By Ted Waddell
JEFFERSONVILLE May 31, 2002 In Wednesday afternoons Section IX Class C baseball quarterfinal between the home team Bulldogs of Sullivan West (14-5) and the Fallsburg Comets (10-11), both teams sounded like warring flocks of magpies as the chatter reached fever pitch.
By the final crack of the bat, the Bulldogs had defeated Fallsburg 9-2.
With the win, third-seeded SW moved on to face second-seeded Tuxedo yesterday in a Class C semifinal. (That game took place too late for inclusion here, however.)
In their two regular season outings against Tuxedo, the Bulldogs had their tails chewed up a bit as they lost 13-9 at Jeffersonville and 13-0 on the road.
The Bulldog defense turned in a couple of memorable plays against Fallsburg. In the first frame, SWs Jon Fanning closed out the inning with a stretched out catch in left field to haul in a long shot by Austin Pantel and in the fourth, Fallsburgs Corey Huber got snagged in a run down between second and third by Bulldogs pitcher Kyle Bright.
The Bulldogs set the tone of the game in the first inning, as they sent three runners across the plate.
James Henry led off with a single and stole second. Rob Taylor walked. Jon Fanning doubled to the gap in right center, but with too many runners at the wrong places, Henry was tagged out at home trying to score from third by Fallsburg catcher Kevin DeRosa.
Kyle Bright singled with runners at second and third, scoring Taylor.
With one out and runners at the opposite corners and Everett Saul at bat, Bright stole second. Saul grounded to short, scoring Fanning and Bright went home on a Comet error.
In the bottom of the third, the Bulldogs took the wind out of the Comets sails as they scored five runs.
Fallsburg pitcher Billy Kirtach served up back-to-back walks to Saul and James Kearns. Mike Popolillo tried to sacrifice them over, but got hit by the ball out of the box.
A passed ball to Justin Pinkel moved the runners into scoring position at second and third. On a 2-2 pitch, Pinkel layed down a suicide squeeze to score Everett. Later in the inning, a single by Bright scored two runs to make it a 8-0 ballgame.
In the bottom of the fifth, Henry led off with a double. On the heels of a pop-out by Taylor and ground out by Fanning, Bright singled to send Henry home.
In the top of the sixth, Fallsburg scored two runs with two outs to avoid a Bulldogs shutout by the skin of their teeth. Kevin DeRosa reached the hard way after getting nailed by a pitch. Brooks Whitaker singled to right field. Eddie Inzauto got hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Brenden Pantel then singled up the middle to score DeRosa and Whitaker to make it a 9-2 contest.
They came out and they beat us, said Comet Coach Brett Cancredi.
They wanted it a little more than we did, they made the plays when they needed them and we kicked it around.
According to Cancredi, thats the story of Fallsburgs 2002 varsity baseball season: in tight situations, they kick the ball around.
His take on the regular season? It was a roller coaster, it was up and down. We had some good wins, and some tough losses.
It was a pretty good season, but I didnt have what I needed to win this game, Kirtach said.
SW pitcher Kyle Bright picked up his seventh win of the year against only one loss.
I think we played well, he said. We didnt leave much on the field, we played good defense and we hit the ball well.