By Bruce Hack
Lexington Blue Sox
Media Relations Director
Melrose – Lexington used a pair of three run innings to take game one of the 2016 Intercity League finals, 6-4 over the Andre Chiefs at Morelli Field in Melrose.
The Blue Sox struck for three in the top of the first to jump out to a quick lead. Ross Curley (Lexington/Bentley) started the game with a single to left. Chiefs’ starter, Mitchell Clegg (Woburn/UMass-Amherst), retired the next two batters and appeared to be getting out of the inning with no damage. Julian Alvarez (Boston/Lee) singled to second and Curley took third to put Blue Sox on the corners. Jeff Vigurs (Allston/Bryant) walked on five pitches to load the bases. Clegg then walked Dorian Rojas (Boston/Cumberland) on five pitches and it was 1-0 Lexington. Catcher Alex Voitik (Shorewood, IL/Holy Cross) followed with a single to right that scored Alvarez and Vigurs and it was 3-0 Sox.
Tony Serino (Saugus/UMass-Amherst) and Tony Deshler (Pepperell/Brandeis) each singled to put Chiefs on the corners with no outs to begin the bottom of the first. Lexington’s defense turned a 6-4-3 double play to get two outs, but Serino scored to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Chiefs tied the game in the bottom of the third when they got to Lexington starter Ryan Filipowicz (Yardley, PA/Holy Cross) for two unearned runs. Leadoff hitter Serino started the rally with an infield one-out single and went to third on a throwing error by second baseman Vigurs. Deshler flied out to right for the second out and Lexington looked like it would get out of the inning. Billy Mottram (Haverhill/Dowling) lined a double to left that just got by the diving attempt of Alvarez and it was 3-2 Sox. Pete Copa (Malden/UMass-Amherst) reached on a fielding error by third baseman Thomas Russo (Weston/Holy Cross) and Mottram came around from second to score the tying run.
Lexington retook the lead quickly scoring three runs in the fourth to take a 6-3 lead. Number nine hitter Josh Hassell (Tulsa, OK/Holy Cross) started the rally with a single to right, his second of three hits. Curley followed with a double to left for his second of four hits, and it was second and third with no outs. Taylor Ferguson (Holden/Rollins) had a broken-bat single to center to score Hassel and give the Sox a 4-3 lead. After Clegg retired the next for two batters, Vigurs singled just past Mottram at third and Curley scored for a 5-3 lead. Rojas closed out the scoring with a single to left that drove in Ferguson.
The offenses for both teams were on display in the game. The teams combined for 10 runs and 22 hits as Lexington had a 2016 postseason high of 14 hits. There were only three 1-2-3 innings out of the 14 innings. Lexington hurler Filipowicz recorded the first in the second inning. Blue Sox relief pitcher Rob DiFranco (Melrose/Bates) recorded a 1-2-3 6th inning against the same three Chiefs hitters that Filipowicz had set down in order. The Chiefs’ starter Clegg’s only perfect inning came in the third.
Game two will start at 8:00 p.m. Monday night at Morelli Field with Lexington as the home team.
The Blue Sox are playing without the services of their first baseman/outfielder Dave Ahern. Ahern, a 10-year veteran of the ICL, five with Lexington is battling for his life in the ICU at Tufts New England Medical Center. The Blue Sox family asks all fans to keep Dave and his family in prayers. The fans in attendance at game one were asked for prayers for Frank Andre, father of Chiefs manager, Chuck Andre.