By Win Hadley
LOCH SHELDRAKE – The Sullivan Explorers ended their second season of play in the Empire Professional Baseball League in August with a doubleheader sweep of the Old Orchard Beach Surge, winning 13-5 and 2-1 on their home field.
The doubleheader sweep of the league’s regular season champions enabled the Explorers to close the season with five wins in the final seven game set with the Surge at Generals Park, and gave them a total of eight wins in the second half of the season.
It was a positive finish to a rather dismal year. Not only did the Explorers fail to defend their 2016 championship, they did not make the playoffs this year, finishing in last place overall. They had finished the first half of the regular season with a 15-15 record, tied for second just three games behind the Plattsburgh Redbirds, and seemed poised to repeat the strong finish they rode to the postseason crown last year.
They never got on track after the All-Star break, however, and ended up the season with a 23-35 record, 10 games out of first. There were some bright spots on the year, though, as relief pitcher Phillip Richmond posted a 5-1 record with 8 saves and a 2.97 earned run average. Billy Felo ended up 5-2 on the year, with 65 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched. Samuel Carter ended the season with a .342 batting average and Luc Pomales finished with three home runs and 27 runs batted in. Pomales also won the league’s Home Run Derby at the All-Star game.
The management and players of the Sullivan Explorers would like to thank all of the fans, players, families and friends for their support and look ahead to a great season next year.