In a playoff battle that brought back memories of 1978, 2003 and 2004, the Red Sox defeated the Yankees 5-4 in the 2014 Major League championship game at Grove Street. It took extra innings but the Sox got the win as Justin Rocha’s seeing eye grounder plated Bobby Dolan in the bottom of the 8th.
The Bombers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead behind the hot bats of Joe Carey, Jack McHugh, Tommy Iannuzzi, Matthew McHugh, Mike Giangregorio, Mike Ciano and Anthony Haddad. Sox fireballer Jagger Polvino avoided further damage by striking out consecutive batters and leaving the bases loaded in the 1st.
The Sox wasted no time in responding, with a runner on base in the bottom of the first, superstar Katie Reynolds stepped to the plate and crushed a 2 run home run that landed somewhere in the vicinity of Cushing Square. After the blast, Sox hurler Polvino settled down and was dominant in the 2nd and 3rd innings to keep it a 3-2 game.
The Sox tied the game on a towering sacrifice fly by Justin Rocha, despite the impressive throw to the plate by Yanks center fielder Matty Mchugh. The Sox went ahead due to some aggressive base running by Katie Reynolds and Will MacNeil and took a 4-3 lead into the 6th.
However, the defending champs would not go down without a fight. Tommy Iannuzzi hit a perfectly placed ball to center field that rolled to the fence. Despite the valiant efforts of Sox center fielder Jacob Hovsepian and shortstop Joe Destefano, the lightning quick Iannuzzi slid home with the tying run.
Both teams received stellar pitching performances in the late innings, Reynolds and Rocha for the Sox, Joe Carey and Mike Giangregorio for the Pinstripers. Carey also made two sparkling plays from the shortstop position that prevented the winning run from crossing the plate in the 6th and 7thinning.
The Red Sox finally broke through in the 8th after Dolan drew a leadoff walk. He advanced on a passed ball and a ground out and was on third base with two outs. Rocha’s grounder knocked in the winning run, despite the gutsy efforts of pitcher Mike Giangregorio and 1st baseman Ryan Santoro.
All players played a role in this classic game. Johnny Iannuzzi, Issac Carey, and Abe Lipson played fine defense for the Bombers. Meghan Noone hit the ball well, and Zach Gillette, Quinn Writer and Brett Stievater made solid defensive plays for the Sox.