Baseball Review //
Rainbow Graphics, 1
Record-Journal Expos, 5
July 26th, 2022
Ceppa Field, Meriden, CT

Official Box Score :::

Additional Photos :::

This game was the third meeting of the regular season between the Rainbow Graphics and Record-Journal Expos.   Throughout the season, the Expos had managed to stay within the Top 3 alongside the Orioles and Jets.  The Graphics started off hot, cooled off a little but seem to be getting their groove back.   This made for an interesting game because in their first two meetings each team lost at home.  The Graphics went into this game 10-10 and so it really felt like they could push it either way.

The top of the first inning saw Tim Hanlon hit a double for the Rainbow Graphics and then Bryan Rodriguez singled him in.  It would be the first and only run Charlie Hesseltine would allow across the seven innings he pitched.    The Graphics had Ryan Callanan on the mound and he pitched a solid game for the four innings he was in.  

This game saw a lot of three up / three down innings and it went by fast.  The Expos didn't score until the fourth inning, so up until then it was a 1-0 game and it looked like Ryan Callanan was going for a complete game shut out.   Ultimately, the Expos would take the lead through a series of hits, walks and wild pitches.

Javon Malone started things off for the Expos with a single which had a bad throw to first allowing Malone to take second.  If you think of this as being when the Graphics started to fall apart and lose it, in some ways you cannot blame the pitching.  AJ Hendrickson then got on, making it first and third, and with a wild pitch it would become second and third.   

Shaun Remillard was walked on to load the bases, but on a wild pitch during the next at bat Javon Malone would score the first Expos run of the game, tying it up.   This at bat also saw Justin Marks walk on and, yes, that once again loaded the bases.  Andrew McCarty would draw the next walk, to bring AJ Hendrickson in as the go ahead run.   The Graphics would get out of it, but not without giving up the lead, making it a 2-1 ball game after four innings.

The fifth inning saw Chris Zampino come in to pitch for the Rainbow Graphics but it was already too late.   Javon Malone was on base yet again and AJ Hendrickson doubled him in.  That seemed to be the story of tonight but that's also what makes this Expos team so dangerous: anyone can get on base and anyone can get that RBI.   All Expos players seem to deliver when needed.

The top of the sixth saw a really nice double play by the Expos, who were now up 3-1 but they weren't done.   Nhasean Murphy doubled in Justin Marks for the first run of the inning and then Sebby Grignano singled in Justin Marks for the second run.  This put the Expos up 5-1 and it was where they would stay.

What the Expos did in this game is really what every team should do in every game.  Score enough runs to not leave it to chance, but also the defense and pitching of Charlie Hesseltine were just completely on point and so it felt like they couldn't be stopped.  On the flip side, the Graphics felt like they might be in line for a win under the pitching of Ryan Callanan but the offense just wasn't there.

Against another team, the Rainbow Graphics could have been on their way to a win but scoring that first run and then not at all again was really what shut them down in this game.  The Expos and Graphics go on a similar journey for the rest of this week, both playing the Greeners later on.

Tonight the Rainbow Graphics return to action against the Wallingford Cardinals at Northwest Park.   The Cardinals would be looking for an upset here, to capitalize on that Graphics loss from last night.  (Side Note: Jets and People's also play at Trinity College, which is a lovely field)  The Graphics then meet the Greeners on Friday night at Northwest Park again.  

The Expos meet the Colts at Johnny Taylor Field on Thursday night, looking to finish off their three games of the regular season.  And then the Expos get some Saturday night baseball in against the Greeners at Bristol Central.   So the Graphics go up against the 8th and 9th place teams while the Expos meet the 7th and 8th place teams.  

It will definitely be an interesting few days until the season officially closes out next week, as the games on Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday seem to be sparse.   The standings are still close enough that every win still matters and it will likely come down to the very last games of the season to determine the playoff brackets.