July 25th, 2006


Post 489 comes out swinging

VESTAL — Coach Jeff Flegler challenged his Cortland American Legion baseball team Tuesday and Post 489 responded with a 20-8 pounding of Oxford-Norwich in the elimination round of the District 6 Tournament at Vestal High School.
Cortland (11-12 overall) will face Lansing at 1 p.m. this afternoon at Johnson City with the winner advancing to a 5 p.m. showdown with either Vestal or Windsor.
“We have been able to comeback in games, sometimes scoring five runs or more in the final inning,” Flegler explained. “I challenged the guys to come out strong in the first inning of this game and get the big lead early. I wanted us to score five runs in the first inning and the guys scored eight runs.”
Flegler also juggled is line-up a little, moving Dustan DiIorio into the lead-off spot and dropping Andrew Foster to the fifth spot. It was a move that really paid off as DiIorio led off the game with a triple and scored on a Tim Fulton single for a quick 1-0 lead. DiIorio, who would go 3-for-5 in the game, followed with a three-run homer later in the inning to put Post 489 on top 8-0. In all, DiIorio scored four runs in addition in driving in four runs. Foster went 2-for-3 with a double, walk and a sacrifice bunt. Josh Wood and Aaron Galutz added RBI doubles in the first inning.
“It was not a move because Andrew was doing poorly in the lead-off spot,” Flegler explained. “I just wanted to switch things around.”
Jordan Caldwell started the game and pitched three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, two walks and struck out four Oxford-Norwich batters before Flegler took him out of the game with a 12-0 lead.
“I told Jordan that I wanted to save him because I possibly would need him as early as today (Wednesday) to pitch some more,” Flegler said. “Jordan understood and was happy to help us in any way possible. Anthony Pitts struggled a little, but Tim (Fulton) and Josh (Wood) did a solid job in relief roles.
“We have the pitching needed for two games today and we could use Stephen Wright Thursday.”
Cortland got those four added runs in the third when Codi Clayton scored on a fielding error and Sean Finucane belted a three-run homer.
Oxford-Norwich scored six runs in the fourth inning off. Pitts allowed five runs on two singles, two walks, one double and a couple of errors. Fulton came on to get out of the _inning by striking out the first batter he faced before the visitors used another walk, a sac fly and an RBI single to plate the final run of the inning. Fulton picked up another ‘K’ to end the inning.
Post 489 answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. The big blow was a solo homer by John Sinsabaugh with one out. Clayton reached base by an error and later scored on a passed ball while Fulton also reached by error and scored on a Finucane double for a 15-6 cushion.
Oxford-Norwich added one run in the top of the fifth and another run in the sixth, but Post 489 countered with five runs in the bottom of the sixth for the 12-run lead.
“I told the guys we needed to get six innings in the books with the big lead for the mercy rule to take effect because it was getting dark,” Flegler said. “They tried to make outs, but kept hitting the ball well. I just did not want us to come back to complete the game in the morning if we did not get the mercy rule. Again, the guys stepped up and we accomplished our goal.”
While DiIorio and Finucane drove in nine runs, it was the bottom third of the order that really contributed in a big was as well. Jason Hogan and Pitts were a combined 2-for-5 in the seventh spot, Sinsabaugh (2-for-4) hit eighth while Clayton (2-for-3) batted for four innings in the ninth spot.
“Jason, John and Codi really set the table for us,” Flegler said. “They really came through for us by driving in some runs, but, more importantly, scoring six runs for us.”
If Cortland can pick up two wins today and post one more win tomorrow, Post 489 would reach the District 6 Tournament championship game.
In other elimination games Tuesday, West Endicott Blue (1700) won an 11-1 five-inning, mercy-rule contest over Owego and Oneida won 13-3 over Horseheads by the mercy rule in seven innings. Ironically, Oneida stayed alive with this win, but forfeit today’s contest against West Endicott and was thus eliminated. Oneida would not have had enough players to field a team for a second game today had they beaten West Endicott.


Twins keep gaining ground on second place White Sox


The Associated Press
Chicago White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe looks at the ball after tagging out Minnesota Twins’ JasonTyner during the fourth inning Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Visiting Twins won 4-3.

By The Associated Press
The Chicago White Sox suddenly have some company in their pursuit of the Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers and the defending World Series champions were alone at the top of the AL Central all season. The Minnesota Twins have put themselves in the race.
Johan Santana allowed three runs over seven innings and Jason Bartlett hit a three-run homer to lead the Twins to a 4-3 victory over Chicago on Tuesday night. Minnesota has won 33 of its last 41 games, while the White Sox have lost 11 of 14.
The Tigers are 71/2 games in front of Chicago, but the Twins are just another game back. And the White Sox lead the New York Yankees by a half-game in the wild-card race, with Minnesota right behind.
“That’s the way it’s going to be,” Santana said. “We’re going after each other pretty good. Unfortunately_for both teams, we’re in the wrong division. At the same time, that’s what made this game so_interesting.”
Santana (12-5) allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked none in besting Jose Contreras (9-3), who gave up four runs and seven hits in seven innings, taking his third straight loss after winning a franchise-record 17 straight regular-season decisions.
Bartlett’s homer, his first, gave the Twins a 4-1 lead in the seventh.