May 30, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Even with the Section III Class C-2 championship in its possession, the Bishop Grimes baseball team wanted to claim the overall sectional title and venture into the state tournament – but in one long and brutal inning, that dream was snuffed out.
South Lewis prevailed, 12-9, over the Cobras in Friday’s sectional final at NBT Bank Stadium, but most of the damage was rendered by the Falcons in the bottom of the first, when it scored 11 runs and set up a big lead that Grimes could not overcome.
Part of what worked against the Cobras was the tight schedule. In order to win the C-2 title, it had to use both of its best pitchers, as Tom Steinberg threw a complete game to beat Weedsport 3-1 in the semifinals on Tuesday and, one night later, Chris Schad also went the distance as Grimes romped past Beaver River 9-0 in the C-2 title game at Rome’s DeLutis Field.
Now, playing for the third time in four days, the Cobras started fast against South Lewis pitcher Shawn Loomis, grabbing a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on run-scoring hits from Schad and Hendrick, plus a fielder’s choice.
Hendrick, given the start, hit Loomis to lead off the bottom of the first, but after he struck out Jacob VanBeber, things began to fall apart.
Without a hit, the Falcons poked home two runs, aided by walks and poor Grimes defense, and then things got worse as Nate Cobb delivered a two-run single, giving South Lewis a 4-3 lead. When Cody Capron doubled home two more runs and made it 6-3, Hendrick was out, replaced on the mound by Jack Rotondo.
That didn’t help matters, though. Another single, by Josh Wheeler, extended the Falcons’ lead to 7-3, Rotondo again loaded the bases before Jason Martin beat out an infield hit for another run. Luke Kelley added an RBI single before Nate Pleskach delivered a bloop single for the 10th and 11th runs of the innings.
Only when Myers entered as the Cobras’ third pitcher of the inning did the rally end, but not before 16 batters came to the plate, nearly twice around the order, and put Grimes in an 11-3 hole.
To his credit, Myers managed to pitch quite well in the ensuing five innings, only allowing one run in the third inning. By that point, Grimes was beginning its long, slow climb back into the game.
Trailing 12-4, the Cobras scored twice in the fourth, one of them on Myers’ double, and then, in the sixth, it struck for three more runs, Myers doubling again to score Schad before a balk and RBI groundout by Trevor Pokines made things closer.
But in the seventh, Martin, pitching in relief for South Lewis, retired Grimes in order to deliver a title for the Falcons and its head coach, Chad Brown, whose father passed away on Wednesday, right before his team beat Pulaski 3-2 in the Class C-1 final.
Grimes completed a 15-3 season that included the C-2 championship. And it will see eight seniors, including Schad, Steinberg, Hendrick, Joe Arrigo, Nate Commisso, Ryan DePaulis, David Hatch and Nate Moore, graduate, a group that produced some of the best baseball in school history.