Brookline Black Sox: B-Sox News
Hensler's Complete Game Gives Sox 5-4 Win, Home Field for 1st Round of Playoffs
National Adult Baseball Association, JULY 17 – George Hensler threw his first complete game of the season to lead the Brookline Black Sox to a 5-4 win over West End at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Thursday night. The win secured home-field advantage for Brookline in the first round of the 2014 NABA-Pittsburgh AA playoffs.
The Black Sox (16-8) finished the regular season as the fourth seed out of eight AA playoffs teams. West End (15-9) is the fifth seed.
Hensler (1-0) scattered 11 hits and two walks, giving up three earned runs while striking out five batters. The left-hander never allowed more than one run in an inning, including the top of the seventh frame when he fielded a comebacker and flipped to first base for the final out, leaving the tying run on third base and the go-ahead run on first.
West End scored in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings. Hensler worked himself out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first by inducing consecutive infield flies and then a strikeout. He did not walk a batter past the first inning.
Brookline scored once in the fourth inning when shortstop Dan Sloan's two-out single plated center fielder Jason Goldie, who led off with a double. Sloan went 1-for-2 with a walk. Goldie, who finished the season with a team-best .460 batting average, went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a stolen base and two runs. Goldie also led the Black Sox in hits, runs, RBI, steals and homeruns this year with 29, 26, 23, four and two, respectively, and in on-base percentage at an impressive .520.
The B-Sox took the lead for good with a four-run fifth inning. Left fielder John Orr singled with one out, followed by a walk by designated hitter James Fago. Goldie's second double then scored Orr and pushed catcher Kenny Rayl (running for Fago) to third. West End elected to intentionally walk first baseman Mark St. Amant, loading the bases for second baseman Matt Johnston, who hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Rayl.
Right fielder Zach Skowvron's single then pushed Goldie home for the go-ahead run, and following a walk to shortstop Dan Sloan, third baseman Antonio Palangio beat out an error play at first base to score Johnston (running for St. Amant) for the eventual game-winner.
Orr finished 2-for-3 with a double and a walk--his team-leading 16th base on balls this year. Fago and Rayl were both 0-for-3 with a walk. St. Amant went 0-for-1 with two walks. Johnston, who finished the season with team-highs in slugging percentage (.840) and OPS (1.340), was 0-for-1 with a walk. He ends up second on the Sox in on-base percentage and batting average at .500 and .440.
Palangio was 0-for-4 but tied Fago for the team-high in doubles this year with five. And Palangio, Johnston and Orr each had a team-high two triples.
The Sox batted .303 as a team during the regular season and put together winning streaks of five and six games. They went 11-2 at Moore.
Check back for updates on the 2014 playoffs schedule, which will be constructed in a double-elimination format up until the championship round. The championship will be decided via a three-game series, with the NABA-Pittsburgh's AA champion having the option to move on to the NABA World Series.
-- by REH3
Wednesday, July 16
Benches Clear, No Punches Thrown in Sox's 10-3 Loss in West End
National Adult Baseball Association, JULY 15 – A late stolen base followed by a hit batsman emptied both benches during the Brookline Black Sox's 10-3 loss to West End at Pittsburgh's Herschel Park on Tuesday night. No punches were thrown, and no players were ejected. But both teams received warnings after the hit by pitch, and tempers remain high heading into a rematch on Thursday night.
Brookline and West End (both 15-8) are tied for fourth place in the NABA-Pittsburgh's AA standings going into a regular-season finale at 9 on Thursday at Pittsburgh's Moore Park. The winner of that game will finish in fourth and earn home-field advantage in the first round of the AA playoffs.
Several Brookline players voiced their displeasure over West End possibly trying to run up the score when a player stole second base ahead, 10-3, in the top of the sixth inning. Then, in the bottom of the sixth, the first pitch thrown by the West End pitcher struck right fielder Zach Skowvron square in his lead shoulder. The Black Sox players then took to the field and began walking toward the pitcher, followed by players from the opposing bench as well as West End players already on the field, but both umpires stood in the way of the two teams colliding.
Several of the Black Sox who complained to the umpire that the hit batsman was intentional felt vindicated when the next three batters were shut down in orderly fashion, including the subsequent two with strikeouts.
After the game, the West End manager said that his pitcher was only trying to throw the ball inside to Skowvron.
Moore is Brookline's traditional home field, but the Black Sox acted as the home team on Tuesday, as well.
West End held a 5-0 lead until the B-Sox scored three runs in the third. West End responded with five more runs in the fourth, though, to spell the final score.
Starter Michael McGonigal suffered the loss to fall to 4-2 this season. McGonigal allowed eight earned runs on eight hits and six walks in 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander kept the Sox in the game until a bases-loaded double plated the final three tallies and chased him from the hill.
Left-hander Charles Weaver threw the final 3 1/3 innings, blanking West End on two hits, no walks and two strikeouts. Weaver induced a groundout by the final West End batter to second baseman Matt Johnston, but the batter didn't run to first base. Johnston, one of the most vocal Black Sox about the aforementioned stolen base and hit batsman, jogged the ball to first base for an unassisted putout.
Catcher Kenny Rayl (0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly), designated hitter James Fago (2-for-4 with two doubles) and center fielder Jason Goldie (1-for-3) collected the B-Sox's RBI, respectively. Third baseman Antonio Palangio started the Sox rally with a one-out single, moved to third base on an error and scored on Rayl's sac fly. Left fielder John Orr then walked and scored on Fago's double, and Rayl (running for Fago) scored on Goldie's single.
Palangio and Orr both finished 1-for-3, as Palangio drew a walk in the fourth and Orr singled in the first. Skowvron, whose HBP was his eighth this season, went 1-for-2 with a second-inning double. The Sox record for times hit by a pitch in a single season is nine, set by current teammate Bobby Healy in 2007. Healy was hit eight times in 2013.
West End is 2-0 against Brookline this season, with both wins coming at Herschel. The Black Sox are 10-2 this year at Moore.
-- by REH3
Wednesday, July 16
Indians Best Brookline, 12-1
National Adult Baseball Association, JULY 12 – The Brookline Black Sox allowed six unearned runs--and the Jefferson Hills Indians scored six on their own--in a 12-1 loss at Jefferson Hills Borough's Beedle Park on Saturday. The game was stopped in the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule.
Brookline's starter James Fago struck out the only three batters of the bottom of the first inning, but the first six batters of the second reached base on Fago, forcing (along with an injury to the right-hander's non-throwing side) him off of the mound. One of those runners reached on a throwing error and eventually came around to score. The final two runs of the inning came on consecutive sacrifice flies against right-hander Justin Miller. All six runs were charged to Fago, who finished with four earned runs against on two hits and two walks. He is now 4-5 this season.
Fago remained in the game to bat but went 0-for-2. The Black Sox fall to 15-7 and see their six-game winning streak snapped. Jefferson Hills is 17-2 and has won five in a row.
Miller allowed six runs in the third inning (two earned) on four hits and two walks. Left-hander George Hensler pitched a perfect fourth inning, striking out the final Indians batter of the game.
The Sox actually led, 1-0, after the top of the second. Center fielder Jason Goldie, who finished 1-for-2, singled with one out and scored when first baseman Tim Connelly reached on a two-out error. Connelly was 0-for-2.
Right fielder Charles Weaver (1-for-2), third baseman Antonio Palangio (1-for-3) and catcher Kenny Rayl (1-for-3) had the B-Sox's other hits.
