July 18, 2011
Late run keeps Post 465 going
BINGHAMTON — After an error-filled first round setback sent Homer Post 465 into the loser’s bracket of the District 6 Tournament, the locals stayed alive in this double-elimination baseball affair by pulling out a 6-5 victory over Hillcrest Post 1194 on Sunday.
Zephan Kash delivered the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning to get Homer past Hillcrest at Binghamton’s Conlon Field, that dramatic finish coming after a 13-8 loss to Binghamton Post 1645 when 10 errors did in Post 465.
Homer will look to keep going on today, scheduled to face Binghamton Post 80 in a 1 p.m. contest at Conlon Field.
“While I think we are every bit as talented as any other team in the tournament, losing that first game leaves us seriously thin at pitching,” said Homer coach Mike DiMattei. “Plus, Tyler Simonetta is unavailable because he’s hurt right now, and we’re down to our emergency catcher because one of our catchers is hurt and the other can’t get off work for these weekday afternoon games.
“The guys will keep fighting, but this is going to be a tough road ahead.”
Homer (465) 6, Hillcrest (1165) 5: Tied 5-5 heading into the top of the ninth inning, Post 465 relief pitcher Matt Carr walked the first two batters before coming through to strike out the heart of the Hillcrest batting order to escape trouble.
In the bottom of the ninth, Kevin McNeil reached base when a third strike skipped past the catcher. He moved to second on a passed ball and scored when Kash came up with his key base hit.
Homer trailed 3-0 in the early going against Hillcrest pitcher Austin Lewis, who struck out 10 batters over the first five innings. Post 465 got a run back in the third when Jake Robillard doubled and scored on a Kash single. Trailing 4-1, Nick Wheeler ripped a two-run double in the gap in left-center to pull Homer within a run in the bottom of the fourth.
Down 5-3, Homer scored runs in the sixth and seventh to pull even — the tying score coming on a Hillcrest error, to set up the winning rally.
Marcus Warner pitched eight solid innings for Post 465, giving up nine hits, striking out six and walking just one batter.
“Marcus was great today and he fielded his position well,” said Coach DiMattei. “He only allowed two earned runs and didn’t let the mistakes behind him affect his performance. He kept us in this game while our offense clawed its way back.”
Binghamton (1645) 13, Homer (465) 8: Post 465 nearly battled back from a 12-1 deficit while out-hitting Binghamton Post 1645 by a 12-10 margin. McNeil cracked a home run, Kash went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, Mike Courtwright finished 2-for-4 and Alex Nelson delivered a three-run double in the seventh for Homer.
“This was an ugly outing for our defense,” said DiMattei, only four of the 13 runs scored by Binghamton being earned. “We out-hit Binghamton, we had more extra-base hits, but we just couldn’t support (starting pitcher Brandon) Watkins on the mound. He deserved a lot better than the fate he received.”
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