August 01, 2020
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Cox helps Ox sweep> Spang shuts down Sharks

ORONO – Late-inning heroics, solid pitching, dramatic long balls, and timely hitting all combined to give the Bangor Blue Ox a sweep of Wednesday night’s doubleheader here at Mahaney Diamond before a crowd of 672.

Angelo “Jello” Cox blasted a 3-2 fastball deep over the right-field fence with runners on second and third and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Ox an 8-6 comeback win.

Cox’s homer, his first of the season, was the second three-run blast in the last two innings to bring the Ox all the way back from a 5-2 deficit.

The Ox used solid pitching from R.J. Spang and timely hitting for a relatively easy 7-2 win in the opening game.

The sweep left the Blue Ox with a 6-3 record – good for third, a half-game out of first in the Northeast League standings – while Rhode Island is 3-7 (fifth).

“All I was trying to do was make contact and shoot the ball out into the gap somewhere,” said Cox about the game-winning hit. “I was looking for it right down the middle and that’s where it came.”

Cox’s clutch homer would not have been possible without an equally dramatic three-run round-tripper by first baseman Corey Parker with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

“I was having a tough day,” said Parker, who was 0-for-6 on the day before his last at-bat.

“I wasn’t comfortable. That last at-bat I just told myself to relax,” Parker explained. “This is the kind of win gives us the confidence that, no matter how much we’re down, we can come back and beat anyone.”

The homers made a winner of Paul Barbadoro (1-0), who pitched 4 2/3 innings in relief, striking out four while allowing one hit and no walks.

The prospect of him being a winner were dim after R.I.’s Mike Miller led off the eighth with a solo homer to put the Sharks back on top 6-5.

In the first game, Spang’s decision to just rear back and fire from the opening pitch on payed off as Bangor’s starting righthander fired a five-hitter.

The Blue Ox rode Spang’s effective heater and used two big innings offensively to sink the Tiger Sharks in the second game of Bangor’s home-opening series.

Spang went almost exclusively with a fastball and changeup as he threw 98 pitches over seven innings.

“I was hoping to go the distance and give our bullpen a little rest after the three straight extra-inning games,” said Spang, now 1-0.

“I pretty much aired it out all game long. I just tried to challenge them and, if they hit it, let our fielders take care of it,” he added.

Second baseman Lonnie Goldberg and left fielder Robert “Popeye” Cole each had two hits. Center fielder Cox and shortstop Chris Hummell each delivered two-run singles

The Blue Ox exploded for four runs in the second inning. After Cole led off with a double to right and Gerald Davis grounded out, Carlos Mota reached first on a dropped third strike that squirted through catcher Nando Porzio’s pads all the way to the backstop.

With runners on first and third, Garret Quaintance dribbled a slow grounder up the third base line that the Tiger Sharks couldn’t field in time and Cole crossed the plate for the first run. After former University of Maine player Steve Puleo walked to load the bases, Rhode Island starter Mike Swenson struck out Hummell.

Cox continued his torrid hitting and jumped on a 1-0 fastball and lined it to straightaway left field to score two runs. It was his fourth double in two games.

No. 2 hitter Goldberg followed Cox with aan RBI single to right that was misplayed by right fielder Ryan Hutchinson. Swenson escaped further damage by striking out first baseman Parker.

The Sharks drew first blood in the top of the second on Brian Mannino’s leadoff double and a one-out sacrifice fly by John Lombardi.

Rhode Island added a run in the third when Porzio led off with a double and scored on another one-out sacrifice fly, this time by leadoff hitter Ryan Hutchinson.

Bangor scored three more runs in the sixth on a walk, one fielding error, a hit batsman, Puleo’s suicide squeeze bunt single, and singles by Hummell and Goldberg.

NOTES: A malfunctioning compact disc forced public address announcer Joe Kennedy to sing the national anthem before the start of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Kennedy, with about 20 seconds to prepare, delivered a near-flawless rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” as no one in the crowd seemed to notice the impromptu nature of the anthem.

Kennedy’s only glitch was a dramatic pause just before the “rocket’s red glare” verse of the anthem as he struggled to remember the words. But he pulled it out, much to the delight of everyone watching nearby and in the press box.

Blue Ox 6, Tigersharks 5

(Tuesday Night, 14 innings)

Rhode Island Bangor

Name ab r h bi Name ab r h bi

Hoyt, dh 7 0 0 0 Cox, cf 5 2 4 0

DeRosa, 2b 4 1 1 0 Goldberg 2b,ss 5 0 2 1

Church, 1b 5 0 0 0 White, lf 6 0 0 1

Miller, 3b 5 1 2 1 Parker, 1b 7 0 1 1

Adams, rf 5 1 2 2 Davis, rf 7 0 2 0

Lombardi, lf 6 1 0 0 Puleo, dh 6 0 1 0

Mannio, c 7 0 2 1 Mota, c 5 2 1 0

Fabiano, ss 5 0 1 0 Quaintance, 3b 6 1 1 1

Hutchinson, cf 3 1 1 0 Hunnell, ss 4 1 1 1

Filipkowski, cf 1 0 0 0 Cole, 2b 2 0 1 1

Totals 48 5 9 4 Totals 53 6 14 6

Rhode Island (3-5) 000 001 040 000 00 – 5

Bangor (4-3) 101 300 000 000 01 – 6

E – Fabiano 2, Audette, Cox 2B – Adams, Cox 3, Goldberg, Mota LOB – Rhode Island 14; Bangor 17 DP – Bangor SB – Miller, Cox, Goldberg 2, Hota 2 SF – Adams, Filipkowski, Puleo, Quaintance

PITCHER IP H R ER BB SO

Rhode Island

Kasel 5 7 5 3 2 0

Smith 2/3 0 0 0 3 0

O’Hare 3 1/3 3 0 0 0 6

Milewski 2 2 0 0 1 2

Coleman (L, 0-1) 2 1/3 2 1 1 2 3

Bangor

Boyd 5 2 0 0 1 5

Taylor 1/3 0 1 1 3 1

Audette 2 3 4 3 2 3

Maddock 4 2/3 3 0 0 3 5

Dabalack (W, 2-1) 2 1 0 0 2 0

WP – Kasel 2, Smith TIME – 4:52 ATTENDANCE – 2,258


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