The Sox's final two games of the regular season are scheduled against West End (13-7). Brookline will act as the home team for both games, but the first--on Tuesday--will be played at Pittsburgh's Herschel Park at 6:30 p.m. On Thursday, the teams will head to Pittsburgh's Moore Park (Brookline's traditional home field) for a 9 p.m. tilt. West End defeated Brookline, 3-2, on June 22.
-- by REH3
Tuesday, July 8
Sox Take Two: Clinton, Shaler Bow as Brookline's Streak Hits 6
National Adult Baseball Association, JULY 6 – No team in the NABA-Pittsburgh's AA standings has more wins than the Brookline Black Sox after Brookline won both of its games at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Thursday night—7-3 over the Clinton Cherokee and 11-5 over the Shaler Rebels, respectively.
The Black Sox (15-6) have won six games in a row and are in fourth place behind only teams with fewer losses. Brookline is 10-2 at Moore.
The Brookline-Cherokee game represented a matchup of two of the league's top teams. Clinton is in third place at 15-4. The Rebels fall to 7-14 and are in the league's eighth and final playoffs spot.
Right-hander James Fago was the star of Game 1, holding the Cherokee scoreless over the final four innings to move his record to 4-4 with his fifth complete game of the season. Fago gave up three straight singles and then a walk to start the top of the first inning but settled down immensely, limiting the damage to two runs in that frame and racking up 12 strikeouts, including the final four batters of the game.
Clinton scored once more with a solo homerun in the third and finished with five hits and two walks.
The Black Sox tied the game in the first with a two-out double by center fielder Jason Goldie that scored catcher Kenny Rayl and left fielder John Orr. Rayl had singled, and Orr was running for Fago, who also singled.
Goldie, Rayl, Orr and Fago teamed up again during the Sox's five-run third inning that gave them the lead for good. Right fielder Zach Skowvron reached on an error to start that rally, and Rayl's single, combined with another error, pushed Skowvron to third base. Orr then drove a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Skowvron, and Fago's single scored Rayl for the eventual game-winning run. After Orr replaced Fago on the basepaths again, Goldie moved him up with a single, and second baseman Matt Johnston's single plus a third Cherokee error scored Orr and Goldie.
The error put Johnston at third, and first baseman Tim Connelly followed with a groundout to notch another insurance run.
Goldie ended up 2-for-3, as did Johnston, who added a triple in the fifth. Fago and Rayl were both 2-for-4. Skowvron went 1-for-4, and Orr and Connelly were both 0-for-3.
Shortstop Dan Sloan was 2-for-3.
Game 2 saw another complete-game pitcher, as right-hander Michael McGonigal bumped his record to 4-1 this year. McGonigal gave up all five Shaler runs in the top of the third inning but held the Rebels hitless after that.
For the game, he allowed seven hits and five walks and struck out six batters.
The Sox scored early and often, getting four runs in the first, five in the third and two in the fifth.
Orr and third baseman Justin Miller each drove in three runs, going 2-for-4 and 1-for-3, respectively. Orr also stole a base and scored. Miller had one run, as well. Johnston (2-for-2 with a walk, a steal and a run) and Goldie (2-for-3 with two runs) both had a pair of RBI.
Catcher William Zbozny-Del Percio had the B-Sox's other RBI with a single in the third and came around to score later in that inning. Zbozny-Del Percio also walked in the first and finished 1-for-3.
Right fielder Charles Weaver went 2-for-4 and scored twice. Sloan was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run. Designated hitter Bobby Healy was hit by a pitch and scored in his only plate appearance. First baseman George Hensler walked and scored in the third as part of a 0-for-1 night.
The Sox's next game is scheduled for Saturday at Jefferson Hills Borough's Beedle Park against the Jefferson Hills Indians (15-2) at 5 p.m. The Indians are 2-0 against Brookline this season, with both wins coming by one run.
The Black Sox have three games left in their regular season.
-- by REH3
Sunday, July 6
Derailed: Johnston Leads Black Sox's 12-2 Rout of Express
National Adult Baseball Association, JULY 5 – Second baseman Matt Johnston's three-run homer and two-run triple highlighted a 10-run fourth-inning outburst during the Brookline Black Sox's 12-2 drubbing of the Carrick Express at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Saturday night. The game was stopped in the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule.
Brookline (13-6), which won its fourth straight game, trailed, 1-0, until Johnston's deep fly to straightaway left field opened the floodgates. The Black Sox sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth.
Carrick (10-10) had a chance to severely limit the damage in that inning, but a two-out throwing error by the Express third baseman led to seven unearned runs.
Johnston's five fourth-inning RBI tied the Black Sox's season high for one game. He finished 2-for-3.
Left-hander Tim Connelly (5-1) earned the win by throwing his fifth complete game of the season. Connelly did not have his best stuff but held Carrick to five hits and three walks while striking out seven batters.
The Sox clinched the victory with two runs in the fifth. Back-to-back RBI singles by catcher James Fago and center fielder Jason Goldie followed three straight walks that loaded the bases after one out. Left fielder John Orr drew one of those walks. Orr, who finished the game 0-for-1 with two runs, had three walks against Carrick to raise his team-leading total to 13 this year. He averages one walk per game played.
Carrick scored once in the third and fifth innings.
Fago had one walk, was hit by a pitch and singled in four plate appearances. Goldie had three singles, three RBI and two runs, also in four plate appearances.
Teammate and right fielder Zach Skowvron was 0-for-2 but walked twice and scored twice. On the same play as the abovementioned throwing error, Skowvron's neat slide around the Carrick catcher kept the long fourth inning alive.
Designated hitter Charles Weaver had the Sox's other RBI, doubling opposite-field down the left field line to score Johnston and cap off the fourth. Weaver walked and scored earlier in that inning and finished 1-for-2.
Fellow DH Kenny Rayl went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs.
Next up for the Sox are two games on Sunday night back at Moore. Brookline will play the Clinton Cherokee (14-3) at 6:30 and the Shaler Rebels (6-13) at approximately 9. Brookline is 1-1 against Clinton this year and 1-0 against Shaler.
-- by REH3
Saturday, July 5
Playoffs?! Sox in the Show via 16-10 Win
National Adult Baseball Association, JULY 3 – It wasn't pretty, but the Brookline Black Sox clinched a spot in the 2014 NABA-Pittsburgh playoffs with a 16-10 win over the South Hills Devils at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Thursday night.
Brookline (12-6) can finish no lower than in eighth place in the league's AA standings. The top eight AA teams make the playoffs. South Hills (4-15) has been eliminated.
The Black Sox's three errors led directly to three unearned runs, but the Devils weren't much cleaner, committing five miscues and misplaying a number of fly balls.
South Hills jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to four singles and three walks off of starter George Hensler, who was making his first pitching appearance since May 8. Hensler escaped the first by inducing a bases-loaded groundout and got through two more full innings. For the game, the left-hander surrendered seven earned runs on seven hits and four walks but struck out three batters.
Hensler was leading, 12-7, in the fourth inning but was removed after a walk and a single started the fourth, meaning that he did not qualify for a win. Fellow left-hander Drew Hazel relieved, giving up two more hits that inning to close the book on Hensler (0-0). Hazel pitched through the fifth inning, allowing one unearned run on three hits and no walks to pick up his first win of the year (1-0). He had one K.
