May 27, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In just a matter of days, the fortunes of the Jamesville-DeWitt baseball team did a complete reversal — and it allowed the Red Rams to stay in the Section III Class A playoffs for a while.
Less than a week after blowing a five-run lead to CBA on May 21, the Red Rams staged its own late comeback — from a five-run deficit, no less — and beat Chittenango 7-6 in eight innings in last Tuesday’s opening-round classic.
Chittenango came in as a no. 10 seed, bent on avenging a loss to J-D the week before. And from the time Pat McGinnis slapped a two-run home run over the right-field fence in the first inning, the Bears appeared to be in total control.
Not only did Chittenango score in each of the first five innings to build a 6-1 lead, it was also getting a gem from its pitching ace, Jon Stevens, who held J-D to just one hit.
Everything changed, though, when the rain and wind picked up in the sixth inning. Four outs from defeat, burned by both the CBA and a perfect game thrown at them by Westhill’s Jack Ganley on May 22, J-D would rise again.
It started when, with two out in the bottom of the sixth, Anthony Dunn singled home Tom Driscoll, who led off the inning with a double. Then an error put runners on first and second, and Josh Paduano’s single scored Dunn, making it 6-3.
Mick Cariseo came up and, with runners on second and third, hit a slow grounder that bounced up the middle past the Chittenango infielders. Both runners came home, making it 6-5. After Jack Susman got hit by Stevens, Mike Gianni doubled home Cariseo with the tying run, though Susman got tagged out trying to score.
Now at 6-6, John Sheedy, pitching in relief of Justin Marzella, stranded two Bears runners in both the seventh and eighth innings, and J-D had a chance to win.
In the bottom of the eighth, Kevin Streeter replaced Stevens, but was wild, walking both Paduano and Cariseo. McGinnis relieved Streeter, but his throw to third on Susman’s bunt was off target. This loaded the bases, and on a 3-2 pitch, Gianni walked, too, bringing home the winning run.
Now the Red Rams had to follow this up in the Class A quarterfinals against no. 2 seed Mexico, who had a first-round bye — but whom J-D beat twice in the regular season.
Perhaps remembering this, the Tigers made sure it didn’t happen a third time, beating the Rams 9-3 to end J-D’s playoff run.
Unlike the Chittenango game, J-D struck early, with two runs off Mexico pitcher Jon Silva in the first inning. In response, the Tigers scored four times in the bottom of the first, and when the Rams tried to push back, got three runs in the fifth inning to pull clear.
Dunn took the loss, with Eric Schwartz and Andrew Hughes working in relief. Sacks, Hughes and Schunck each had one RBI. Silva not only won, he hit the game’s lone home run and added a pair of RBIs. J-D finished with a record of 13-8.