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The Lexington Blue Sox Drew Leenhouts pitched a one hit shutout to defeat the Americans by a score of 3-0 Monday night at Morelli Field. Leenhouts was one out away from a no-hitter when John Jennings doubled for the Americans' only hit. Chris Hopkins, who worked a pair of walks, was the only other American to reach base against Leenhouts who struck out seven Melrose hitters on the night.
Zeke Berg made his first start on the mound for the Americans and pitched well enough to win, but the lack of offensive support did him in. He allowed three runs, all earned, on five hits while striking out five, walked five and he hit two batters.
The walks and the hit batters hurt Berg as one of each scored. The other hit batter forced home a run. In the second, Lexington scored what proved to be the winning run. A leadoff walk to Dan Graham was followed by a single to left by Jake Willsey. Berg nearly escaped the jam by getting Taylor Ferguson to pop out to shortstop and striking out Josue Feliciano, but John Puttress worked the second walk of the inning to load the bases before Jeff Costello was hit by a pitch to force home the run.
With one out in the fifth, Ross Curley was hit by a pitch. Berg then walked Julian Alvarez to put runners at first and second. Graham lined to right for out number two but Willsey singled to center to drive home the second Lexington run.
In the sixth, the Blue Sox got one more. Feliciano and Puttress flied out to right ahead of a Costello walk. With pinch hitter Dorian Rojas at the plate, Costello stole second and third. He scored when Rojas singled up the middle for the third and final run. Ronnie Luke, who pitched one and a third innings of relief while allowing one hit and striking out three, took over for Berg after the Rojas single and struck out Ross Curley to end the inning.
With the loss, the Americans fell to 6-7 on the season, leaving them in sixth place.
Wednesday night at Morelli Field, Simon Gonzalez will make his first Intercity League start and the offense will try to get the bats going in a 7:30 rematch with the Blue Sox.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, the Americans exploded for five runs to overtake and defeat the Arlington Trojans by a score of 6-4 Sunday afternoon at Morelli Field.
Will Shackelford, back after a two game absence, bunted for a single leading off the sixth. He moved to second on a Chris Hopkins ground out and to third when pinch hitter Hunter Boyce reached on an error by the Arlington second baseman. Shackelford scored the Americans first run of the inning and second of the game when Boyce was forced at second on a fielder's choice grounder to third off the bat of Matt Hosman for out number two. The Americans then put together five straight hits to score four more runs. Charlie Huegi moved Hosman to second with a single to right center. Dan Cacciola followed with a line single to right, moving Mike Goddu, who had gone in to run for Hosman, to third and Huegi to second. Nick Herzog, who had hit a solo home run in the first inning and singled in the third, then ripped a bases clearing double to left center, giving the Americans a 5-4 lead. Malcolm Nachmanoff drove in Herzog with the sixth and final run when he laced a solid single to center. John Jennings kept it going when he also singled but Shackelford lined out to center to end the inning.
Shawn Smeglin pitched the first four and one third innings for the Americans giving up the four Arlington runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out two. He left with a run in and runners on first and second after issuing a pair of walks and a single. Aran Hamilton-Grenham (1-0), who got the win, was summoned from the bullpen to put out the fire, but he was touched for a single that drove in a run, hit a batter to load the bases and gave up a sacrifice fly that scored the third run of the inning and increased the Arlington lead to 4-1 before a strikeout ended the inning. Hamilton-Grenham pitched a perfect top of the sixth and the Americans' offense rallied for the win in the bottom of the frame. Chris Mitchell came on to pitch a scorless seventh to preserve the win and earn his first save of the season.
The offense was led by Herzog's three hits, including the home run, and four RBI. Nachmanoff also had three hits and Jennings had a pair. Cacciola, Shackelford and Huegi had the other three Americans' hits.
The Americans, who evened their record at 6-6 with the win over Arlington, will host the Lexington Blue Sox at Morelli Field Monday and again Wednesday at 7:30. On Friday, they will be on the road in Watertown to play the Reds at Victory Field. Game time in that one is 7:45.
Southpaw Zeke Berg will get his first Intercity League start Monday night against Lexington.
Melrose Matters: The Americans placed four players on the Intercity League All-Star team; outfielders Malcolm Nachmanoff (.394) and Nick Herzog (.343), catcher John Jennings (.308) and pitcher Chris Mitchell (3-2, 1 save).