The Sox threw yet another lefty to close out the game. Matthew Schmidt made his first appearance this season, coming into a 12-10 game and earning a save by blanking the Devils over the final two innings. Schmidt faced the minimum as the Black Sox cleaned up their defense with a double play in both the sixth and seventh. Both double plays followed walks. Schmidt allowed no hits and struck out one.
Brookline followed South Hills' four-run first with five runs of their own. Designated hitter James Fago had the first of his four singles in that inning. Fago finished 4-for-5 with five RBI, the most by a Black Sox player in one game this year.
Right fielder Zach Skowvron doubled in the first to begin a 2-for-2 night. Skowvron had three RBI, a walk, a stolen base and two runs in just four innings. First baseman Bobby Healy was the other Brookline player with multiple RBI, also collecting three with a 1-for-4 effort that included reaching base twice on errors.
Healy also stole a base, as did second baseman Antonio Palangio, who was running for Fago at the time. Palangio scored twice while doing that for Fago. Palangio also walked twice and scored two other times. He was 0-for-3.
South Hills retook the lead with two unearned runs in the second, but Brookline claimed the advantage back for good with a four-run bottom of that inning, started by a two-out, bases-empty single from left fielder John Orr and capped off by shortstop Dan Sloan's bases-loaded walk.
Orr and Sloan walked four and three times, respectively. Orr finished 1-for-1 with two runs, and Sloan went 0-for-1 with one run.
Teammate and center fielder Jason Goldie had two walks, going 1-for-3, scoring three runs and driving in another. Designated hitter Tim Connelly had the Sox's other RBI with a triple in the sixth that plated Sloan. Connelly went 1-for-4 with a run.
Catcher Kenny Rayl was 1-for-3 with two runs.
The Sox's next game is scheduled for Saturday night at Moore against the rival Carrick Express (10-9) at 9. Brookline defeated Carrick, 5-1, on May 31.
-- by REH3
Tuesday, July 1
Saturday's Rainout Moved to New Location on July 15
National Adult Baseball Association, JULY 1 -- Saturday's game between the Brookline Black Sox and West End, originally set for Pittsburgh's Moore Park but postponed due to rain, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 15, at Pittsburgh's Herschel Park.
The game will begin at 6:30 p.m., and despite the venue change, Brookline will still act as the home team.
The Black Sox (11-6) are next scheduled for a July 3 game against the South Hills Devils (4-14) at Moore at 9 p.m.
-- by REH3
Monday, June 30
Balanced B-Sox Crush Cranberry, 9-2
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 28 – Right-hander James Fago scattered eight hits and two walks while throwing his fourth complete game of the season in the Brookline Black Sox's 9-2 win over Cranberry at North Boundary Park on Saturday.
Fago lowered his ERA to 3.18 this year and improved to 3-4 by giving up just one earned run over all seven innings and striking out six batters. He had a chance to avoid any runs against when he induced a one-out, bases-loaded ground ball to shortstop Matt Johnston in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Johnston mishandled the ball to allow the only two runs for Cranberry, which falls to 5-10.
Brookline, which scored three times in the first inning, twice in the third and four times in the sixth, is now 11-6. Johnston redeemed himself with a highlight-reel double play to end the game. With the bases loaded, the shortstop went down to catch a dying quail in shallow left field, popped up and threw out the runner failing to tag at second base.
Johnston also doubled in the sixth and came around to score. He finished 1-for-3. Fago went 1-fo-3, as well. He also walked and drove in a run.
Left fielder John Orr and first baseman Mark St. Amant paced the Black Sox's balanced offensive attack. Orr finished 2-for-4 with a two-RBI single in the sixth and a run scored in the first. St. Amant also went 2-for-4, driving in a run in the third.
Not to be outdone, center fielder Jason Goldie put his team-leading batting average at .415 by going 1-for-2 with a walk, a hit batsman and a run. Goldie's one-out double in the first inning scored two runners.
The Sox scored three runs out of the No. 2 spot in their lineup. Third baseman Kenny Rayl started the game there and went 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs to raise his batting average to an even .300 this season. Rayl was relieved by catcher William Zbozny-Del Percio, who singled with the bases loaded in the sixth in his only plate appearance and later scored on a wild pitch.
Also scoring in the sixth inning were right fielders Zach Skowvron, who singled, and Charles Weaver, who walked. Skowvron was 1-for-3; Weaver was 0-for-1.
Brookline was originally scheduled for two games on Saturday, but its nightcap against West End was rained out at Pittsburgh's Moore Park. The teams will attempt to make up the game at a later date.
The Sox's next game is set for Thursday night at Moore against the South Hills Devils (4-13) at 9. Brookline defeated South Hills, 4-3, on May 18.
-- by REH3
Friday, June 27
PERFECTO: Connelly Unhittable, Offense Rolls in Sox's 10-0 Drubbing of 1st-Place Clinton
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 26 – Left-hander Tim Connelly's star shone brightly at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Thursday night when his perfect game combined with a Brookline Black Sox offensive outburst led to a 10-0 drubbing of the Clinton Cherokee. The game was stopped in the sixth inning due to the 10-run rule.
Connelly improves to 4-1 with his fourth complete game of the season, and Brookline snaps a three-game losing skid to move to 10-6. Clinton, which came into the game tied for first place in the NABA-Pittsburgh's AA standings, has its four-game winning streak ended while falling to 12-2.
Brookline's three straight losses had each come by one run on the road, but the B-Sox looked comfortable back home at Moore, supporting Connelly with two runs in the first and sixth innings and three in the third and fifth. They also played solid defense, recording all but eight outs in the field, including two lineouts.
Shortstop Dan Sloan caught one of those lineouts with a leaping snare in the fifth. Sloan also ran down a pop up to shallow center field in the second, catching the ball over his shoulder at full speed. The Sox's infield captain also fielded a ground ball and threw to first baseman Mark St. Amant for the Cherokee's last out and only groundout.
The Sox secured the perfect game on offense, though, as center fielder Jason Goldie led off the bottom of the sixth with a single through the left side of the infield and scored when pinch-hitter George Hensler's infield single was thrown away by the Clinton catcher and into right field. Hensler went to third base on the error and was plated by right fielder Zach Skowvron's ground ball to first base that was misplayed for the Cherokee's sixth error of the game.
Goldie finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk, three runs and an RBI. He also recorded four putouts, including all three in the first inning, one of which was a liner. Skowvron went 0-for-3 but walked once and drove in two runs.
Sloan was 0-for-2 with a walk and a run. St. Amant doubled and walked in three plate appearances.
James Fago called the perfect game behind home plate. The catcher also singled and hit a sacrifice fly in four plate appearances.
Left fielder John Orr matched Skowvron's two RBI with a double to right-center field in the fifth. Orr finished 1-for-4 with a run. Second baseman Antonio Palangio (0-for-2 with two walks) and designated hitter Kenny Rayl (1-for-2 with a walk) both scored two runs.
Third baseman/designated hitter Matt Johnston was 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the third. Justin Miller, who pinch-hit for Rayl in the fifth and remained in the game to play third base, walked with the bases loaded in his only plate appearance.
Brookline is scheduled for two games on Saturday, starting with a road tilt against Cranberry (5-9) at North Boundary Park at noon. Then, the Sox return home to Moore for a game against West End (11-4) at 9. The Black Sox lost to West End, 3-2, on June 22. They defeated Cranberry, 7-4, on May 8.
