Ex Big Leaguer Plays, Homers, Wild Things and Sammies Win

Saturday, July 11, 2020
By Kyle Dawson
Ex Big Leaguer Plays, Homers, Wild Things and Sammies Win

WASHINGTON, Pa. (July 11) - After the Wild Things defeated the Road Warrior Black Sox 10-8 in the first game at Wild Things Park Saturday, ex big leaguer Brandon Phillips hit third and was the designated hitter for the Baseball Brilliance Sox in the nightcap, a game that saw the three-time MLB All Star homer in the first before the Slammin' Sammies pulled away and won 10-4. The wins moved the Wild Things and Slammin' Sammies into an early tie for first place in the pod, with both possessing identical 2-1 records.

In the first game, Wild Things' centerfielder EP Reese led the bottom half of the first off with a home run. In the third, left fielder Chris Kwitzer hit a two-run homer to stretch the Things lead to three. The Black Sox got two home runs for five runs in the fourth off Tyler Garkow. Corey Bass hit a two-run shot before Bradley Roberto launched a three-run homer to right field.

The Black Sox added two more runs in the sixth on a two-run hit by Roberto, who ended the day with five RBI. In the home half, Ray Hernandez hit a no-doubt two-run homer to left. The Things scored three more in the frame on a balk, an RBI single by Patrick Causa and a passed ball. Hector Roa broke an 8-8 tie in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run blast to left center, which was the difference in the game. 

Cody Strayer picked up the win with two innings of one-run ball in relief, while former Gateway Grizzlie Patrick Boyle took the loss. Zach Strecker picked up his second save in as many days.

Game two started with a bang for the Baseball Brilliance Sox, as Brandon Phillips, former Cleveland Indians', Cincinnati Reds', Atlanta Braves' and Boston Red Sox' standout, blasted a two-run home run as the third hitter of the game. Brennan Price then homered in the third before the Slammin' Sammies answered and tied the game on John Sansone's three-run home run in the bottom half. 

The scoring halted until the sixth, when Robbie Thorburn's fly ball to left was dropped and resulted in two runs scoring to give Steel City a lead it would not lose. Despite an eighth-inning run for the Sox, Steel City broke it open in the home eighth. Thorburn singled home a run before Sansone lifted a grand slam, giving him a second homer and seven RBI on the night, as the lead was pushed to the game's final of 10-4.

Phillips finished 1-for-4 with the home run, a walk and three fly outs, including one that was the final out of the game against Steel City's Jesus Balaguer.

Phillips will play for the Sox again tomorrow when Baseball Brilliance does battle with the Road Warrior Black Sox at 5 p.m. tomorrow at Wild Things Park. The Wild Things and Slammin' Sammies meet at 1 p.m.

Sunday is a Kids Eat Free Sunday, presented by PA Cyber and Halloween Night, presented by Moe's Southwest Grille. Tickets are available at https://www.wildthingstickets.com/web/calendar/

View box scores for today's games below and cumulative stats through Day 3 of the summer pod on the "Stats" tab on the Wild Things' website. 

Game 1 Box Score

Game 2 Box Score