COLONIALS RALLY EARLY, LATE FOR DRAMATIC 10-8 WIN OVER JACKALS; BOMBACK BLAST KEY BLOW AS C’s SOLIDIFY PLAYOFF CHANCES
By JOSH CUTLER
PLANET VALENTI Sports
(PITTSFIELD, SATURDAY, AUG. 6, 2011, GAME OF AUG. 5) — Banged up and beat up, the Pittsfield Colonials badly needed one of their wounded bandits to come up clutch Friday night.
A battered and bruised Danny Bomback answered the bell for the Colonials, blasting a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to give Pittsfield a 10-8 victory before 1,046 fans at Historic Wahconah Park.
The win extends Pittsfield’s win streak to five and gives them sole possession of fourth place (34-30, .531 winning pct.) in the Can-Am League overall standings over the Worcester Tornadoes.
Big 8th Inning Turns Tides for Pittsfield
Down 8-7 in the bottom of the eighth, Pittsfield got to Jackals’ reliever Steve Fox (0-1, 2.39 ERA) for three runs to take the ultimate 10-8 advantage. Chris Torres led off the inning with a single, and after the Colonials made two outs, Jerod Edmondson lined a 3-2 double to left center field, bringing pinch runner Jermel Lomack home and knotting up the game at eight.
The next batter, Danny Bomback, then blasted a 1-2 pitch well over the auxiliary fence in right to give Pittsfield a 10-8 lead.
Colonials Manager Jamie Keefe was pleased with Bomback’s big contribution in a clutch situation: “He’s been banged up, and we’ve been trying to stay with him. We put guys up in situations (like that), and good things will happen”
Bullpen Keeps Colonials in Game
Despite a poor outing by David Qualben, Pittsfield remained in the game due to the work of relievers Chris Rubio and Mike Zenko (6-1, 1.50 ERA), who combined to allow one run (a solo blast by Myron Leslie in the sixth off of Rubio) on three hits in four innings of work.
Zenko made things interesting in the 9th, loading the bases with one out. But he came back to strike out Jordan Newtown and Nick Santomauro to seal the ballgame for the Colonials.
Two Crooked Numbers Set Tone Early for Each Squad
New Jersey got to starter Qualben early in the second, touching him up for six runs on six hits before he even recorded an out. Leslie and Nick Giarraputo led off the inning with back to back doubles, and after a Kris Sanchez walk, a Mike Jones single to center brought home the second run of the inning. Newton then singled to center, loading the bases for Santomauro, who blasted a 1-1 Qualben offering to dead center for a grand slam, making the Jackals’ lead 6-0 early.
Pittsfield responded quickly, however, putting up seven runs in the third inning to take the lead back. With two runners on and one out, Angel Molina laced an 0-1 pitch to left field, plating two runs to make it 6-2. Johnny Welch, still recovering from an injury, then doubled down the left field line to bring Molina home and make it 6-3. Peter Fatse then knotted up the score at 6-6 when he deposited a three-run shot to left field for his fourth homer of the season. Pittsfield would add a seventh run care of an RBI single to left by Quentin Davis.
Keefe felt that his team’s improved health was the catalyst for allowing the comeback to happen so early in the ballgame: “A week or so ago we didn’t have the extra firepower to overcome that, but we’re starting to get healthy now. … We don’t lay down, and that’s what made the difference.”
Giarraputo went 4-4 for New Jersey, with Leslie, Santomauro, and Sean Smith contributing two hits apiece. Edmondson and Bomback each had two hits for the Colonials.
COLONIALS NOTES: Though Pittsfield is healthier, the injury bug keeps biting the Colonials. Torres continues to fight back soreness, shortstop Matt Nandin (hamstring) is still a week away from returning, and Pitcher Brandon Garner learned Friday of a ligament problem in his foot which will keep him off the mound for the immediate future … Keefe said that recently released pitcher Rafael Lluberes (shoulder) is on the comeback trail and may reappear on the active roster soon.