Between Saturday's games, Brookline will host its annual Picture/Autograph Day at Moore's upper field. The festivities are expected to begin two to four hours before Game 2.
-- by REH3
Wednesday, June 25
Black Sox Downed by West End, 3-2
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 22 – The Brookline Black Sox blew a late two-run lead to lose a 3-2 gut-wrencher to West End at Pittsburgh's Herschel Park on Sunday. It marked Brookline's third straight loss, each by one run, each on the road and each after holding a lead in the sixth inning or later.
On Sunday, West End (10-4) scored three times in the bottom of the sixth for the game's final runs, the third coming on a bloop single to shallow center field against a drawn-in infield. Brookline (9-6) scored twice in the fifth.
Right-hander James Fago pitched his third complete game of the season but fell to 2-4. Fago was done in by a leadoff walk in the sixth followed by a sacrifice bunt, a double, a triple and the bloop single. He finished with six hits and two walks allowed while striking out five batters.
Designated hitter TJ Morgan started the Black Sox's two-run fifth with a one-out single. Third baseman Matt Johnston then moved Morgan to third base with a double, and Morgan was plated by right fielder Charles Weaver's ground ball to second base, which was thrown away for an error.
Then, with Johnston at third and William Zbozny-Del Percio running for Weaver, shortstop Dan Sloan drove in Johnston with a fielder's choice thanks to his own hustle and Zbozny-Del Percio's hard slide at second.
Morgan finished 1-for-3, Johnston was 1-for-2, Weaver and Sloan were each 0-for-2, and Zbozny-Del Percio went 0-for-1. Second baseman Antonio Palangio (1-for-3) singled for the only other B-Sox hit. Brookline drew no walks.
The Sox return home to Pittsburgh's Moore Park to face the NABA-Pittsburgh's current first-place AA team, the Clinton Cherokee (12-1), on Thursday night at 9. Clinton defeated Brookline, 9-2, on May 10.
-- by REH3
Saturday, June 21
Come Back Another Day: Rain Forces More Changes to B-Sox Schedule
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 21 -- A rainy June has wreaked havoc on the Brookline Black Sox's 2014 schedule, including a second consecutive rainout on Saturday afternoon.
The Brookline-Jefferson Hills Indians game originally scheduled for June 21 but postponed due to rain at Beedle Park in Jefferson Hills Borough has already been rescheduled for Saturday, July 12.
The game will remain at Beedle and will still be played at 5 p.m.
Also, a game supposed to have been played on Thursday night between the Black Sox and the Clinton Cherokee but postponed due to rain at Pittsburgh's Moore Park has been moved to Sunday, July 6. The July 6 game will remain at Moore but will be played at 6:30 p.m. to leave time for Brookline's game at 9 that night (also at Moore) against the Shaler Rebels.
The Black Sox (9-5) are next scheduled for a June 22 game against West End (9-4) at Pittsburgh's Herschel Park at 3 p.m.
-- by REH3
Friday, June 20
June Bugged: Another Rainout for Black Sox
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 19 -- A game between the Brookline Black Sox (9-5) and Clinton Cherokee (12-1) scheduled for Thursday night at Pittsburgh's Moore Park has been postponed due to rain.
The teams will attempt to make up the game at a later date.
Next up for Brookline are the Jefferson Hills Indians (also 12-1), the defending NABA-Pittsburgh AA champions, at Jefferson Hills Borough’s Beedle Park on Saturday at 5. The Indians are 2-0 against the Black Sox this season, with both wins coming by one run.
-- by REH3
Tuesday, June 17
Sox-Rebels Rescheduled for July 6
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 17 -- The Brookline Black Sox-Shaler Rebels game originally scheduled for June 12 at Pittsburgh's Moore Park but postponed due to rain has been rescheduled for Sunday, July 6.
The game will remain at Moore and will still be played at 9 p.m.
The Black Sox (9-5) are next scheduled for a June 19 game against the Clinton Cherokee (12-1), the NABA-Pittsburgh's current first-place AA team, at Moore at 9 p.m.
-- by REH3
Tuesday, June 17
Sox Lose Heartbreaker to Bulldogs, 4-3
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 14 -- A throwing error during a possible game-ending double-play attempt allowed the winning run to score, as the Brookline Black Sox lost a heartbreaker, 4-3, to the Pittsburgh Bulldogs at John Herb Field in Ross Township on Saturday.
Brookline led, 3-2, in the seventh inning with one out and the bases loaded when a Bulldogs player hit a ground ball to the shortstop. The turn at second base was successful, but the throw from second base shorthopped first base, allowing the runners from third and second bases to score.
The Black Sox (9-5) have lost their past two games by identical 4-3 scores--both walkoffs. They outhit the Bulldogs (9-3) in this game, 7-5, but were hurt badly by leaving 13 men on base, including bases-loaded situations in the second and seventh frames.
Right-hander Michael McGonigal suffered his first loss of the season, falling to 3-1 by way of the unearned run. McGonigal allowed two earned runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief, giving up just two hits and striking out two batters but walking three others, including two in the seventh.
Left-hander Tim Connelly went the first five innings, allowing one run on three hits and one walk. Connelly struck out three hitters.
The Bulldogs scored once in the fifth and sixth innings, fighting back from a 3-0 deficit. The B-Sox scored twice in the second and once in the third.
Right fielder Charles Weaver had a big game for Brookline, going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and two RBI. Teammate and first baseman Mark St. Amant went 2-for-3 with a walk. (Left fielder Zach Skowvron scored twice while running for St. Amant. Skowvron was 0-for-3 with a walk.) Third baseman Justin Miller had the Sox's other RBI, going 1-for-2, walking once and being hit by a pitch.
Designated hitter TJ Morgan went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run. Center fielder John Orr was 0-for-1 but walked three times.
The Sox return to action on Thursday night at 9 at Pittsburgh's Moore Park with a game against the NABA-Pittsburgh's current first-place AA team, the Clinton Cherokee (11-1). Clinton defeated Brookline, 9-2, on May 10.
-- by REH3
Thursday, June 12
Rain Delays Sox-Rebels
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 12 -- A game between the Brookline Black Sox (9-4) and Shaler Rebels (3-11) scheduled for Thursday night at Pittsburgh's Moore Park has been postponed due to rain.
The teams will attempt to make up the game at a later date.
Next up for Brookline is a tilt against the Pittsburgh Bulldogs (8-3) at John Herb Field in Ross Township on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The Black Sox and Bulldogs have split their season series so far.
-- by REH3
Wednesday, June 11
Them Again: First-Place Indians Frustrate B-Sox, 4-3
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 8 – The Brookline Black Sox lost their first extra-inning game of the year, 4-3 in eight innings, to the Jefferson Hills Indians at Jefferson Hills Borough’s Beedle Park on Sunday afternoon.
Jefferson Hills (11-1) is the NABA-Pittsburgh’s first-place AA team. Brookline (9-4) is in third place. The Indians also beat the Black Sox, 3-2 in a normal seven innings, on May 3.
The B-Sox took their only lead of Sunday’s game, 3-2, in the top of the sixth when pinch-hitter TJ Morgan drove in left fielder John Orr with a two-out line drive to right field. Orr was running for first baseman James Fago, who had doubled earlier in the inning as part of a 3-for-4 day, including another double in the fourth inning.
