ESM baseball rallies past CBA (2)

One moment, the East Syracuse-Minoa baseball team was in a rage, convinced that the tying run in last Friday's game against Christian Brothers Academy was taken away from them.

The next moment, it didn't matter. A clutch double, and an untimely CBA error, allowed the Spartans to beat the Brothers, 9-8.

These were merely the last twists in a game full of them, as both teams built leads and squandered them before ESM had the last word.

CBA jumped on Spartan pitcher Andrew Hines for three runs in the first inning, but Hines settled down, allowing ESM to get to the Brothers' ace, Matt Hardy.

A pair of two-out, two-run triples in the second inning -- one by Tom Sullivan, the other by Joe Gigliotti -- helped the Spartans get in front, as Hardy lasted just three innings before Matt Croglio replaced him.

Hines surrendered two runs in the top of the fourth, but still went six innings and left with a 7-5 lead, entrusting reliever Jason Kondra to protect it in the top of the seventh.

But Kondra walked Nick Trasolini and Jesse Sikorski to lead off the inning, and Matt Hardy singled to load the bases. With one out, Steve Laberge singled to tie the game, and Mike Kitts' sacrifice fly scored Hardy, putting CBA in front 8-7.

Now Croglio tried to protect the lead in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Sullivan crushed a ball to the base of the wall in right-center field, and raced around the bases to score what he thought was the tying run.

However, umpires ruled that the ball went under the fence, resulting in a ground-rule double, despite bitter ESM protests.

Somehow, the Spartans would recover. With two outs, and two strikes on him, Brian Para smacked a double to left field that brought home Sullivan. Moments later, a throwing error on Paul Lepkowski's grounder to third base allowed Para to score the winning run.

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