Apr 30, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Just two more outs in last Wednesday afternoon’s classic, and the Skaneateles baseball team would put the first blemish on Bishop Ludden’s previously undefeated mark, ending the Gaelic Knights’ 11-game win streak.
Having trailed most of the game, the Lakers had rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 6-4 lead, the key blow being Zach Augustine’s bases-clearing double. Now all Skaneateles pitching ace Nick Pesarchick had to do was keep Ludden off the board for a bit longer.
But a single, walk and home run later, the chance for the Lakers to celebrate had vanished — and instead it was the Gaelic Knights happy, having beaten Skaneateles 7-6 in the most stunning way possible.
For six innings, Skaneateles had hung in there, unfazed by Ludden’s attempts to damage them through power and aggressive base-running.
Up 1-0 after Augustine’s RBI double in the first inning, the Lakers saw the lead vanish in the second inning when Matt Pirro smacked a solo home run and Matt Weeks scored when Pesarchick’s pick-off throw went into centerfield.
Temporarily, the Lakers regrouped when Jake Carvalho, at the center-field fence, made a spectacular catch to rob Ludden’s James Murray of a home run in the bottom of the third.
Still, Ludden kept attacking, as Dan Fadden’s straight steal of home in the fourth inning and Murray’s RBI single an inning later made it 4-1.
Suddenly, the Lakers began to hit the ball hard off Pirro (who was on three days’ rest) in the top of the sixth. Only Pesarchick converted, with a solo home run, but it scared Ludden enough that, ahead 4-2, it turned to John Rooney in the seventh inning to try and save it.
But Rooney was way off target. Seeing this, Jared Amory and Carvalho refrained from swings and walked on four pitches, putting the tying runs on base.
Weeks replaced Rooney, but Skaneateles was already on its way. Owen Stokes-Cawley beat out an infield hit to load the bases, and Augustine’s drive to the right-field gap cleared them. Pesarchick tacked on an RBI single for an insurance run to make it 6-4.
So it remained when, in the bottom of the seventh, Pesarchick tried to end it on the mound. He coaxed Ryan O’Kane to ground out, but he needed to get the next two hitters to avoid facing the heart of the Ludden lineup.
Instead, no. 9 hitter Aaron Maher singled, and Murray walked. Now Rooney, hitting .455 but 0-for-2 on the day with a walk, stepped up, fuming over the walks he had issued and looking for a chance to redeem himself.
Augustine threw one pitch — and Rooney crushed it, well over the left-field fence. Just like that, a possible Skaneateles upset had turned into a painful defeat.