The Indians tied the game, though, in the bottom of the sixth with an unearned run against starting pitcher Tim Connelly, who suffered the loss despite throwing his third straight complete game. Following a one-out walk, the Indians’ left fielder reached base on an infield single, sending the other runner to third base on an errant throw. The next batter then grounded out to push home the tying run.
The next four Jefferson Hills batters went down, but so did the next six Brookline hitters to send the game into the bottom of the eighth still tied at 3. A leadoff walk then did the Black Sox in, as did an errant pickoff throw that sent that runner to second base with no outs. The Indians’ third baseman then sacrificed the runner to third, setting the stage for a walkoff flare to right field by the next batter.
Connelly (3-1) allowed three earned runs on eight hits and five walks while striking out five.
Orr also scored for Fago in the fourth when right fielder Zach Skowvron grounded out to the shortstop. Orr went 0-for-3 with a walk. Skowvron was also 0-for-3 but was hit by a pitch for the seventh time this season. The Sox record for times hit by a pitch in a single season is nine, set by current teammate Bobby Healy in 2007. Healy was hit eight times in 2013.
The B-Sox’s second run of this game came in the fifth when shortstop Dan Sloan, who had singled and went to second on an error, scored on second baseman Antonio Palangio’s one-out base-knock. Sloan went 1-for-3, and Palangio was 1-for-4.
The Indians had a 2-0 lead until the fourth, scoring once in the first and third innings. Their second run came after back-to-back doubles to lead off that inning. The first double could have been a single to Orr in left field (and an out), as the Sox fielder gathered the ball near the foul line and threw a strike to Palangio covering second. Orr’s throw beat the runner by several feet, but the base umpire ruled that the runner had eluded Palangio’s tag.
The Sox will return to action with a home game against the Shaler Rebels (2-11) at Pittsburgh’s Moore Park on Thursday night at 9. Brookline defeated Shaler, the NABA-Pittsburgh A champion a year ago, 17-4 in five innings, on June 2.
-- by REH3
Sunday, June 8
Sox Avoid Upset, Beat Pour House, 7-6
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 7 -- Shortstop Dan Sloan went 2-for-3 with three RBI, including the eventual game-winner in the top of the seventh inning, and the Brookline Black Sox edged the Pour House Pirates, 7-6, at Pittsburgh's Herschel Park on Saturday afternoon.
Sloan also drew a walk in this game to help Brookline (9-3) avoid an upset. Pour House falls to 1-10.
The Pirates grabbed a 1-0 lead after the first inning thanks to an unearned run. The Black Sox committed four errors in this game and gave Pour House three total unearned scores. The Sox took the lead for good, though, with a three-run second thanks in part to Sloan's one-out hit to left-center field that plated two runners.
Starting pitcher Michael McGonigal was the beneficiary of that offense. McGonigal improved to 3-0 this season and lowered his ERA to an even 2.00 by allowing just one earned run through four innings. The right-hander surrendered two hits and five walks but also struck out five batters.
The Pirates trailed, 6-3, heading into the bottom of the fifth when Brookline's Charles Weaver made his first pitching appearance of the season. Weaver picked up a save despite allowing seven hits. Two of the three runs charged to him were earned. The left-hander made the Pirates earn everything, not walking a batter while striking out two.
Weaver induced a pop out to second baseman Antonio Palangio to end the game with the tying run on third base and the go-ahead run on first.
The Pirates trailed, 4-1, after three innings (as well as 6-1 after three and a half) but clawed away at the lead, making the score 6-5 going into the seventh.
Sloan's important insurance RBI came after back-to-back one-out walks to third baseman TJ Morgan and first baseman Bobby Healy, respectively, moved the seventh run into scoring position. Weaver then followed with a fielder's choice, beating out a would-be inning-ending double play thanks to his own hustle as well as Healy's hard slide at second. Sloan's two-out hit then fell just in front of a diving left fielder to score Morgan.
Like Sloan, Healy reached base three times, walking twice and driving in the Sox's fourth run with a one-out single through the left side of the infield in the third inning. Morgan finished 0-for-3.
Healy and center fielder Jason Goldie scored on Sloan's second-inning single. Goldie had reached on an infield hit when his high pop up fell untouched near home plate. Goldie finished 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.
Weaver was part of that inning, as well, singling after Healy's walk to load the bases for Sloan. (Weaver served as a designated hitter for the game's first four-and-a-half innings.) Eventually, Weaver scored in the second when left fielder Tim Connelly singled. Weaver was 1-for-4.
Connelly was on base three times, too, going 3-for-5 with another run-scoring hit in the fourth. That inning, Palangio led off with a double past third base and was sent home by Connelly's double that hugged the left field foul line. Connelly scored later that inning when the Pirates' first baseman muffed a would-be inning-ending double-play throw from second while Connelly was rounding third. Palangio was 1-for-4 and was hit by a pitch.
Healy's hit in the third scored right fielder Zach Skowvron, who was running for catcher Kenny Rayl. Rayl had walked. Skowvron and Rayl went 1-for-2 and 0-for-3, respectively, and Skowvron was hit by a pitch twice.
The Sox head next to Beedle Park in Jefferson Hills Borough for a game with the Jefferson Hills Indians (10-1) on Sunday at 5 p.m. The Indians edged Brookline, 3-2, on May 3.
-- by REH3
Friday, June 6
Bulldogs Take Bite Out of Winning Streak, Beat B-Sox, 12-8
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 5 -- The Brookline Black Sox had more hits than the Pittsburgh Bulldogs, but the Bulldogs had less errors and, ultimately, more runs in a 12-8 slugfest at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Thursday night.
Brookline (8-3) allowed three unearned runs in the first two innings to fall behind the visitors, 5-3. The Bulldogs (7-3) gave the lead back with four Black Sox runs in the third inning, but a Dogs grand slam in the fourth proved to be the difference-maker. The B-Sox had 12 hits to their opponents' 10.
Starting pitcher James Fago fell to 2-3 this season by allowing 10 runs--seven earned--on seven hits, including the big grand slam. Fago did not have his best control, and the Bulldogs took advantage of his five walks and a hit batsman through five innings. The right-hander registered five strikeouts, though. Left-hander Drew Hazel threw the final two innings, surrendering two runs--both earned--on three hits and two walks.
Fago was very productive at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a deep, run-scoring triple to center field in the third. Teammate and center fielder Jason Goldie was even more productive, going 3-for-3 with a walk and four RBI, including a three-run homerun to left in the first to erase a 1-0 deficit. Through 26 at-bats this year, Goldie is batting .500, and his OPS is a remarkable 1.262.
Right fielder Zach Skowvron was the other Sox player with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4. Third baseman Kenny Rayl was 0-for-3 but walked twice and scored three runs.
Brookline's five-game winning streak comes to an end. The Bulldogs have won three in a row.
The Sox head to Pittsburgh's Herschel Park for a game with the Pour House Pirates (1-8) on Saturday at noon. Brookline defeated Pour House, 5-0, on May 22.
-- by REH3
Tuesday, June 3
Rebel Yell: Sox's Offensive Outburst Leads to Drubbing of Shaler, 17-4
National Adult Baseball Association, JUNE 2 -- The visiting Brookline Black Sox racked up 16 hits in a 17-4 rout of the Shaler Rebels at Shaler Township's Stoneridge Field on Monday night. The game was stopped after five innings due to the 10-run rule.
