COSTA MESA, CA — An earlier start to Sunday’s contest for the Long Beach Legends against the OC Black Sox did nothing to help improve their footing.
The Legends saw a promising start from their pitcher, Sean Hale, go right down the drain as they lost the first game of a doubleheader 4-2 at Vanguard University.
Hale was in cruising control through five innings and the Black Sox were clearly the spectator’s in this show. Hale’s five strikeouts gave his team a boost as their bats had yet to make an wake up.
The start of the two game set was originally set for 1pm, but after some communication between the two clubs, it was changed to noon, before it was eventually settled at 11am. Both teams appeared to be lethargic out of the gate and Hale was able to capitalize on that.
With the Legends on top 1-0, disaster struck Hale and his team, as the Black Sox finally were able to join the party.
Michael Gregory led things off for the Black Sox with a triple in the bottom of the sixth inning and he scored one pitch later after Hale delivered a wild pitch that got past his catcher, Sean Nearhoof. The Black Sox were able to stay patient at the plate as Jason Nieto, Willie Shaw, and Blake Cooper followed Gregory by walking in their at-bats.
Cody Yates came in relief of Hale, but he wasn’t much better. Jordan Geiger greeted him with an infield single to score Nieto, Chase Harrison then walked to bring in Shaw, and Josh Cunningham finished things off by taking a pitch square in the back to bring in Blake Cooper.
It was a big inning for both clubs as the Black Sox sent 10 batters to the plate, scored all four of their runs in the inning, and they did it all by only mustering two hits.
Lucas Kaplan went eight strong innings for the Black Sox as he only surrendered two runs (one earned) and four hits while keeping two runners stranded on base.
Sean Whiteman closed things up for the Black Sox as the loss dropped the Legends two full games behind the Diamond Valley Sabers.
Tags: Blake Cooper, Chase Harrison, Cody Yates, Jason Nieto, Jordan Geiger, Josh Cunningham, Long Beach Legends, Lucas Kaplan, Michael Gregory, OC Black Sox, Sean Hale, Sean Nearhoof, Sean Whiteman, Willie Shaw