July 24th, 2006
Post 489 opens strong at Districts
VESTAL — Starting pitcher Stephen Wright had perfect timing for Cortland American Legion coach Jeff Flegler and the Post 489 team Sunday as rain pushed the start of the District 6 Tournament back one day.
There would be no Saturday conflict with the Cortland Teener team, which Wright, Codi Clayton and Jason Hogan all played for in the Southern Tier Teener League championship game with the same 11 a.m. start time at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton.
That title game was also rained out Saturday and rescheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, which meant all three players had to hustle from the one site at the end of that game to Vestal High School for the 5 p.m. Legion start.
With one out and Cortland batting in the top of the first inning, those three players arrived at Vestal.
Wright went on to toss a seven-hitter and strike out 10 Oneonta batters as Post 489 notched a 6-4 win. Clayton went 2-for-4 as the designated hitter, while Sean Finucane belted two clutch solo home runs to power the Cortland offense.
“We played a good game in avenging a 15-0 loss to the same Oneonta team in the World Youth Classic,” Flegler said. “Stephen Wright pitched a very good game and we got the big hits when we needed them. Both of Sean’s home runs were crucial for us. Codi and Tim Fulton also delivered to our 10-hit attack.”
Wright and Oneonta hurler Kyle Donnelly tossed shutout ball for the first three innings before Finucane (2-for-4) belted a solo homer with one of in the top of the fourth inning to put Post 489 (10-11) on top 1-0.
Oneonta (20-11) answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead. Donnelly led off with a single, Cody Losie walked and Jon Wolfanger was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Lane Ratchford hit a ball that took a bad bounce before careening off the face of Post 489 third baseman Andrew Foster. Two runs scored on the play before a single by Jarott Brown plated Wolfanger for a 3-1 Post 259 advantage. Wright settled down with a strikeout and before a fly ball to right field ended the inning.
After a scoreless fifth inning Cortland tallied four times in the sixth to grab a 5-3 lead. Foster and Fulton singled to start things off. With one out, Josh Wood reach on an error to load the bases. Aaron Galutz, Jordan Caldwell and John Sinsabaugh each delivered RBI singles with two outs to give Post 489 the lead.
Oneonta rallied with two outs in the seventh. P.J. McMullen singled and Potter doubled to put runners at second and third. McMullen scored on a wild pitch and Potter scooted to third before Wright got Donnelly to fly out and end the threat.
Finucane gave Cortland a two-run cushion by leading off the eighth inning with his second solo blast of the game for a 6-4 advantage. Donnelly retired the next three batters.
Wright send Oneonta down 1-2-3 in the eighth, Post 259 got the lead-off batter on base in the ninth when Brown was hit by a pitch. A ground out, strike out and ground out ended the game.
|Cortland 6, Oneonta 4|
|Cortland||000 104 010||—||6||10||0|
|Oneonta||000 300 100||—||4||7||1|
Cortland- Stephen Wright (W) and Sean Finucane. Oneonta- Kyle Donnelly (L) and Matt Marcewicz, Cody Losie (9).
2bh- Lane Potter (O) 2. HR- Finucane (C) 2.
Donnelly struck out 14 Cortland batters, but Post 489 was still able to hand the Oneonta ace (5-1) his first loss of the season.
Flegler praised all his players, but made special note of how well Fulton (2-for-4) played at shortstop.
“Tim has missed much of the season because of mono,” Flegler stated. “We moved Tim to shortstop when he came back and brought John Sinsabaugh over to second base. The move has worked out well. Fulton made several sparkling plays, including a diving grab of a hard shot by Losie for the final out in the fifth inning.”
Cortland Post 489 will meet Endicott Post 82 as 2 p.m. in the first of two games played today at Maine-Endwell High School. Today’s game is another chance to avenge a Youth Classic loss, Endicott an 11-10 extra-inning winner then.
“They are a beatable team. If we play like I know we are capable of, we will win,” said Flegler.
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe
Teary Tiger hoists the jug
The Associated Press
Tiger Woods celebrates after winning the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Hoylake, England Sunday. He finished two shots ahead of Chris DiMarco.
HOYLAKE, England — Tiger Woods was going through the victory routine for yet another major championship when Chris DiMarco interrupted with a desperate plea.