Mark Fusco, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and who pitched Wednesday for the first time this season, reinjured his arm and has been placed on the disabled list.
The Americans lost their second game in two nights Thursday when the Wakefield Merchants shut them out 4-0 at Morelli Field.
Wakefield got the only run they would need in the first inning off Melrose starter Kyle Autilio (0-3), who pitched five and a third innings, walking two and striking out two while giving up the four Wakefield runs on eight hits. He was followed by Ronnie Luke who pitched a perfect two thirds of an inning, striking out one. Zach Begin pitched a scoreless seventh while walking one Merchant.
The Americans' bats remained dormant. After managing but five singles Wednesday against Somerville, they mustered only two hits off Wakefield starter and complete game winner Joe Maguire. Both of the hits, back to back singles by Matt Hosman and Dave Center, came in the fifth inning with one out. But Maguire induced a fly out to right off the bat of Charlie Huegi and struck out Mike Goddu to end the inning unscathed. He then pitched a perfect sixth and seventh to preserve the shutout.
With the loss, the Americans (5-6) fell below .500 for the first time this season. They will attempt to even their record Sunday at Morelli when they host the Arlington Trojans at 4:00. Shawn Smeglin will be on the bump seeking his second win in that one.
The Somerville Royals broke out the lumber in a thirteen hit attack Wednesday night at Morelli Field and handed the Americans a 9-3 loss. Trailing 2-0 after one inning, the Royals got one run in the second, three in the third, one in the fourth and four more in the sixth to complete the onslaught. Luke Ronchi and Wagner Gomez both homered for the Royals. The Americans managed only five hits on the night off Somerville starter and winner Soren Hanson.
Thanks to Hanson's wildness, the Americans had numerous chances to score but they failed to take full advantage. In the first inning Dan Cacciola worked a leadoff walk. Nick Herzog and Malcolm Nachmanoff followed and both were hit by pitches to load the bases with nobody out. Cleanup hitter John Jennings doubled, driving home Cacciola and Herzog and pushing Nachmanoff to third. Chris Hopkins was called out on strikes and Dave Center walked to reload the bases but Hanson struck out both Charlie Huegi and Mike LaRovere to escape further damage.
In the third, Jennings walked leading off and went to third on a single by Hopkins. Center followed with a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Jennings. Huegi walked to put runners at first and second but LaRovere flied out to center and Vin Scifo popped out to shortstop to end the inning.
Hanson settled down after that, allowing only two base runners over the next two innings before giving way to Mike Massuli who pitched one hit ball over the final two.
Chris Mitchell (3-2) took the loss for the Americans giving up eight runs, five earned, over four innings. Mike Peters pitched a perfect fifth, striking out the side in the process. He was replaced in the sixth by Simon Gonzalez who was tagged for four hits and three earned runs in one third of an inning. Gonzalez was relieved by Mark Fusco, who, due to arm problems, was pitching for the first time this season. Fusco finished the inning but not before Gomez touched him for a solo home run. Zach Begin pitched a scoreless seventh, striking out a pair of Royals.
Cacciola, Nachmanoff, Jennings, Hopkins and Scifo had the five Americans' hits.
The Wakefield Merchants will visit Morelli Thursday at 7:30. Kyle Autilio, seeking his first win of the season, will be on the mound for the Americans.
Nick Herzog doubled to lead off the bottom of the first, went to third on a Malcom Nachmanoff single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Devin to give the Americans the only run they would need as they defeated the Arlington Trojans 1-0 Wednesday night at Morelli Field.
Shawn Smeglin earned the win, throwing six innings of shutout ball against the Trojans, who lost by a score of 1-0 for the fourth straight game. Smeglin, who allowed only three singles through six innings while walking and striking out four, evened his record at 1-1. Mike Peters pitched the seventh inning and shut down the Trojans to earn his first save of the season.
Herzog had two of the Americans five hits on the night, while Nachmanoff, Hunter Boyce and Mike Egitto each had one.
With the win, the Americans improve their record to 5-4. They will play host to the Somerville Royal Wednesday night, July 5 at Morelli Field at 7:30. Chris Mitchell, seeking his fourth win, will be on the mound.