He's used to being a little bit closer.
The shorthanded Pink Sox showed a lot of fight but dropped the 18 American Division Opener 10-5 to Bushkill on Sunday in the Lehigh Valley Men's Baseball League Game of the Week.
Matt "Jocko" Harvey was emblematic of the Pink Sox day.
Few players are as entrenched at one position as Jocko is at third base for the Pink Sox. But with four outfielders missing, Pink Sox Managaer Rick Orengo had to ask his hot-corner star to take about 100 steps back for the first time in his career. Jocko battled it out with four putouts in left field -- "quite frankly looked like a natural," Orengo said -- and tallied two hits as well.
That was the Sox on Sunday -- undeterred despite some unusual circumstances.
They entered the eighth inning tied thanks in large part to starting pitcher Maverick Zdimal's 11 strikeouts in 7.2 innings. But that's where it came apart.
Some defensive miscues put Bushkill batters on and then one of Bushkill's Talmadge brothers delivered a gut-punch homerun. Zdimal had to be removed despite the dominant K total. "Some defensive mistakes spoiled what should have been a better statistical outing for him," Orengo said.
The teams meet again right away in a doubleheader this Sunday, and Orengo expects he'll see Bushkill in the playoffs in August as well.
"All in all it was a great game. Fought back down 4-1 against a good pitcher and kept it tied until the 8th inning, where we made some key mistakes and they didn't," Orengo said. "Bushkill is a great team and a good test for us to begin the season."
The surprising Rays (4-1) matched then surpassed their 2017 win total with a sweep of the Pirates and are now tied for first place in the Premier Division with the defending champion DM Palmisano Sanitation Rangers, who swept the Washington Nationals
Not a good day for the Macungie teams. The Expos dropped a doubleheader to the Braves, and the defending 18 American Division champion Grizzlies dropped a doubleheader to the Hurricanes.
Rookie Manager Mike Heaney led the 18A Astros into their LV MSBL debut against the 25A Bulldogs and ... it could have been better and it could have been worse. The teams battled to a 7-7 tie.
The FOP White Sox continued their torrid start with a sweep of the Reds. The undefeated White Sox have now outscored oppenents 55-9 in four games.
Some familiar foes met under new circumstances. The 18 American Kings defeated the 25 American Black Sox, who are playing their first season in the 25A division after for a long time sharing the 18A division with the Kings.
Matt Kiak allowed two runs in a 7-inning complete game as the Royals defeated the 25 Pirates 6-2. Kiak now has allowed only two runs in 10 innings pitched while striking out 12 and walking one.
The Patriots earned their first win, dealing the Giants their first loss, 11-5.
Ed Moravec and Jeff Carach combined for a two-hit shutout as the Gorilla A's defeated the Diamondbacks 3-0 in 43 National Division action.
Newcomer Copper Michael was sharp again for the Emmaus A's in the 25 National Division, striking out 8 while allowing two runs in 6 innings to hold down the Cardinals 5-2.
The Springtown Mudcats have the early lead in the 43 National Division after defeating the second place Hurricanes 6-4.
In the 55 Division, the Three Mugs Pub Moondogs stayed hot in their return to the LV MSBL, besting the 55 Kings 11-5 on Sunday. The only blemish so far for the Moondogs is a tie game against the Bucks on Saturday.
The Dodgers struggled early last season then got hot at the right time, making a surprising run to the championship series and pushing it to three games. It's early, but the hot streak might just be carrying over. The Dodgers are in second place in the 55 Division after defeating the Riegelsville Reds 15-3.