Deja Vu All Over Again
Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell
Monticellos Josh Meddaugh slides in an
attempt to avoid getting forced at second base by
Fallsburgs Corey Buckner in Thursdays
championship game of the Sullivan West Spring
Break Tournament. Shortstop Darren Kenney (15)
watches the play.
Top Comets Once More
By Ted Waddell
CALLICOON May 2, 2000 -- If Yogi Berra had been hanging around
Sullivan County last week, its a good bet he would
have taken in the second annual Sullivan West Spring
Break Baseball Tournament.
And those fans with active imaginations and a sense of
baseball history probably would have heard his immortal
words Its deja vu all over again echo
in the bleachers during Thursday afternoons
championship game between the Monticello Panthers and the
Comets of Fallsburg.
On April 10, 1999 the two teams met on the same playing
field at the Delaware Valley Youth Center to determine
who would walk off with the championship trophy.
Fallsburg was ahead 9-7 in the sixth, but the Panthers
clawed their way back to win 15-9 after scoring eight
runs in the seventh.
In Thursdays championship game, it was down to the
wire again, as it was tied 2-2 going into the top of the
final frame. In the bottom of the fateful seventh,
Monticellos winning pitcher Rich Fello helped out
his own cause by opening the inning with a single,
stealing second and crossing the plate on a 3-2 victory
hit by Terrance Hulse to end the game.
For Monticello (36), copping the tourney trophy was
a sweet victory, as it came into the tournament winless.
To get to the finals, the Panthers defeated Tri-Valley
10-8 on Monday and won 5-2 over Liberty the following
afternoon despite a late game rally by the Indians.
The Comets (52) took the tourneys first two
games in impressive fashion. On Monday, they defeated
Delaware Valley 11-2 and on Tuesday crushed Narrowsburg
In the bottom of the first, George Brandes led off with a
single that was erased on a fielders choice by
Scott Coddington. Fallsburg starter Tim Gilmore served up
a walk to Josh Meddaugh. Coddington scored the first run
of the game from his perch on second when a pickoff
attempt by Gilmore went astray.
After a scoreless second frame, Fallsburg lashed back
with a couple of quick runs to take a 2-1 lead. With one
out, lead off batter Darren Kenney doubled and came
around on a Gilmore single. Gilmore purloined second, and
then scored on an error by Panthers first baseman Meddaugh.
The next two innings were thanks in part to a three-run
saving catch over the fence out in the fifth frame by
Monticello right fielder Hulse. Fallsburgs Mike
Roycroft was the victim of Hulses catch.
In the bottom of the sixth, Meddaugh and Hulse flied out,
followed by back-to-back singles by Doug Brown and Mark Stofko. Brown tied it up 2-2 on a throwing error.
In the Fallsburg seventh, Fello sent the first two
batters back to their seats. Rafi Fine singled and then
wound up on third on a two-base error after the ball got
by the center fielder. Monticello coach John Spear called
for an intentional walk to Gilmore. A ground out to
second by Joe Calvello ended the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Panthers pulled a cat
out of the hat. Fello singled and stole second. Brandes
stuck out, followed by a base hit by Coddington that
anchored the corners with runners. Meddaugh drew an
intentional walk to load the bases to set up a force, but
a neat little hit by Hulse sent Fello across the plate
with the tourney winning run.
Monticello racked up six hits during the championship
game, Fallsburg tallied up three.
Brian Heavey started for Monticello, but according to
Spears game strategy was relieved by Fello in the
fourth after twice facing the Comets rotation. Fello
struck out four, Gilmore whiffed five.
I thought we came out and hit the ball well
today, said Fallsburg co-coach Brett Cancredi.
We hit the ball real well, but a lot of times, it
was right at people. They (the Panthers) played great
It was a solid game, but we made some errors that
came back to haunt us, he added. Today, we
just broke down defensively when we needed it the most,
and thats when they scored their runs.
According to Cancredi, Gilmore Threw a great game,
had them off balance, and got the outs when we needed
Our strategy paid off and we had great
pitching, said Spear. Our confidence is back.
It was a very well played game by both teams,
he added. It had great pitching and great defense.
We made some plays when we needed to make them.