Each batter in the Brookline lineup collected at least one hit and/or RBI, as the Black Sox won their fifth straight game to move to 8-2. Shaler, the NABA-Pittsburgh A champion a year ago, falls to 2-8. The Rebels are playing their first season at the AA level.
Brookline scored five times in the first, fourth and fifth innings and twice in the second for its biggest runs total of the season. Two unearned runs then made up part of a four-run fifth inning for the Rebels, but the issue was never in doubt.
Center fielder Jason Goldie was a one-man wrecking crew for the B-Sox, going 3-for-3 with a two-run homerun to straightaway left field, a walk, three RBI and four runs scored. Teammate and left fielder John Orr also had a two-run homer in this game--a line drive to straightaway center--as part of a 2-for-5 night. Orr scored three runs and has a slugging percentage of .812 this season.
Right-hander Michael McGonigal went the distance to move to 2-0 in 2014. McGonigal's ERA now stands at 2.10 this season after the Rebels collected four hits and one walk against him. He struck out four batters.
Designated hitter TJ Morgan came off of the bench to tie Goldie for the game-high in RBI. Morgan finished 1-for-2 and scored twice. Fellow pinch-hitter and DH Charles Weaver went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI and a run.
Another DH, James Fago, was 2-for-5 with a double. Third baseman Kenny Rayl was 2-for-4 with a walk, a two-RBI double and two runs. Second baseman Antonio Palangio went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and two runs.
The Black Sox return home to face the Pittsburgh Bulldogs (6-3) at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Thursday night at 9. The Sox defeated the Bulldogs, 2-0, on April 24.
-- by REH3
Sunday, June 1
B-Sox Handle Carrick, 5-1, for Fourth Straight Win
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 31 -- Right-hander James Fago evened his record at 2-2, and the Brookline Black Sox moved to 7-2 with a 5-1 handling of the Carrick Express at Pittsburgh's Volunteers Field on Saturday night.
Brookline has won four straight games, while Carrick (5-5) has lost three in a row and five of its past six.
Fago went all seven innings for his second complete game of the year. His two losses have come against the NABA-Pittsburgh's first- and second-place AA teams. The Black Sox are in third place, one game out of first.
Fago had his fastball working, especially in the final two innings when he notched three strikeouts. He had nine total Ks while allowing seven hits and four walks. His ERA stands at 2.42 this season.
First baseman Bobby Healy drew first blood, driving in the eventual game-winning run in the top of the second inning when he turned on a fastball for a double deep down the left field line to score left fielder Zach Skowvron and center fielder Jason Goldie. Skowvron was pinch-running for Fago, who led that inning off with a single. Skowvron moved to second on Goldie's hit, and right fielder Charles Weaver then bunted the runners up 90 feet each to set the stage for Healy.
Healy finished 1-for-3, Fago went 1-for-4, and Goldie was 1-for-2. Weaver did not get an official at-bat, as his next two plate appearances resulted in a pair of walks on eight pitches.
Fago was also part of the Black Sox's three-run fifth inning that moved the score to 5-0. Shortstop Dan Sloan started that inning off with a single and scored when second baseman Antonio Palangio followed with a double off of the left field fence. Catcher Kenny Rayl then singled to move Palangio to third, and, following a walk by Skowvron, Fago picked up an RBI when the Express third baseman mishandled his ground ball.
The top of the fifth ended very strangely when the next batter, Goldie, hit a fly to shallow left-center field. The Carrick center fielder dove for the ball, and the base umpire ruled a catch. Rayl tagged up and scored from third, but the Express then finished a triple play by forcing outs at second and first bases on failed tag-ups. Player/manager Rayl argued against the force outs but to no avail.
Sloan finished 2-for-3 to raise his batting average to an even .300 this season. Palangio was 2-for-4. Skowvron was 1-for-3. Rayl was 1-for-4.
The Express scored their lone run in the fifth. That inning ended when Fago induced a double-play grounder from Sloan to Healy. Carrick's biggest threat came in the fourth when it loaded the bases with one out, but Sloan ended that inning, as well, when he caught a short pop up and threw to third baseman TJ Morgan to double off the runner there.
The Black Sox will head to Stoneridge Field in Shaler Township for a game against the Shaler Rebels (2-6) on Monday night at 6. Shaler is playing its first season at the AA level. The Rebels won the NABA-Pittsburgh A title in 2013.
-- by REH3
Friday, May 30
Dealing an Ace: Connelly Whiffs Eagles, 1-0
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 29 -- For the second time in as many starts, left-hander Tim Connelly pitched a dominating complete game to lead the Brookline Black Sox to a win at Pittsburgh's Moore Park. On Thursday night, it was the visiting South Side Eagles falling, 1-0, behind Connelly's 16 strikeouts.
Connelly mixed a heavy fastball and a table-drop curveball over seven innings and 93 pitches to best his 115-pitch, 15-strikeout performance from a 4-3 win over the South Hills Devils on May 18. In 19 innings this season, Connelly has allowed just three earned runs. He is 3-0, while Brookline is 6-2.
South Side (1-3) scratched out just one hit and one walk and did not advance a runner past first base. Connelly struck out the last six batters of the game. He struck out the side in order in the fourth inning, as well.
Second baseman Antonio Palangio and third baseman Kenny Rayl provided the only offense needed when they teamed up for a run in the first inning. Palangio tripled to lead off the frame and was brought home one batter later by Rayl's single. Palangio finished 2-for-3, and Rayl was 1-for-3.
Center fielder Jason Goldie went 1-for-3 and stole a base. Designated hitter Zach Skowvron did not get an official at-bat, but he was hit by a pitch in the second inning and walked in the fourth.
The Black Sox will head to Pittsburgh's Volunteers Field for a game against the rival Carrick Express (5-3) on Saturday night at 8.
-- by REH3
Sunday, May 25
Pour House Blanked by B-Sox, 5-0
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 22 -- Right-handers Michael McGonigal and James Fago combined for a three-hit shutout, as the Brookline Black Sox dispatched the visiting Pour House Pirates, 5-0, at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Thursday night.
McGonigal, with an ERA of 1.40, is now 1-0 this season after scattering two hits and three walks while striking out three batters over the first four innings. Brookline is 5-2.
Fago picked up the Black Sox's first save of the season, allowing two walks and the other Pour House hit while striking out five batters in three innings. The Pirates are 1-6.
The B-Sox scored once in the first and third innings and thrice in the fifth.
Second baseman Antonio Palangio scored two of those runs. Palangio reached on an error in the first and was at third base when Fago, acting as a designated hitter at the time, grounded into what could have been an inning-ending double play. The Pirates' first baseman muffed the throw from second base, however, allowing Palangio to score.
Palangio finished the game 1-for-3. He doubled in the fifth inning and scored on a one-out single by left fielder John Orr. Fago was 0-for-3.
Third baseman Kenny Rayl scored the game's second run. Rayl singled to lead off the third, and then, went to second on a single by Orr. Orr was then put out after Fago grounded into a fielder's choice, but that pushed Rayl to third base and set the stage for a sacrifice fly from center fielder Jason Goldie. Rayl finished 1-for-3. Orr was 2-for-2 with a walk.
Goldie, who went 2-for-2, scored a run in the fifth along with Palangio and Orr. After Orr singled to score Palangio, Goldie joined him on base with a single. First baseman Tim Connelly, who entered the game in the top of the fifth, then doubled to score both runners. That was Connelly's only at-bat.
Right fielder Zach Skowvron was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk.
