NORTH ADAMS -- It was a night of missed opportunities for the North Adams SteepleCats.
The SteepleCats had runners in scoring position in six different innings but only managed a ninth-inning run as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the New Bedford Bay Sox on Wednesday night.
"We had a couple of innings where we got the leadoff guy on second base with nobody out and we made two base running mistakes," SteepleCats manager Chris Cates said. "The law of averages says if you lead off with a double and the guy is on second base with nobody out, there's a 70 percent chance of that scoring.
"We lose by two runs. We made two big base running mistakes. They came back to haunt us."
The first one came in the fourth inning when Kyle Richardson, who was 3 for 4, led off with a double to right. But New Bedford starter Brad Laboretta picked the runner off second. The second came in the sixth as Zach Lucas led off with a double. He was caught in no-man's land when J.C. Cardenas popped to shortstop Michael Gilbert and Gilbert tagged Lucas for a double play.
The SteepleCats left the bases loaded in the seventh and stranded nine in the game.
"We've been able to get guys on. We've had innings where we've had good starts and we haven't been able to get it done," said Richardson. "It's a little frustrating. But we keep proving to ourselves we have a lot of fight on this team."
The Bay Sox, who came into the game having won only four of 23 games, scored in the first on Gilbert's RBI single that plated Joey Cecare from second base. Then in the fifth, New Bedford scored twice on two hits and a costly wild pitch that brought Brad Johnson home from third base. A Cecare single drove in Lorenzo Papa with the third run.
That was the only damage done against North Adams starter T.J. Hunt. The right-hander went six innings, gave up three runs on six hits and two walks, striking out five. Reliever Christian Torres threw three shutout innings of relief.
North Adams, meanwhile couldn't get to Bay Sox starter Brad Laboretta, who threw 6 1/3 shutout innings.
The SteepleCats finally scored in the eighth when Cardenas tripled to center and scored on Richardson's infield single off the glove of reliever Dan Werth. In the ninth, Vinny Siena led off with a single, but Werth retired the next three hitters to pick up his save.
New Bed. 100 020 000--3 7 0
N. Adams 000 000 010--1 7 1
Laboretta (6 1/3), Werth (2 2/3) and Travers. Hunt (6), Torres (3) and Juliano (7), Valdez 2. W-Laboretta (1-0). L-Hunt (1-2). S-Werth 3. 2B-NA 3 (Lucas 2, Richardson). 3B-NA 1 (Cardenas).
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