The Friday night game between the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks and Brockton Rox was preceded by a special pregame ceremony, thanks to Peter Filosa, a 32-year-old Medford resident with special needs who loves the game of baseball. In 2003, he fulfilled a lifelong dream by delivering a first pitch in Fenway Park, and since that special day he has been traveling throughout New England throwing out ceremonial pitches. Now he can cross off the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks from his list.
The second-place Sharks hosted the first-place Rox in what could become a crucial game come playoff time. The Sharks began the game in lights-out fashion, leading 2-0 after the first inning. Centerfielder Ryan Kelly hit a leadoff double and third baseman Will Toffey hit a home run to drive them both in.
Sharks starting pitcher Soren Hanson pitched very well, striking out seven in 5⅔ innings. His only mistake came in the second inning when he gave up a two-run homer to Rox designated hitter Cale Giddings, leveling the score at 2-2. Hanson was replaced by Mike Fitzgerald after giving up a second walk.
The Sharks took the lead again in the bottom of the sixth after rightfielder John Testani stole third and scored after a throwing error by Rox catcher Joe Freiday. The next batter, Ryan Kelly, hit an RBI single to score Sharks shortstop Brendan Cox, making it 4-2 Sharks.
In the top of the eighth Fitzgerald gave up a two-run double, leveling the score again, this time at 4-4.
The score stayed knotted until the bottom of the 11th, when Rox reliever Brendan King walked Sharks shortstop Brandon Cox with the bases loaded, allowing Matt Lavanchy to walk in the winning run.
Sharks reliever Scott Stonestreet got the win, striking out five batters in the last three innings, keeping his ERA at 0.00. The Sharks are back at home again on Saturday, August 2, when they take on the Torrington Titans at 7 pm at the Shark Tank.