August 4, 2006


Rec Yankees rally in seventh for title


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Kane Hartnett of the Homer Rec Yankees gets caught in a rundown and is tagged out by Sautter Construction second baseman Adam Wiley, right, during Thursday’s SeniorBabe Ruth title game. The Yankees won, 8-7.

The Homer Rec Yankees scored three times in the bottom of the seventh Thursday to beat Marathon Sautter Construction 8-7 and claim their first-ever Cortland County Babe Ruth League Senior Division championship.
Each team had lost once in the division’s double-elimination playoffs, making Thursday’s contest in Homer a winner-take-all affair.
In a Junior Division contest, Tully beat the Homer A’s 7-3.
Homer Rec Yankees 8, Marathon Sautter Construction 7: With one out in the seventh, Eric Rosato, Greg Eves (who injured his foot and was replaced by Jack Kissel) and Alex Duell all singled to load the bases before Rickie Newman slashed a two-run single to tie the game, Duell thrown out at third on the play and Newman advancing to second. Chris Gizzi then singled to move Newman to third, and when Gizzi stole second Newman was able to score the game-winning run on the throw to second.
Dan Bleck’s two-run single in the top of the first gave Sautter Construction the early advantage. The Yankees came back with a run in the second as Kane Hartnett singled home Newman, but the Marathon squad added single runs in the third and fourth — both on RBI singles by Tony Ortiz — to make it 4-1.
The Yankees tied the game with a three-run fourth, on a walk to Eves and consecutive hits from Duell, Newman, Gizzi and Hartnett, but Ortiz singled home two more runs in the top of the fifth to make it 6-4. Eric Rosato’s solo home run over the centerfield fence at Homer High made it 6-5, and an RBI single by Aubrey Brown in the top of the sixth made it 7-5 and set the stage for the dramatic finish.
Newman was 4-for-4 with three RBIs for the game, while Gizzi went 3-for-4 and Rosato (homer, RBI) and Hartnett (RBI) were both 2-for-3. Ortiz had three hits and four RBIs for Sautter.
“Given the youth of our team, we — the coaches — are amazed at how well they performed against much older and experienced players,” Yankees coach Bob Rosato said. “They never gave up tonight despite Marathon’s outstanding talent; the Marathon community should be proud of their kids despite the final outcome.”
Tully 7, Homer A’s 3: Steve Schad threw a five-hitter with nine strikeouts and host Tully got all the scoring it needed in a five-run fifth to stay unbeaten in the double-elimination playoffs.
Schad and Mike Courtwright both doubled for the winners, as did Chick Freeman and Ethan Forster for the A’s. Zach Blanden allowed only six hits but took the loss.
Barry School will be the site for the remainder of the Junior Division playoffs. The Homer White Sox and Cortland Eagles meet at 5:45 p.m. today, with the winner facing the A’s at 11 a.m. Saturday. The winner of that game will in turn meet Tully for the league championship at 1:30 p.m.



USA gains some respect

AP Basketball Writer

LAS VEGAS  — Dwyane Wade had just thrown down the last in a series of dunks by the U.S. team, and he could think of only one way to celebrate it.
Jogging back downcourt during the third quarter of the U.S. team’s 114-69 rout of Puerto Rico on Thursday, Wade turned and saluted a group of American soldiers sitting in the front row.
Wade and his teammates weren’t trying to show up the Puerto Ricans. They just wanted to make sure some special fans were enjoying a very good show.
“We weren’t out there to talk, even though after we made some spectacular plays it may have looked like we were celebrating,” Wade said. “We were just saluting the soldiers that were there. We were showing our respect.”
And along the way, they earned some back by overwhelming an opponent that had embarrassed them last time they met.
Puerto Rico’s 92-73 upset at the 2004 Olympics was perhaps the lowest moment in U.S. basketball history, and it was followed by two more losses in Athens. A revamped USA Basketball changed the way it went about selecting players, with Thursday’s game being the first since the adoption of a national team program that features a three-year commitment.
So far, so good.
“We know what kind of team they have,” said Puerto Rico guard Carlos Arroyo, who plays for the Orlando Magic. “They are definitely a different team than what they showed two years ago at the Olympics.”