Apr 24, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
As the spring school break wound down, three local baseball teams — from Canastota, Oneida and Chittenango — joined Class D power New York Mills for the Raiders’ annual Borgognoni Tournament on Thursday and Friday.
And just like in 2009, the Bears would finish on top, sliding past Mills and then Oneida to improve its record to 6-4.
The opening round pitted host Canastota against Oneida, and the Indians came out on top as stellar pitching from Nate Mallinder and Jordan Koons produced a 7-2 victory.
Mallinder helped build his own 3-0 lead, doubling in the second inning to bring home a pair of runs. He finished with three hits and three RBIs.
But when Canastota countered with a pair of tallies in the bottom of the fourth, Mallinder exited and Coons, a freshman, took over. Showing no signs of his youth, Coons blanked the Raiders over the last three innings, earning the save as Oneida scored twice in both the fifth and seventh innings to pull clear.
Canastota hurt itself with five errors and 11 walks allowed by pitchers Alex Foster and Jeff Merrell, but saved itself from further damage by escaping bases-loaded situations three different times, once on Anthony Sgarlata’s back-to-the-plate catch.
In the other half of the opening round, Chittenango was unimpressed by New York Mills’ high reputation and knocked off the Marauders 3-1.
All Mills could manage was two hits off Bears pitchers Mike Moon and Greg Jasek. For its part, Chittenango had just three hits, but it led to a pair of second-inning runs, plus an insurance tally in the fifth as Moon and Wes Burghardt got credit for RBIs.
So in the championship game, Chittenango faced Oneida, and the Bears rode the efforts of Burghardt and Steve Mesmer to defend its title in an exciting 7-5 decision over the Indians.
With a pair of first-inning runs, Chittenango moved ahead 2-0, and stayed in front because Mesmer twice made superb catches to thwart possible Oneida raliles.
But the Indians did score once in the second and twice in the top of the fourth to seize a 3-2 lead, only to see the Bears answer with three runs in the bottom of that frame.
Now down 5-3, Oneida pulled even in the top of the fifth, but once more Chittenango had a quick reponse when it came to bat in the fifth, and the two runs it got proved to be the difference.
Burghardt pitched the whole way, and watched as Mallinder and Andrew Hornyak both hit deep drives in the late innings that the Bears chased down for outs to preserve its margin.
Jasek had a key two-run double for Chittenango and Erik Kurz earned an RBI triple, as Burghardt earned two hits and two RBIs and Devin Christopher scored a pair of runs.
Mallinder, Hornyak, Mitch DuBois and Jordan Koons each had an RBI for the Indians as Evan Watson joined Hornyak and DuBois with two hits apiece. Pitching in relief of Jeremy Rodriguez, DuBois took the loss.
Earlier, in the consolation game, Canastota rolled past New York Mills 15-6, as the Raiders twice erased early deficits and grabbed a 5-3 lead through two innings, the key blow being Sam Stagnitti’s three-run double.
But in the third, the Raiders broke it open, batting around and earning six runs as pitcher Cameron Haddad withstood early trouble to earn the win. Foster and Rich Mitchell each scored four runs and joined Stagnitti, Jake LaBarre and Ron Vaccaro in bashing doubles.