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May 5, 2009

 

Miller whiffs 12 in Trojans romp

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

While pitcher Danny Miller was nearly unhittable, the “Zach-Attack” provided the offense in this latest Homer Central baseball success story.
Left-hander Miller allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out 12 Jordan-Elbridge batters during a 12-0 Trojans’ OHSL Liberty Division baseball victory over the visiting Eagles Monday.
Zach Blanden continued his torrid hitting by going 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and three RBIs while teammate Zach Randolph was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI as Homer improves to 10-2 overall and 4-2 in the Liberty Division.
Jordan-Elbridge is now 3-7 overall, 0-6 in division play.
“I came out early throwing strikes and attacking the zone,” said Miller as the senior hurler improved to 4-1. “I wanted to get ahead in the count because you don’t have to keep battling back. I was able to do that most of the time. I had good control tonight and was able to move the ball around, which kept them off balance.
“Earlier in the season, I was pitching good, but not getting a lot of luck in terms of my own record,” Miller continued after earning the decision in his fifth straight appearance, three as starter and two in relief. “We were getting wins as a team, which is more important than personal records. As a team, we want to get that first round bye. That is what we are aiming for.”
Miller has 45 strikeouts in 33 and 2/3 innings with opponents hitting just .206.
“Dan had a nice, efficient game,” said Homer coach Robert Nasiatka. “I was impressed with his performance and I was impressed with our bats. Guys made contact tonight and everyone was involved in the game.
“With some guys needing to leave for a National Honor Society program, we got some guys into the game that haven’t played in a while,” Nasiatka added. “Those guys all helped out in a must-win game. We needed to win with Skaneateles, Marcellus and Westhill coming up in our next three games.”
Cody Holbrook led off the game for Jordan-Elbridge with a single, but the Eagles did not get another hit until Nick Berwind singled with two outs in the top of the fifth. Holbrook left the game due to illness before the third inning. Christian Berwind got the final Eagles’ hit in the seventh.
The Trojans gave Miller all the runs he would need in the bottom of the first inning. Brandon Simonetta led off with a single and stole second. Jack Kissel walked before Blanden stepped to the plate. The sophomore, hitting .561, ripped his fifth double of the season down the left field line to score Simonetta as Kissel moved the third. Alex Duell stroked a single up the middle to plate Kissel and move Blanden to third. After Duell was thrown out trying to steal second, Eric Rosato (3-for-3) singled through the right side to score Blanden for a 3-0 Trojan lead.
Homer added two more runs in the second on a Blanden single to centerfield that scored K.J. Reese and Simonetta. The Trojans increased the lead to 7-0 in the third with two additional runs sparked by Rosato’s lead off triple. Randolph singled him home. Randolph later scored on a fielder’s choice. Brendan L’Hommedieu (2-for-3) put Homer on top 11-0 with a bases-loaded triple to the fence in left-centerfield. Among those scoring on the play was Chick Freeman, who walked to load the bases.
At this point, Nasiatka made wholesale changes as starters Simonetta, Rosato, Kissel and L’Hommedieu, plus Freeman left for their National Honor Society commitments, but Zach Burhans, Alex Nelson, Matt Compton and Zandrew Zimmerman stepped in and played flawlessly in the final three innings.
After the game, Blanden talked about his solid hitting. “It’s fun to come out and win games,” said Blanden, who has five doubles, a triple and a home run among his 23 hits this season. “I like to win, the coach likes to win and the team likes to win. I just try to do my part every chance I get.
“I am a more comfortable now,” Blanden added after his 12th game of the season. “I was nervous at the beginning of the season. It just feels like things have gotten easier as the season has gone along. I feel like I am fitting in and I am having fun.”
Homer will travel to Skaneateles for a 4:30 p.m. Liberty Division contest Wednesday before heading to Marcellus Friday.
HOMER JVs were nipped 5-4 at Cazenovia, the Lakers doing all of their scoring over the final three innings. Three of those runs arrived with two outs for the winners.
Homer finished with nine hits, as Kevin McNeil went 2-for-2 with a double, Zephan Kash 2-for-3 with a double and Ethan Forster 2-for-4 with a triple. Cazenovia had 11 hits, Forster pitching the opening 5-1/3 innings for the Trojans when he gave up three earned runs while striking out seven.
Homer hosts Cazenovia this afternoon in a rematch at the High School field.

Cazenovia JVs 5, Homer JVs 4
———
By innings: R H
Homer JVs 100 300 0 — 4 9
Cazenovia JVs 000 013 1 — 5 11
Winning pitcher- Whiteman. Losing pitcher- Quinlan
2bh- Kash (H), McNeil (H). 3bh- Forster (H),Connor (C)