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Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox fell to the Bristol Blues Tuesday night by a score of 5-0. With the quarterfinal playoff series tied at one game apiece, the teams will play a pivotal game three in a win-or-go-home scenario at Mackenzie Stadium on Wednesday night.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., and the team will offer free admission to all fans who attend the game.

After winning 6-5 in 13 innings in game one, the Blue Sox are excited to head back home to potentially advance to the semifinals of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Fans are encouraged to come out to Mackenzie to support the team in its pursuit of a third championship title.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox have won the West Division of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL), and the team will begin its first-round playoff series tonight, July 31 at 6:30 p.m., hosting the West Division rival Bristol Blues at Mackenzie Stadium in Holyoke in the first game of a best-of-three series.

The second game of the series will be Tuesday, Aug. 1 at Muzzy Field in Bristol, Conn. If necessary, the series will head back for the finale at Mackenzie Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 2. As the third seed in the 2023 playoffs, the team is excited to begin its pursuit of a third NECBL championship.

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 172: July 24, 2023

BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks to Valley Blue Sox General Manager Tyler Descheneaux

It’s not easy building a sports franchise that wins on the field while consistently growing its attendance and presence in the community. But the Valley Blue Sox, which has brought collegiate summer baseball to Holyoke since 2008, has certainly done both. On the next installment of BusinessTalk, as the team makes a late-season playoff push, General Manager Tyler Descheneaux joins BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar for a wide-ranging discussion of what it takes to build a roster; how the team is connecting with families, businesses, and nonprofits through promotions and community outreach; how attendance has been ticking back up since the pandemic; and much more. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox announced upcoming promotions for the team’s home games on Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9.

On July 8, the team will host a doubleheader versus the Upper Valley Nighthawks. The opening game will be at MacKenzie Stadium at 3 p.m., followed by the second game at 6:35 p.m. Admission will cover both seven-inning games in the doubleheader.

The team will give away baseball caps to the first 300 fans to enter the bValley Blue SoxValley Blue SoxValley Blue Soxallpark, sponsored by Westfield Bank. Additionally, the Blue Sox will host a Seven Innings of Winnings event in the second game on Saturday. The team will raffle off a different gift card to fans each half-inning.

On July 9 at 1 p.m. versus the Mystic Schooners, the Blue Sox will host a 150th-anniversary celebration for the city of Holyoke. Residents of Holyoke will receive reduced-price admission of $3. The team will also give away Holyoke Millers shirts to the first 150 fans to enter. The Millers were a minor-league team that played at MacKenzie Stadium from 1977 to 1982.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox announced a co-promotion with the Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame for its home game tonight, June 16 versus the Danbury Westerners. The Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame has had a storied history at MacKenzie Stadium, as well as the region.

The Blue Sox will have a ceremony immortalizing the history of America’s pastime in Western Mass. beginning at 6 p.m. During the pregame ceremonies, the team will unveil a new banner commemorating the 10 years of Hall of Fame history at MacKenzie Stadium. All Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame members and their families will receive free admission to the game. The night will be sponsored by Westfield Bank, a close affiliate of the Blue Sox.

Additionally, the first 100 fans to enter the ballpark will receive a Hall of Fame wristband. The team will be auctioning off autographed merchandise from Blue Sox alumnus and current Major League first baseman Trey Mancini.

The Blue Sox are looking forward to celebrating the hard work of all Hall of Fame members and inductees on Friday night.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox return to MacKenzie Stadium next week, with their first home game on Thursday, June 8 at 6:35 p.m. The team will then have three more home games on June 9, 10, and 11.

The team announced that any fans who attend all four games June 8-11 will receive their choice of either four flex tickets to any of the remaining home games this season, or early access to a new Blue Sox T-shirt before it goes on sale. Fans will receive a punch card on opening night that will be filled in with different-colored stickers at each game until all four are collected after the weekend.

On opening night, the team will be facing the Bristol Blues and giving away magnet schedules. The following night, Friday, June 9, at 6:35 p.m. versus the Ocean State Wolves, the team will be hosting Isenberg Night and giving away T-shirts sponsored by Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. The first 100 UMass students to show their UCard upon entry will receive a voucher for one free meal and drink. On Saturday, June 10 at 6:35 p.m. versus the North Shore Navigators, Boston Beer Co. will be sponsoring a Dogfish Tasting night, and fans will be able to enter a Red Sox/Sam Adams bench raffle. Finally, on Sunday, June 11 at 3 p.m. versus the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, the city of Holyoke will be celebrating its 150th anniversary with the team.

Fans are encouraged to come show their support for the start of the new season, and the Blue Sox look forward to seeing fans back at MacKenzie Stadium next Thursday.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox of the New England Collegiate Baseball League will kick off the NECBL 2021 summer season at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke on Thursday, June 3 against the Mystic Schooners.

The Blue Sox will honor medical personnel, including municipal workers, firefighters, EMS, teachers, and other frontline workers at their opening game for Hometown Heroes Night, when different groups will be asked to stand during each inning to honor their dedication to the safety of the community throughout the pandemic. First responders and those with a hospital ID will attend the game free of charge.

MacKenzie Stadium is located at 500 Beech St. in Holyoke, next to Holyoke High School. The gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and first pitch is at 6:35 p.m.

Ticket information can be found at www.valleybluesox.com.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, in coordination with presenting sponsor Holyoke Medical Group, announced three youth baseball clinic dates.

At these clinics, to be held in three different locations around Western Mass., participants will hone their hitting, pitching, and fielding skills with instruction from Blue Sox players and coaches. The dates and locations are as follows:

• June 28 to July 1, 9 a.m. to noon, Hadley Elementary School fields (rain date July 2);

• July 5-8, 9 a.m. to noon, Mackenzie Stadium, Holyoke (rain date July 9); and

• July 12-15, 9 a.m. to noon, Spec Pond Recreation Area, Wilbraham (rain date July 16).

The registration cost for each clinic is $120. The clinics are open to children ages 6-13.

Youth clinics are meant to bring the community together by introducing Blue Sox players, who hail from all over the country, to the area, in addition to generating interest in the game of baseball in young children through in-depth instruction from the college athletes and their coaches.

Every child who participates in the youth clinic will receive two tickets to the Blue Sox Clinic Night on Wednesday, July 21. This night is a way to commemorate the work put in during the clinics, and every child will have the opportunity to take the field with the Blue Sox during the pregame ceremonies.

To register for these youth clinics, click www.bluesoxcamps.com for the Hadley or Holyoke clinic, or www.wilbrahamrec.com for the Wilbraham clinic. For more information, visit www.valleybluesox.com and select ‘Youth Clinics’ from the drop-down menu.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox announced that an alumnus of their 2016 season, Hezekiah (Hez) Randolph, will take over for John Raiola as head coach.

Randolph, 25, of Baton Rouge, La., has had a successful career in both high-school and collegiate baseball. He was a designated hitter and second baseman for the University of New Orleans Privateers, where he was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in his freshman year and All-Louisiana First Team during his senior year.

Randolph joined the Blue Sox as a player in the summer of 2016, where he was selected for the New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game, in addition to earning second-team honors. He then went on to join the Blue Sox coaching staff as a hitting coach in 2018.

“I think everyone’s goal is to one day fill the position of head coach, so I am first thrilled to take on this role,” said Randolph. “The dynamic [from being an assistant coach to a head coach] is different. The players feel like they can be a little more comfortable with you.”

Randolph added that he looks forward to navigating the position of head coach by connecting with his players and motivating the team to be the best players they can be. “This opportunity pretty much changed my life.”