The Sox remain at Moore Park for a game against the South Side Eagles (1-2) on Thursday at 9 p.m. Brookline opened its 2014 season with a 13-1, five-inning win over South Side on April 21.
-- by REH3
Tuesday, May 20
Connelly Exorcises Devils; B-Sox Win, 4-3
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 18 -- Left-hander Tim Connelly struck out 15 batters to lead the Brookline Black Sox to a 4-3 win over the South Hills Devils at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Sunday night.
Connelly, who threw 115 pitches while going all seven innings, seemed to get stronger as the game went on, striking out his final seven opponents after a dropped fly ball in deep left-center field led to two unearned runs in the fifth. Connelly improves to 2-0 on the season. Brookline is now 4-2, and South Hills is 2-7.
Connelly allowed an earned run in the bottom of the first. He gave up four hits and three walks but struck out the side four times, including in that first inning. In addition to the sixth and seventh frames, Connelly also struck out all three batters of the third inning.
Catcher/designated hitter James Fago's solo homerun to straightaway left in the fifth proved to be the game-winning run. Fago also singled during the Black Sox's three-run third inning. He was 2-for-4.
The Sox took their 3-1 lead in the third thanks largely to back-to-back hits from second baseman Antonio Palangio and third baseman Kenny Rayl. Right fielder Charles Weaver singled to start that inning and went to second base one out later when shortstop Dan Sloan walked. Palangio's triple to left-center then scored Weaver and Sloan, and Rayl pushed Palangio across with a sharp ground ball up the middle through a drawn-in infield.
Palangio was 1-for-4, and Rayl was 1-for-3 with a walk. Weaver also went 1-for-3. Sloan was 0-for-2.
The Sox remain at Moore Park--this time as the home team--for a game against the Pour House Pirates (1-5) on Thursday at 9 p.m.
-- by REH3
Monday, May 19
Two Updates to B-Sox Schedule
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 17 -- The Brookline Black Sox-South Hills Devils game originally scheduled for May 15 but postponed due to rain at Pittsburgh's Moore Park has been rescheduled for Thursday, July 3.
The game will remain at Moore and will still be played at 9 p.m.
Also, a game has been added to Brookline's calendar. The Black Sox will play West End at Moore on Saturday, June 28, at 9 p.m. The Brookline-West End game follows another Brookline game that same day, as the B-Sox take on Cranberry at North Boundary Park at noon.
The Black Sox (3-2) are next scheduled for a May 18 game against South Hills (2-6) at Moore at 6:30 p.m. The Devils will act as the home team.
-- by REH3
Thursday, May 15
Rain Postpones Black Sox-Devils
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 15 -- Heavy rainfall has forced the postponement of Thursday night's Brookline Black Sox-South Hills Devils game. Field conditions at Pittsburgh's Moore Park are too soggy to host the tilt.
The teams will attempt to make up the game at a later date. Nevertheless, Brookline (3-2) and South Hills (2-6) will meet for a regularly scheduled game on Sunday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m., also at Moore.
Thursday night was supposed to be a home game for the Black Sox. The Devils will be the home team on Sunday.
-- by REH3
Monday, May 12
Left Stranded: Missed Chances, Clinton Bats Lead to 9-2 Sox Loss
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 10 -- The Brookline Black Sox left 12 men on base--including a bases-loaded situation three times--in a 9-2 loss to the host Clinton Cherokee at Moon Park on Saturday.
Still, Clinton (4-0) outhit Brookline (3-2), 10-5, to remain in a first-place tie in the league standings. The Black Sox trailed, 3-2, after the top of the fifth inning, but a five-run Cherokee fifth, including two unearned runs, all but ended the game.
James Fago (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing six earned runs in five innings on nine hits and three walks. Fago also hit a batter but struck out seven others. The right-hander, whose ERA moved to 3.50 on the season, was done in by the fifth inning in part by his own fielding error with the bases loaded, as well as two walks.
Fago was one of the B-Sox's few bright spots on offense, going 1-for-3 with a walk and both of his team's runs.
Drew Hazel pitched the bottom of the sixth, giving up a run on a one-out walk and a two-out double. Hazel, a left-hander, then struck out the last Clinton batter of the game. His ERA stands at 2.33.
Brookline opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first but squandered a chance to make it a bigger lead by leaving the bases full. After Clinton tied the game in the bottom of the frame, the Sox again left the bases loaded in the second inning, followed this time by a two-run Clinton second for a lead that the Cherokee would never relinquish.
Trying to respond to an 8-2 deficit in the sixth, the Sox loaded the bases again, but third baseman TJ Morgan's lineout to the shortstop ended that threat. Morgan hit a fly ball with two outs in the first inning that led to a run when the Clinton left fielder dropped the ball. Morgan finished 0-for-4.
Shortstop Antonio Palangio drove in the other Brookline run with a two-out single up the middle in fifth. Palangio, who arrived late to the game, was 1-for-2, himself victimized by a lineout in the seventh inning.
Teammate and center fielder Jason Goldie was 2-for-3 with a walk in his first game back from the birth of his daughter. Kenny Rayl, who moved from shortstop to second base after Palangio arrived in the bottom of the fourth, went 1-for-3 with a walk. Palangio was attending his commencement ceremony at Robert Morris University.
The Sox return home to face the South Hills Devils (2-5) at Moore Park on Thursday night at 9. It marks the first of back-to-back games at Moore against South Hills. The teams also play there on Sunday night at 6:30 when the Devils will act as the home team.
-- by REH3
Friday, May 9
B-Sox Pull Away Late, Top Cranberry, 7-4
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 8 --A three-run sixth inning gave the Brookline Black Sox a 7-4 win over visiting Cranberry at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Thursday night.
Brookline (3-1) erased leads of 2-0 and 4-3 before pulling away. Cranberry (1-3) put one runner on base in the final inning but never threatened to tie the game or take the lead again.
Left-hander Tim Connelly struck out two batters in the final frame to end it. Connelly (1-0) earned the win, fanning five total batters over the last three innings while allowing two runs on four hits and no walks. Connelly entered the game with a 3-2 lead in the fifth thanks in part to fellow southpaw George Hensler's four solid innings. Hensler allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in the first inning but shut down Cranberry for the rest of the way, allowing just two more hits and walks while striking out four. He finished with six Ks.
Shortstop Dan Sloan gave the Black Sox the lead for good when his one-out double plated pinch-hitter Nathan Buick, who had singled in his only at-bat. Sloan, who finished 2-for-2 with two runs and a walk, then scored when second baseman Antonio Palangio singled. Following a fly out, left fielder John Orr blasted a deep triple to right-center field to spell the final score.
Palangio finished 2-for-4 with two runs. Orr was 1-for-3 with a walk. As a pinch-runner, he also stole a base and scored.
After the Sox went down, 4-3, in the fifth, a one-out double by center fielder Zach Skowvron tied the game in the bottom of that inning, scoring Orr, who was running for first baseman Mark St. Amant. St. Amant had singled.
Skowvron was 1-for-3 and had another RBI--a groundout--in the Sox's three-run third inning that erased the 2-0 deficit. St. Amant finished 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI single in the third.
That three-run third was kicked off by a walk from Sloan, followed by back-to-back singles from Palangio and third baseman Kenny Rayl, respectively. Rayl's hit plated Sloan. Rayl was 1-for-4.
Orr followed Rayl by drawing a walk, and St. Amant's single scored Palangio. Skowvron then grounded into a fielder's choice to bring home Rayl.
