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Ahead of the Curve

Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

DARREN KENNEY OF Fallsburg delivers a pitch against Tuxedo on Thursday. His 11-strikeout performance helped the Comets regain the Division IV lead and improved his record to 5–0.

Fallsburg Leads Division

By Ted Waddell
FALLSBURG — May 22, 2001 – The Fallsburg Comets varsity baseball team is on a quest to win their first divisional title in more than 40 years.
Following on the heels of Wednesday’s upset loss to Sullivan West/Jeffersonville-Youngsville, the Comets (7–1 OCIAA/11-3 overall) took the wind out of the Tornadoes of Tuxedo (6–2/8-6), as the next day they defeated last year’s divisional champs 2-0.
On May 2, Fallsburg deflated the Tornadoes at their house 6-3.
Judging by the spirited shouts from the dugout and on the field, both teams came to play as they were tied for the Division IV lead on the way to the upcoming sectionals.
With Thursday’s hard fought victory, the Comets took over undisputed first place in the divisional championship race.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning. With two outs, Rafi Fine reached on a base hit and got to second on an error by the Tuxedo third baseman. A single by Austin Pantel sent Fine across the plate to make it a 1-0 ballgame.
In the bottom of the fifth frame, Corey Huber stepped up to the plate with one out and singled, then stole second. Mike Gilberg came up with a crucial RBI single with two outs to score Huber to wrap out the game at 2-0.
“This was a big ballgame for us,” said Comets coach Brett Cancredi. “They were the division champs last year… they were the team to beat this year.”
According to Cancredi, the Comets’ goal from day one this season was to take the Division IV crown.
“This win gives us a good chance,” he said. Next Wednesday, Fallsburg is scheduled to play an away game against Chester, and will face off against Tri-Valley at home the following afternoon in OCIAA competition.
Cancredi credited pitcher Darren “DK” Kenney with leading the Comets to victory over the Tornadoes.
“I put Darren on the mound with all the confidence in the world in him today,” he said. “He came through and pitched his heart out… he’s pitched in all our big ballgames.
“Everything was working for him this afternoon,” added Cancredi. “He was in the strike zone all day, his curve ball was working and his off speed stuff was hot… he was hitting his spots.”
In shutting down Tuxedo, Kenny (5–0) struck out 11, gave up six hits and walked two.
For the Tornadoes, Jesse Burnardini (5-4) struck out five, allowed five hits and walked four.
“Everybody knew this was a big game coming in,” said Kenney. “We were tied for the division [lead], and we just wanted to come out and play some solid baseball. We wanted to bounce back from our loss yesterday. We wanted to get the ‘W.’
“I think this was my best game of the season,” added Kenney “Their guy was throwing some good stuff, but we got the big hits when we needed them and we played solid defense. We played really well.”

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