First-place Suns' win streak ends; SteepleCats beat Valley
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- The Pittsfield Suns saw their four-game winning streak end Thursday night, but not their tenuous grip on first place in the Futures League's Western Division.
Four Seacoast pitchers held the Suns to five hits and the Mavericks broke a tie in the bottom of the fifth inning en route to a 5-3 win over the Suns.
Martin Tavares scored from third on a passed ball in the bottom of the fifth inning, handing starter Oliver Collette (0-1) his first loss of the season.
Collette gave up five runs, four earned on eight hits in six innings. Lenox's Austin Salnitis shut the Mavericks down for two innings, giving the Suns a chance to come back. Salnitis gave up a hit and a walk while striking out four and lowering his earned-run average to 1.08.
The Mavericks took a 5-3 lead as Mike Mastroberti scored from third on one of four passed balls by Suns' catcher Derek Gardella.
The Suns went quietly over the final four innings. They managed only two runners and Seacoast closer James Vernon set Pittsfield down in order in the ninth for his sixth save.
NECBL: SteepleCats 5, Valley 3
HOLYOKE -- At McKenzie Stadium, the SteepleCats jumped out to a 4-0 lead against the Valley Blue Sox and hung on for the win.
North Adams led 1-0 on an unearned run in the first inning and erupted for three in the top of the fifth.
It all started when Todd Juliano and Zach Lucas led off with walks. Kyle Richardson loaded the bases with a one-out single and starter John Pryor walked Ramon Valdez to force in Juliano. Luke Maglich followed with a two-run single.
Valley chased North Adams starter T.J. Hunt in the seventh when Kevin Barker hit a two-run double. Barker scored on Bobby Stahel's single off reliever Jonathan Mulford to make it 4-3.
An unearned run in the eighth gave the SteepleCats a 5-3 lead.
Valley threatened by getting the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but reliever Christian Torres struck out Dylan Delso to end the game. Hunt (2-2) pitched six innings and got the win.
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