April 16, 2008


Two tourney triumphs for Trojans


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central third baseman Ricky Newman and Tully baserunner Paul Delles wait the umpire’s call at third. Delles was called safe during Tuesday’s Baden Tournament game, host Homer going on to post a 12-7 victory.

Homer Central ran its baseball winning streak to four straight games Tuesday as the Trojans honored former coach and teacher John Baden in pre-game ceremonies at the Second Annual John Baden Players Tournament.
Baden received a Lifetime Achievement plaque from Homer athletic director Mike Carboine for his 30-plus years of service to Trojan baseball and he tossed out the first pitch before the start of the Homer-Onondaga game.
With Mike Riehlman tossing a complete game, Homer defeated Onondaga 13-5 in the first of three games played.
Tully defeated Onondaga by the same 13-5 count before the Trojans won the title with a 12-7 come-from-behind victory over the previously undefeated Black Knights. Homer (4-2 overall) scored nine runs in the top of the seventh inning to overcome a 6-3 deficit.
“I know what we will be working on in practice Wednesday,” said coach Rob Nasiatka. “Fielding is still an issue for us. We had four errors in each game and that is still unacceptable.
“With six games this week, I needed some long starts and got them,” Nasiatka added about the complete game thrown by Riehlman and Dan Miller pitching into the sixth inning against Tully.
Homer 13, Onondaga 5: Riehlman struggled in the first two innings, giving up four of the five Onondaga runs. After that, the senior allowed just one run in the top of the fifth. Riehlman surrendered seven hits and two earned runs while striking out 12 Onondaga batters.
“Mike was hitting his spots and really showed senior leadership on the mound,” said Nasiatka. “Onondaga is a very young team who will be good a couple of years down the road.”
The Trojans scored twice in the bottom of the first inning before taking a 6-4 lead after plating four runs in the third. The lead grew when Homer scored three runs in the fourth and two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.
Anthony Brevetti was a big part of the Trojan win as he went 4-for-4 with one double, one home run, five RBIs and three runs scored. Alex Duell added a solid 3-for-4 effort with a double, triple and two RBI. Riehlman helped his own cause with three RBI and Eric Rosato drove in two runs.
Chris Cota took the loss for Onondaga while trying to help his own cause. At the plate, Cota was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.
Homer 12, Tully 7:  Andy Pagan was the challenge in game two and the Black Knight hurler kept Homer off balance through six innings. He allowed five hits, walked two and struck out one.
Miller tried to keep the Trojans close but fielding woes and five timely hits led to six Tully runs, three of those runs being earned. Miller struck out 10 Black Knights in 5 1/3 innings of work. Ryne Austin came on in relief and got the final two outs of the inning before the Homer bats came alive.
Mike Courtwright went 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs to power the Black Knight offense.
Tully went with Brian Malone to pitch in the top of the seventh inning as Homer went to work with the bats. The Trojans rattled Malone early and pounded out 10 hits to go with two hit batters as Eric Rosato (3-for-4, three RBI), Blake Randolph (2-for-3), Zach Randolph (2-for-2) and Brevetti (2-for-4, 3 RBI) each drove in two runs during the inning.
In all, Homer scored nine times for a 12-6 lead.
Ricky Newman also had a 2-for-2 day with two RBI for the Trojans. Newman batted between the Randolph brothers as the bottom three in the Trojan line-up went a combined 6-for-9 in the championship game with each scoring two runs and driving in two runs. Lead-off batter Brandon Simonetta also went 3-for-5 with two runs scored for Homer and teamed with number-two man Rosato with a 6-for-9 effort with four runs scored and three RBIs.
Austin pitched a good seventh inning, allowing just one run. He gave up a total of two hits and struck three in relief to earn the victory.
“Ryne has been up and ready all week, but we had gotten two consecutive complete games,” said Nasiatka. “He shut down Tully in the sixth and seventh innings to record his first win of the year. That shows a real team player that can be ready like that and keep a winning attitude when needed. Ryne shutting them down, and keeping us close, was a very important part of the comeback.
“The heart of these boys is amazing,” Nasaitka added. “They never let up and pulled out the win in the championship game.  Tully is a very well coached, discipline team.”
Homer will face another big test Thursday as the Trojans host Bishop Ludden at 11 a.m.
The Trojans will then compete in the Partigianoni Tournament Saturday. Homer will meet Syracuse CBA in a noon contest at Barry Elementary School in Cortland before facing either Cortland or Dryden High at 3 p.m.