Tag: Chris Grossman

Rox Sweep Four Game Series Against Rockland

By Brian Willwerth 

BROCKTON, MA — The CanAm League game Sunday night between the Brockton Rox and Rockland Boulders was delayed at the start by 21-minutes due to wet weather. Yet, once the game began, the home team did not delay lighting up the scoreboard, as the Rox jumped out to a big lead early, and then cruised to a 9-2 victory at Campanelli Stadium, completing a four-game sweep.

The Rox got on the board in the bottom of the first. Dan Barbero drew a bases-loaded walk, with Melvin Falu trotting home from third. Then Trey Hernandez delivered the first big hit of the game, lining a two-run single to right that scored Keith Brachold and Chris Grossman. It was 3-0 Rox after one.

Norm Hutchins got Rockland on the board in the top of the second with a mammoth home run to right.

The Rox broke it open in the third. They added to their lead with yet another bases-loaded hit. This time, it was Tucker Nathans doubling down the right-field line to give Brockton a 5-1 lead. Then with runners on 2nd and 3rd, the Rox executed the suicide squeeze to perfection. Alex Sumner’s bunt brought home the sixth Brockton run. Then Chris Valencia made it 8-1 with a towering home run over the right-centerfield fence. It was his fourth home run of the season. That would also mark the end of the day for Rockland starting pitcher Will Hassett.

Barbero hit hisfourth home run of the season in seventh for the final Brockton run.

The nine runs were more than enough for Brockton starting pitcher Julian Sampson, who allowed only two hits over seven innings, one of them being the home run to Hutchins. Sampson earned his seventh win of the year.

The Rox are off Monday night. They’ll open a series against the first-place Worcester Tornadoes on Tuesday.

Rox Continue Winning Ways Against Federals, 7-4

By Brian Willwerth 

BROCKTON, MA – The red-hot Brockton Rox are in the midst of their second-longest home winning streak in team history.

The Rox won their tenth straight game at Campanelli Stadium Tuesday night by defeating the New York State Federals, 7-4. It was a game that saw a plethora of stolen bases and two players, and a manager, get ejected.

The Rox got on the board first in the 2nd. Ryan Royster’s single to right scored Melvin Falu. Shawn Williams slid safely into third, much to the chagrin of Feds’ shortstop Alex Sumner. A few seconds later, Sumner became the first player to hit the showers early. The Rox could’ve added another run but new third baseman Sandy DeLeon made a great diving play to rob Dominic Ramos of a hit.

New York tied in the score in the next inning on Dan Barbero’s RBI single. But Brockton responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning, courtesy of five singles. Mike Torres, Keith Brachold, Trey Hernandez, Falu and Chris Grossman did the honors. It was 4-1 Rox after three.

The Federals cut the deficit to two on an RBI single by DeLeon. Then with Barbero on third, Jacob Fabry struck out, but the ball sailed to the backstop, allowing Barbero to score New York’s third run.

In the 6th, Royster took extra bases away from Tom Maloney with a great leaping grab near the warning track in left. The score remained the same.

The drama picked up in the 7th. Ramos was ejected for arguing a stolen base call at second. Rox manager Bill Buckner came out to argue, but did not get tossed.  At least, not this time. In the bottom of the inning, the Rox put some distance between themselves and the Feds. Chris Valencia’s fielder’s choice brought home a run without the ball leaving the infield. Then Falu hit one that did leave the infield – and then some. He crushed one over the left-field wall to make it 7-3.

In the middle of the 8th, Buckner finally did get the heave-ho. Whatever he said to the home plate umpire between innings did not make the ump too happy. The two got into a heated exchange that ended with Buckner slamming his hat down onto the field. The crowd at Campanelli Stadium loved every minute of it.

Mike Smith got the win for the Rox. He allowed three runs over six innings.  James Kukucka took the loss for New York.

Brockton has won 12 of its last 13 games overall. The Rox can tie their longest home winning streak ever with a win in the series finale Wednesday night. First pitch is at 7:05.

