With his team scoreless and down three runs after the first inning of Wednesday night's game at home against the Arlington Trojans, Lexington Blue Sox manager Rick DeAngelis gathered the players in the dugout for a brief pep talk.
"I told them what we knew, that these guys came to play," DeAngelis said. "I asked them whether we came to play as well."
Eleven runs, four multi-run innings and a stellar outing in relief from Sam Finn later, the Blue Sox (19-3-1) had answered that question with a resounding yes.
Finn came in the game in the top of the first after a mess of an outing from Tyler Kendrick, who was making his first start of the season. Kendrick allowed all five batters he faced on base, and let in two runs on wild pitches before being lifted from the game.
Enter Finn, who shut down the Trojans in a seven-inning, three-hit two-strikeout performance.
"It's ironic, because [Finn] asked me before the game when his next start would be," DeAngelis said. "In the first inning I looked over at him and said, 'How about in five minutes?'"
Finn got help from the Lexington offense starting in the second inning. With a run already in on an RBI groundout from Tommy Haugh, Chaz Agrillo knocked home two runs on a double to tie the game.
The Blue Sox added two runs in the third, knocking out Arlington starter Joe Martini in the process. Lexington added two more runs in both the third and fourth innings, three runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth.
What was at one point a scare soon became a laugher, for a first-place team that has spent a lot of the season having the last laugh.
"It's a great feeling pitching when you know the offense is going to come through," said Finn. "I knew it was important to throw strikes, and the guys behind me made some plays, and the guys put together some hits."
The Blue Sox continue their season tonight at 6 p.m at Playstead Park against the Medford Americans. They'll mix up their lineup a bit in anticipation of the Intercity League playoffs, but the winning standard remains the same.
"We'll give some of the newer guys more playing time, but Wakefield is still on our heels, so we're not giving up on any game," DeAngelis said.