Grimes baseball rally falls short in Class C final

South Lewis scores 11 in first inning, hangs on to win 12-9

— 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.

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