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So Close

Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

FALLSBURG'S MIKE GILBERG slides safely into third base as Tri-Valley’s Nate McCarthy stretches to snare throw in Thursday’s 8-1 win by the visiting Bears in Fallsburg.

Fallsburg One Win
Away From Title

By Ted Waddell
FALLSBURG — May 29, 2001 – In a game that remained scoreless until the third inning, the homestanding Fallsburg Comets’ dreams of capturing their first divisional title in more than 40 years took a step backward as they were defeated 8-1 by the Bears of Tri-Valley on Thursday afternoon.
Fallsburg needed to win to clinch the OCIAA Division IV title.
The opposing pitchers hurled great games from the mound, and both teams left runners in scoring position. In the final analysis, it came down to hits that equaled runs. Tri-Valley’s swats scored runners, while the home team’s crack of the bat went virtually for naught.
Josh Lowitz struck out six for the Bears and gave up eight hits. For the Comets, Darren “DK” Kenney fanned five, gave up 14 hits and walked two.
“It’s a long awaited win,” said Lowitz, the 18-year old senior from Tri-Valley. “We should have been winning like this all year, but things came together today. My arm felt good today, and the defense was behind us.”
According to Lowitz, the Bears’ defense played well and the batters started to hit the ball through the gaps.
“Earlier in the season, we were hitting the ball well, but unfortunately to people,” he said.
Lowitz has played ball at TV since the seventh grade, so he knows his way around the field.
“I moved all the way up from modified,” he said.
The first two frames were scoreless. In the first, “Dr. K.” retired the Bears with the bases loaded. He pitched his way out of trouble in the second inning, leaving runners stranded at first and second.
In the third, Durk Pearston led off for the Bears with a single and promptly stole second. A single by James Paul scored Pearston to make it a 1-0 ballgame.
In the fourth frame, Kenney retired Tri-Valley 1-2-3.
Joe Carraccia led off the T-V fifth with a double down the first baseline. A Pearston single placed runners at first and second, and a single by Paul stacked the deck. Bill Gorman singled to score Carraccia. Nate McCarthy reached on a single to send Pearston across the plate to give the Bears a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth, after Chris Smith struck out, it was back to the top of the order for the Bears. Lowitz slashed a double down the first base line and scored on a single by Carraccia, who then stole second and advanced to third on a single by Pearston. While Pearston was stealing second, Carraccia was picked off in a rundown between third and home to end the inning at 4-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mike “Hondo” Hernandez put the home team on the scoreboard with a solo homer in the gap between the 295-foot and 335-foot markers to make it a 4-1 game.
In the top of the seventh, the Bears racked up four runs. Gorman reached on a single. McCarthy ripped a triple down the first base line to score Gorman. A bloop single by Alex Pearston sailed over the second baseman to send McCarthy home. Pearston advanced to second on a fielding error, and scored on a single by Smith. Lowitz doubled to send Smith to the hot corner, and Smith danced across the plate on a sacrifice fly by Carraccia to make it a 8-1 ballgame.
The home team left the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
“It was a tough game, a tough loss,” said Fallsburg coach Brett Cancredi. “I thought Tri-Valley played an excellent game and Josh Lowitz pitched an incredible game. They got the hits when they needed them, and we didn’t… we had runners on base, but just couldn’t get the hits...I think ‘DK’ pitched a great game.”
According to T-V coach Jim Kelly, it’s up to the seeding committee to determine if the Bears make it to the sectionals.
“We’re scrapping all the way,” he said.
Kelly’s take on the win over Fallsburg?
“Our defense was outstanding… we knew we had to come up with a win today, and they played like it was their last game… it was an outstanding effort on everyone’s part.
“We just hung in there and pounded out runs, and took advantage of every little Fallsburg miscue,” he added. “Josh Lowitz pitched a great game.”

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