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April 20, 2010

 

Homer humbled by visiting Tigers

BaseballBob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central shortstop Zach Blanden (3) forces James Loomis (11) of Mexico Monday during OHSl Freedom Division play.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

A disastrous first-inning put Homer Central in an early 7-zip hole, and the Trojans never recovered.
Visiting Mexico pounded out 20 hits while using a dozen walks, four hit batters and five Trojan errors to rout the Trojans 26-8 in Monday’s OHSL Freedom Division baseball outing.
“If you told me we’d score eight runs and lose, I wouldn’t believe it,” Homer coach Robert Nasiatka said, his team now 2-4 in league play and 2-5 overall. “If you said we’d give up 26 runs, I wouldn’t believe it. We don’t seem to have a very good record in mid-day games. I’m not sure why that is.
“There are still lots of little things we need to work on,” he continued. “There is still a long way to go this season. We’ll get back to work tomorrow and prepare for our game Thursday.”
Mexico (3-2 Freedom, 4-3 overall) jumped on freshman right-hander Peyton Boice, who had control problems and never got out of the first inning.
Eddie Tagliareni got on base after the first Trojan error of the day.Tagliareni would go 5-for-6 with three doubles, three runs scored and three RBI before the game ended. Two straight walks loaded the bases, but Boice struck Dominic Veiga and appeared to settle down.
James Loomis (3-for-5) singled home the Tigers’ first run. A walk and a hit batter forced home two more runs before back-to-back singles by Tyler Dunsmoor and J.J. LaPlante (4-for-5) drove in three more runs for a 6-0 lead.
When Tagliareni came to the plate for the second time in the inning and drew a walk, Brent Quinlan came on to pitch for the Trojans. A wild pitch plated the seventh Tiger run before Quinlan fanned Loomis, walked John Beck and struck out Veiga to end the inning.
Despite a sore elbow, Quinlan pitched effectively for 3-2/3 innings. He allowed five runs, three hits and issued four walks before being relieved two batters into the fifth inning.
Homer tried to mount a comeback with three runs in the bottom of the second inning.
With one out, Alex Nelson walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. After moving to third on a ground out, Nelson scored on a single by Zephan Kash (2-for-3). Mike Hartnett was hit by a pitch and Zach Blanden walked to load the bases. Boice (3-for-4) delivered a two-run single into left field as the Trojans closed to within 7-3.
THIS WOULD BE a trend that would haunt the home team all game long. Get a few runs to get close to Mexico, only to have the Tigers respond by scoring more runs of their own.
After a walk and another hit batter, Tagliareni hit his first double to drive in both runners. He would score the 10th Tiger run by moving to third on a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch in the top of the third inning.
After Homer scored once in the bottom of the third inning, Blanden (2-for-4) led off the Trojan fourth with a double. Boice followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Boice got picked off before Andy Parker’s single scored Blanden. After moving to second on a wild pitch, Parker scored on a Kevin McNeil (2-for-3) two-out double as the Trojans now trailed 10-6. McNeil drove in the Trojan run in the third as well.
Mexico padded its lead with five runs on four hits in the fifth
Kash hit a solo home run over the left field fence in the fifth inning to pull Homer to within 15-8, but the Tigers struck for seven more runs in the sixth inning for a 22-8 cushion.
Kash relieved Quinlan after two batters in the fifth and Blanden came on to pitch for the Trojans in the sixth when Kash got in trouble. Ironically, as the Tigers closed out the seventh inning with four final runs, it was Boice who came back to the mound to record the final out in the three-hour contest.
“Q (Quinlan) did a good job,” Nasiatka said. “Z (Kash) does a good job of keeping the ball down most of the time.
“I was really hoping to not use any more pitchers, but after the first inning,” he added. “Mexico had a lot of confidence and the batters were more relaxed as they started hitting the ball. They hit a few good shots, but they got a lot of little bloop hits just out of the reach of our fielders.”
THE TROJANS MUST now regroup before that next game. Homer will face New Hartford Thursday at 1 p.m. The Spartans are in the neighborhood for a split non-league doubleheader.
Cortland High will entertain New Hartford in the first game before the Trojans and Spartans tangle. Both games will be played on SUNY Cortland’s Wallace Field. Homer will then return to Freedom Division action Friday with an 11 a.m. contest at Jamesville-DeWitt.
“We really are a young team and we make mistakes,” Nasiatka said. “We’ll get back to work tomorrow to correct some of those little things. We are going to be all right.”