“Hey Tiger,” DiMarco said, “would you give me a little chance for once?”
In all fairness, Woods tried to even things up at the British Open. He broke out his driver just one time, way back on the 16th hole of the opening round. That ball ended up in an adjacent fairway, which prompted him to mothball his big stick for the rest of the weekend at Royal Liverpool.
That’s right, Woods won his 11th major title Sunday while playing the final 56 holes without one of the most basic clubs.
Maybe next time he’ll go barefooted. Or leave his putter at home. Or carry the bag himself.
This guy is that good.
“He came up with a strategy that was unique to him,” said his coach, Hank Haney.
It’s hard to imagine anyone else winning a major without using a driver, but it took Woods only a couple of holes of practice to decide that he wouldn’t need it at this course. He’d stick with his 2-iron and 3-wood, which allowed him to keep the ball out of the treacherous bunkers and take advantage of the baked, brown fairways to get enough distance.
Once he was within sight of the greens, Woods homed in on the flag with precise iron shots that left his rivals shaking their heads. Haney figured that his star pupil had only three bad shots all week, a remarkable accomplishment that allowed him to win comfortably with an 18-under 270.
When it was over, Woods didn’t follow his normal script. For once, he opened up and let everyone know what he was truly feeling. He broke down as he hugged his caddie, Steve Williams, in the center of the green. Then he sought out his wife, Elin, embracing her for a good minute while sobbing uncontrollably. His chest was heaving as she rubbed the back of his head and whispered something in his ear.
Back in April, Woods desperately wanted to win the Masters for his dying father, knowing it would probably be the last chance in a major, but settled for third behind Phil Mickelson. Earl Woods passed away in May after a long battle with cancer, and his son was deeply affected by losing the man who steered him to golf, guided his career in the early days and provided myriad lessons that are still in use to this day.
“I’m kind of one who bottles things up a little bit and moves on, tries to deal with things in my own way,” Woods said. “But at that moment it all came pouring out and all the things my father has meant to me and the game of golf. I just wish he could have seen it one more time.”
Woods wasn’t the only one dealing with a loss. DiMarco finished two strokes back and struggled to hold back the tears as he remembered his mother, Norma, who died suddenly from a heart attack while vacationing on the Fourth of July.
“I know my mom would be very proud of me right now,” DiMarco said.
DiMarco was the only player on a star-studded leaderboard who made a serious run at Woods. Sergio Garcia got to play with Woods in the final group but was out of it by the time he made the turn, having bogeyed four of the first nine holes. Ernie Els and Jim Furyk faded away, as well.
Mickelson finished before the leaders even began the final round. Coming off his collapse in the U.S. Open, he was never a factor during the weekend and closed with a 70 to finish 13 shots behind in a tiefor 22nd.
Even though three players started Sunday one shot back and 11 others were within five strokes, no one had enough game to derail the greatest finisher in golf. Woods won his 11th career major just like the first 10, going to the final round in the lead and dispatching anyone who dared challenge him.
This time, the defining shots came at the 14th hole.
DiMarco had just birdied the 13th to pull within a stroke of Woods and stayed in the game by sinking a 50-foot, par-saving putt at the next hole, sending up a roar from the gallery that could be heard all across this seaside links in the northwest of England.
Woods wasn’t listening. He sent another low, penetrating iron into 8 feet at the 14th and made the birdie putt. He birdied the next two holes, as well. Game over.
“He’s a hard guy to catch,” DiMarco said. “He’s got an uncanny ability, when somebody gets close to him, to just turn it up to another level.”
There was some consolation for the runner-up. After battling a bad back and inconsistent play most of the year, DiMarco jumped from 21st to sixth in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings and virtually assured that he will among those coming back across the Atlantic in a couple of months to take on the defending champion Europeans.
By the time Woods strolled up to the 18th green, the victory was his. He showed a brief hint of frustration after missing an 8-foot birdie putt that would have tied his scoring record (19 under) from St. Andrews in 2000, but it didn’t last long.
Woods pumped his fists, broke into a big, toothy smile and screamed “Yes!” after posting a 5-under 67 and becoming the first player since Tom Watson in 1982-83 to win golf’s oldest championship in consecutive years.
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe