By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR May 29, 2001 The Livingston Manor baseball team staged a pair of late inning rallies to earn an OCIAA Division V victory last Thursday afternoon.
Much to the delight of players, coaches and fans, the victory also pretty much assured the Wildcats of a spot in the Section IX Class D sectional tournament that begins this week.
Manor (75, 33 Division V) scored five times in the bottom of the fourth and added four runs in the sixth inning to post a come-from-behind 10-7 win over Sullivan West/Narrowsburg (77, 33 Division V).
With one out in the bottom of the sixth and SW/N clinging to a 7-6 lead, Manors Ryan Carlson smashed a towering home run over the center field fence to knot the score at 7-7.
Although SW/N pitcher Mike Cookingham got the next batter to ground out, the Wildcats then put together a two-out rally.
Ryan Edwards, who went 3-for-3 on the day, laced a ground rule double to center and then went to third on a passed ball. The following batter, Scott Denman, hit a grounder to second, but the ball was bobbled briefly. The subsequent late throw to first allowed Edwards to score the go-ahead run and kept Denman on the basepaths.
A walk and passed ball put runners on the corners with Brian Smith at the plate. A passed ball allowed Denman to run home and give Manor a 9-7 lead.
After Smith fouled off a pitch, pinch runner Jesse Carlson, who entered the game for Jason Will after Will drew a walk, got caught in a rundown between second and third. When the ball ended up in right field due to an errant throw, Carlson scampered home to give Manor a three-run lead.
SW/N attempted a comeback of its own in the seventh. With one out, Cookingham, who took the loss on the mound for the Indians, doubled to right. But a great relay throw from right fielder Kytt MacManus to shortstop Edwards caught Cookingham leaning too far off the bag and Edwards tagged him for the second out of the frame.
A single by Matt Pomes kept the SW/N inning alive, but Ryan Carlson got Chad Powell to hit into a fielders choice to end the contest.
This was a big win for us, Manor coach Chuck McKenna said. We were down 7-1 and never gave up. We were down a few runs in our last game and only came back part of the way. Im proud that we didnt give up today, it shows a lot about these guys.
McKenna also praised the pitching of Ryan Carlson, who he noted got better as the game went on.
Carlson also sparked the Manor fourth-inning scoring binge. Smith led off that frame with a solid single to right and Brian Will and Casey Adamse followed with infield hits to load the bases. Carlson then ripped a triple to center to clear the bases and cut the SW/N lead to 7-4.
A ground-rule double by Clarence Hinkley brought Carlson home. At first Hinkley and his teammates thought he had homered and Hinkley even circled the bases. But the umpires ruled that the ball had bounced over the outfield fence, which is therefore a two-bagger and not a round-tripper.
Hinkley, however, crossed the plate later in the inning when a sacrifice fly by Edwards brought him home.
SW/N coach Scott Haberli liked the fact that his team hit well in the first few innings of the game and got a nice lead. The latter innings, though, were a different story.
We lost this game because of bad baserunning and we stopped hitting, Haberli said. And we made mental and physical errors defensively.
Despite the loss, SW/N should be among the teams participating in sectional play this week.
Well get better, Haberli said regarding his squad and post-season play.
Bruce Nober and Brian Popolillo paced the Indian offense. Nober went 3-for-4 with a double and Popolillo was 2-for-3.
A berth in sectionals would be the first for Manor since the current seniors were freshmen, McKenna noted.
Our goal at the beginning was to be a .500 team and make sectionals, he commented. Weve got that winning attitude back in Manor. Well see if we can continue it.