Bill Buckner Wins First Game as Rox Manager

Bill Buckner was very happy to earn his first win as a Minor League manager! (Credit Brian Willwerth)

By Matt Noonan

BROCKTON, MA — No one enjoyed Thursday’s game more than Bill Buckner, who was all smiles after his team’s first win of the season against the Worcester Tornadoes.

“It was fun [tonight]. It keeps your attention going,” Buckner said. “It’s great. It’s always easier when your pitching coach is pitching. It make it a little bit more nicer day in the coaches room.”

Brockton began the game with a Chris Grossman home run in the second inning, which was followed up by two Melvin Falu RBI’s that brought Dominic Ramos to the plate twice. Mike Smith tossed five innings, struck out one batter and allowed five hits and really, that’s all the Rox needed to win their first game of the season.

“Always, the first one is the best one,” Falu said. “[We need to] just need to keep trying to win every game.”

As for the Tornadoes, well, Lady Luck wasn’t exactly on their side, as Worcester finished the game with one run and seven hits, which certainly didn’t please rookie manager Ed Riley.

Although, while all of Brockton is celebrating their first win of the season, let’s call off Friday’s parade or a speech by Mayor Linda M. Balzotti and understand, it’s just one game. This wasn’t the league championship or round one of the playoffs, it was just one game, but hey, it’s a great way to start the season, right?

“[Bill Buckner] is happy now, he’s happy,” Falu said with a big smile.

“It was a good atmosphere at the ballpark and [my] guys are ready to play and have fun. Everybody has their goals set in the same thing, [we want to] win a championship, so we’ll see how that goes,” Buckner said.

The Rox and Tornadoes will play each other 10 more times before the season concludes, but winning their first game was certainly an important step toward winning a league title. Brockton has never won the CanAm League, but after an impressive win against Worcester on Thursday, certainly every member of the Rox organization has one thing on their mind, winning.

“I’m not a player, but it’s nice to see the players succeed. That’s what it’s all about,” Buckner said.

Falu, Smith Lifts Brockton Past Worcester in Home Opener

Melvin Falu drove had Two RBI's in the Rox first win of the season.

By Brian Willwerth 

BROCKTON, MA — Bill Buckner’s managerial career is off to a good start.

Melvin Falu had three hits, and the Brockton Rox got a solid outing from Mike Smith as they won their season opener over the Worcester Tornadoes, 3-1, Thursday night at Campanelli Stadium.

Smith worked the first five innings, allowing just one run on five hits. He worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the second.

The Rox scored their first run of the season in the bottom of the second, when catcher Chris Grossman launched a home run over the left field wall off Worcester starting pitcher Zach Zuercher. Brockton doubled its lead in the third when Falu singled home Dominic Ramos.

In the fifth, the Tornadoes broke through when Alex Nunez doubled to right-center, just out of the reach of a diving Chris Valencia. Boomer Blanchard, who was running on the pitch, scored all the way from first to cut the lead to 2-1.

The Rox answered in the bottom of the inning when Falu drove in his second run of the game. His line-drive single to left plated Ramos again with the third Brockton run. There would be no more scoring the rest of the way.

“Like I always say, I like to play [the] best I can,” Falu said. “I [drove him home], so thank you.”

In the eighth, the Tornadoes had the tying runs in scoring position, but Rox reliever Jake Hale got Alex Fernandez to ground out to first to end the threat.

Travis Hughes retired the side in order in the ninth for the save.

For Worcester, Zuercher went 5 1/3 innings, allowing 9 hits and 3 runs, while Nick Salotti led the offense with a pair of hitsAfter spending two decades in the major leagues, Buckner, 61, who experienced great success with 2,700 hits, can now add an additional milestone to his baseball journey, his first career victory as a manger.

The Rox improved to [7-3] on opening day and had lost their last three openers prior to Thursday night.

The Rox and Tornadoes will meet again Friday night at Campanelli Stadium for a 7:05pm start.