of trouble all game.
The Alibrandis had at least one base runner in every inning but the seventh. In the second they loaded the bases with no outs on singles by Bobby Barrett and Jamill Moquette sandwiched around a walk to Gronkowski. Annino struck out Matt Hendrickson, got Mark Addesa on foul pop up to catcher John Puttress and got Juan Parra on a fly out to left to get out of the jam. In the third, again with no outs, Alibrandis had runners at the corners on a double by Mike Maguire and an infield single by Dziuba. A fielder’s choice on an infield pop up, a strike out and and fly out to center ended that threat. No other Alibrandis runner reached third after the third. The visitors left a runner at second base in the fourth and fifth innings and a runner at first in sixth. In the five games the Alibrandis left 39 runners on base.
Manny Delcarmen came in to pitch the seventh and recorded his second straight save with a 1-2-3 inning, the only one of the game for either team.
The Blue Sox had one hit through the first five innings, a Morgan Brown single in the first, but had left eight runners on base. The Sox had four walks, a hit batter and a batter reached on an error, but could only score the one run. They stranded a runners at second and third in the first, first and second in the second, at second in the fourth and second and third in the sixth.
Dom Zaher and John Puttress had singles in the sixth to put runners at first and second. They each moved up on an infield out, but the Sox could not add to their 1-0 lead.
In a series that was grindier then grindy the teams combined for 22 runs and the last three games were all decided by a run. The three one-run games is tied for the most one-run games in a ICL playoff series since 2006. The teams combined to leave 84 base runners stranded, 45 by Lexington. After the first game, a 5-2 Alibrandis victory, runs were hard to come by. Lexington scored 11 runs over the last four games, while the Alibrandis scored four runs. Alibrandis scored in three of the last 28 innings played and were shutout twice by Blue Sox hurlers. The Sox scored in six of their last 27 innings played.
– Bruce Hack ICL correspondent