Unicorns Top Diamond Hoppers in 17-15 Slugfest
By Steve Marowski
Utica Unicorns 17 vs. Eastside Diamond Hoppers 15
Utica — The Utica Unicorns and Eastside Diamond Hoppers combined to score 32 runs in a slugfest at Jimmy John’s Field. However, the Unicorns came out on top with a 17-15 victory.
Taylor Grzelakowski was 4-6 with two home runs, four RBI’s and three runs scored, and Chris Cruz was 2-3 with two home runs, five RBI’s, three walks and two runs scored in the Unicorns victory.
“I was seeing the ball well and I wasn’t trying to do too much,” Grzelakowski said.
The Diamond Hoppers opened the scoring in the top of the first with a three-run home run from Kam Stewart. Two more runs would come around to score and give the Diamond Hoppers a 5-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, Grzelakowski hit a three-run home run of his own to make it a 5-3 ballgame. However, in the top of the second inning, the Diamond Hoppers would score three more runs to take an 8-3 lead.
Back-to-back RBI doubles from Clay Ardeeser and Mike Rampone made it an 8-5 ballgame in the top of the third. Quinton Alexander followed with a two-RBI double to make it 8-7. Alexander came around to score on an RBI single from Brett Balkan to tie the game at eight.
In the bottom of the third inning, Chris Cruz hit a two-run home run to give the Unicorns a 10-8 lead. Grzelakowski hit his second home run of the game to increase the lead to 11-8.
The Diamond Hoppers would retaliate in the top of the fourth and take a 12-11 lead on a three-RBI triple by Jeremy Scott.
In the bottom of the fourth, Alexander hit an RBI single to tie the game at 12. Cruz hit his second home run of the game to increase the Unicorns lead to 15-12, and the Unicorns would score two more runs to go up 17-12.
The Diamond Hoppers would score three more runs, but the Unicorns led them off to secure a 17-15 victory.
“We out-slugged them and we’re a good hitting team,” Unicorns Manager Jim Essian said.
Sunday, June 18, Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers vs. Westside Woolly Mammoths, 1:35 p.m. (Father’s Day Cookout)
Thursday, June 22, Utica Unicorns vs. Eastside Diamond Hoppers, 7:05 p.m. (Vintage Baseball Night/Utica Recognition/Thirsty Thursday)
Friday, June 23, Westside Woolly Mammoths vs. Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers, 7:05 p.m. (Fireworks Friday presented by XFINITY/Blackjack the Border Collie/Oakland University Night)
Saturday, June 24, Westside Woolly Mammoths vs. Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers, 7:05 p.m. (WCSX Classic Rock Saturday and Riverwalk Fireworks at Dark)
Sunday, June 25, Eastside Diamond Hoppers vs. Utica Unicorns, 1:35 p.m. (Power Rangers)
1. Utica Unicorns 11-6
2. Eastside Diamond Hoppers 9-7
3. Westside Woolly Mammoths 7-9
4. Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers 5-10