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May 6, 2008

 

Good start to Homer’s week

Homer

Bob Ellis/staff photographers
Homer Central pitcher Dan Miller went the distance in a 15-3 victory over East Syracuse-Minoa in Monday’s OHSLFreedom Division contest. Miller threw a five-hitter.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

Homer Central likes to keep busy and what better way to start a string of four tough OHSL Freedom Division baseball games in four days than with a victory.
The Trojans took advantage of some crucial fielding errors by pounding out 16 hits, including a pair of three-run homers, to rout visiting East Syracuse-Minoa Monday by a 15-3 count.
Throw in a solid complete game, five-hitter by junior left-hander Dan Miller and Trojans improve to 4-3 in division action and 9-6 in overall play while the Spartans slip to 4-4, 5-9 overall.
“We needed this,” said coach Rob Nasiatka. “We knew that we faced two of the toughest pitchers last week and had an off game against ES-M (losing 4-1). I knew the bats would come around. I knew we had to stick to our guns and it was not the time to jump off the ship yet. The guys were relaxed today and that made a difference as well.
“Dan pitched a good game,” Nasiatka continued. “To go seven innings to start a four-game week, we are back to that same rotation where we played six games in a week. We need quality starts and Dan gave us one today.”
Miller struck out eight ES-M batters to improve to 3-2 and only faced one real big threat in the sixth inning. The Trojans led 15-1 when the Spartans used a single, two wild pitches and two walks to load the bases. James Russo hit a grounder to Ryne Austin, who stepped on third base and missed a double play when his throw pulled K.J. Reese off first base.
Miller avoided any additional damage with a strikeout and a pop-up to Austin at third.
“I kept the ball down most of the game,” said Miller. “That allowed me to keep them off balance. My defense did a nice job behind me and we got the key outs when we needed them.”
ES-M did score an unearned run to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, but Homer answered with six runs in the bottom of the inning off starting pitcher Brandon Lansing. The Trojans did not face nemesis Matt Hines, who had posted three straight wins over the Trojans. Hines had pitched Saturday during a 6-5 win over Jamesville-Dewitt.
Lansing became a surprise starter after Bobby Worden re-injured his finger popping up an inside pitch in the first inning. Worden threw his first two warm-up pitches into the backstop and could not grip the ball properly.
With one out in the third, Eric Rosato reached on an error and Anthony Brevetti (3-for-5) doubled to put runners at second and third. Alex Duell was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A throwing error allowed Rosato and Brevetti to score while Duell went to third and Riehlman stood a second base as the Trojans took a 2-1 lead. Zach Randolph (2-for-3) singled home Duell. With runners at the corners, Randolph stole second. On the throw, Riehlman broke for home and scored for a 4-1 lead. Austin (2-for-4) singled home Randolph.
After stealing second and third, Austin scored on a Ricky Newman single to make the score 6-1.
After retiring the Spartans 1-2-3 in the fourth, the Trojans tacked on three more runs. The big blow was a two-run single by Riehlman with the bases loaded.
Newman made to great diving stops and second base in the fifth inning. Both times he knocked the ball down and threw the runner out at first.
Riding that momentum, Homer sealed the game with a pair of three-run homers in the fifth. The first was a shot by Brevetti that bounced off a house 360 feet behind the left-centerfield fence. The second three-run blast came off the bat of Zach Randolph that hit the first parked school bus just beyond the 324-foot sign in centerfield. That home run capped a five-RBI day for Randolph.
Trailing 15-2 after the sixth inning, ES-M pushed one run across in the third to end the scoring.
Homer will return to action this afternoon with a 4:30 p.m. Freedom Division contest against visiting Chittenango. The Trojans complete a busy four-game week with a league contest at Jamesville-DeWitt (4:15) Wednesday and a non-league game at Fulton (4:30) Thursday.
HOMER JVs rallied past East Syracuse-Minoa for a 7-4 victory, a five-run outburst in the fourth inning the difference. Zephan Kash’s two-run homer that cleared the fence in right-center was the big blow in the fourth for the Trojans.
“That home run came at the right time for us,” said Homer coach Michael DiMattei. “Up to that point Zephan Kash had been struggling at the plate and he absolutely crushed that ball, it not only broke him out of his slump but it woke up our team and we went on to score three more big runs that inning”.
Those runs came on three consecutive hits from Zandrew Zimmerman (2-for-3), Zach Blanden (3-for-3) and Andy Parker. Homer tacked on one more run in sixth inning when Zimmerman led off with a single, stole second and then scored on Blanden’s single.
Tyler Simonetta picked up the win on the mound going 6-1/3 innings with seven strikeouts, allowing six hits. Kash came on to earn the save by striking out the final two Spartan batters.