The Sox travel to Moon Park to face the Clinton Cherokee (3-0) on Saturday morning at 11:30.
-- by REH3
Tuesday, May 6
Full 2014 Schedule Released
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 6 -- NABA-Pittsburgh officials have released the league's full 2014 schedule.
The Brookline Black Sox (2-1) are slated for 19 more games this year, starting with a tilt this Thursday against Cranberry at Pittsburgh's Moore Park at 9 p.m.
Eight of 11 AA teams will make the league playoffs. You can see standings here (www.eteamz.com/pittsburghnaba/standings).
-- by REH3
Tuesday, May 6
Jefferson Hills Edges Brookline, 3-2
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 3 -- A back-and-forth battle on a wet field at Pittsburgh's Moore Park ended as a 3-2 win for the visiting Jefferson Hills Indians over the Brookline Black Sox on Saturday night.
James Fago was the tough-luck loser despite throwing a complete game that evened his record at 1-1. Fago allowed just two earned runs over all seven innings, scattering nine hits and two walks while striking out four batters. The right-hander induced two double-play grounders and faced the minimum in three different innings.
Fago also singled in four at-bats and found himself at the plate with two outs in the seventh and the go-ahead run at first base, but the Jefferson Hills (3-0) pitcher induced a foul out to first to end the game.
Brookline (2-1) never led in this game against the defending NABA-Pittsburgh AA champions. Though, the Black Sox fought back from one-run deficits in both the fourth and fifth innings.
The Indians moved ahead for good with a two-out flare to shallow right field in the sixth. Their unearned run came in the fifth--also with two outs--when a runner was moving to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throw there that shorthopped the bag and went into left field.
Left fielder John Orr almost tied the game in the sixth when his one-out triple to right field shorthopped the fence, but center fielder Zach Skowvron, who led that inning off with a walk, was slowed down by a muddy field and was thrown out at home.
Orr and Skowvron finished the game 1-for-3 and 1-for-1, respectively. Skowvron also hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning that plated second baseman Antonio Palangio, who led that inning off with a single.
Palangio finished 1-for-3 and also hit a sacrifice fly, his coming in the fifth to score right fielder Charles Weaver, who led off with an infield hit. Weaver was 1-for-2 with a walk.
Catcher Kenny Rayl went 1-for-3 with a walk. Rayl is batting .556 this season. Third baseman TJ Morgan went 1-for-2 with a walk. Morgan has a .714 on-base percentage.
The Sox remain at Moore Park for a Thursday game against Cranberry (1-2) at 9 p.m.
-- by REH3
Thursday, May 1
Sox-Pirates Rescheduled for June 7
National Adult Baseball Association, MAY 1 -- The Brookline Black Sox-Pour House Pirates game originally scheduled for April 26 but postponed due to wet field conditions at Pittsburgh's Herschel Park has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 7.
The game will remain at Herschel and will still be played at noon.
The Black Sox (2-0) are next scheduled for a May 3 game against Jefferson Hills (2-0), the defending NABA-Pittsburgh AA champion, at Pittsburgh's Moore Park at 9 p.m. Though it'll mark the B-Sox's second straight game at Moore, it is Brookline's true 2014 home opener.
-- by REH3
Saturday, April 26
Wet Conditions Postpone Black Sox-Pirates Game
National Adult Baseball Association, APRIL 26 -- Friday's rainfall has forced the postponement of Saturday afternoon's Brookline Black Sox-Pour House Pirates game.
Field conditions at Pittsburgh's Herschel Park--home of the Pirates (0-2)--were too soggy to host the tilt.
The teams will attempt to make up the game at a later date.
The Black Sox (2-0) are next scheduled for a May 3 game against Jefferson Hills (1-0), the defending NABA-Pittsburgh AA champion, at Pittsburgh's Moore Park at 9 p.m. Though it'll mark the B-Sox's second straight game at Moore, it is Brookline's true 2014 home opener.
-- by REH3
Friday, April 25
Sox Staff Neuters Bulldogs, 2-0
National Adult Baseball Association, APRIL 24 -- Three pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout as the Brookline Black Sox (2-0) beat the Pittsburgh Bulldogs, 2-0, at Pittsburgh's Moore Park on Thursday night. Though Moore is Brookline's home field, the Bulldogs (1-1) served as the game's home team.
Starting pitcher Tim Connelly went two innings, followed by Drew Hazel for two more and Justin Miller for the final three. The left-handed Connelly allowed a hit and a walk in the first inning but struck out the final four batters that he faced. He had five total Ks. The left-handed Hazel then struck out the first batter that he faced and added another K while facing the minimum. Hazel allowed a leadoff walk in the fourth but got an important line-drive double play to end that inning.
Miller (1-0), who had three Ks, scattered a hit and three walks. The Black Sox scored twice in the sixth inning to put the right-hander in line for the win.
With one out in the sixth, designated hitter Jason Goldie singled and went to second on left fielder TJ Morgan's walk. Goldie then scored on center fielder Zach Skowvron's hard grounder to third. The ball deflected into shallow left field, and Goldie beat the throw home. Skowvron, however, was tagged out going to second on the throw, as Morgan occupied that bag.
Right fielder Charles Weaver then reached on an error--the third time that Weaver has done that in two games--pushing Morgan to third, where he was eventually plated by a big two-out single from Miller.
Miller also walked in this game as part of a 1-for-2 night. Weaver walked earlier in the game, as well. Skowvron had a 2-for-3 night. Morgan had two walks and leads his club with three bases on balls through two games. He is tied for the team lead with two runs scored.
Catcher/infielder Kenny Rayl went 1-for-3 with a walk and made an important diving stop on a grounder to third base in the seventh.
The Sox travel to Pittsburgh's Herschel Park to face the Pour House Pirates (0-2) on Saturday afternoon. It will be Brookline's third straight away game.
-- by REH3
Friday, April 25
Rayl Powers Sox Past Eagles, 13-1
National Adult Baseball Association, APRIL 21 -- Player/manager Kenny Rayl pulled himself from the game a triple shy of the cycle but not before he racked up four RBI in the Brookline Black Sox's 13-1 season-opening win over the host South Side Eagles (1-1) at Pittsburgh's Springview Field on Monday night. The game was stopped after five innings due to the 10-run rule.
Rayl, the game's starting catcher, also threw out two would-be base-stealers in support of starting pitcher James Fago's four shutout innings. The right-handed Fago allowed just one hit and three walks while striking out five batters to earn the win. He also went 1-for-3 at the plate, was hit by a pitch and scored twice.
The Black Sox were up, 5-0, after three innings, but Rayl opened the floodgates with a three-run line-drive homer to left center as part of an eight-run fourth. Brookline batted around the lineup in that inning.
Right-hander Michael McGonigal finished the game with a one-run fifth. McGonigal gave up a single and two walks to start the inning but settled down quickly by inducing back-to-back ground balls, including a double play.
Rayl finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Other offensive stars for the B-Sox were designated hitter Antonio Palangio, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and two runs; second baseman Matt Johnston, who was 2-for-2 with a two-RBI double, a run and a hit batsman; and shortstop Dan Sloan, who doubled in two at-bats, walked and scored twice.
The Sox head home to Pittsburgh's Moore Park to face the Pittsburgh Bulldogs (1-0) on Thursday night, but the Bulldogs will be the host team.
-- by REH3