By Ted Waddell
MOUNTAINDALE June 25, 2002 In Saturdays doubleheader against the Marlboro Cobras, the Sullivan Spartans defanged the opposition 11-0 in the first game, but got snakebit by an 8-2 margin in the second outing of the afternoon.
Both teams compete in the Collegiate Baseball League (CBL), commonly known as the Wooden Bat League.
On the way to a shutout in the first game, Spartans pitcher James Biondo struck out 11 Marlboro hitters. The Cobras sent a trio of pitchers Andy Rich (who was charged with the loss), Mike Quinn and Chris Daniele to the mound in an effort to stop the onslaught of Sullivan (3-9) runs.
In taking to the field at Baxter Stadium, the Spartans came to play following their recent win over Washingtonville. After defeating Marlboro (3-4) in the opening game of the double header, they were hoping to make it three in a row, but the fates of baseball ruled otherwise.
The home team picked up two runs in the first inning. Jesus Pintado led off with a walk. Tim Kuveke got on base with fielders choice. Tim Gilmore walked. In the wake of Andy Peterson striking out, John McElwee smacked a 2 RBI double.
In the bottom of the second, the Spartans added another pair of runs.
With one out, Kris Kujawski and Billy Reichmann singled and Pintado walked.
Kuveke reached base on an RBI solo poke. Gilmore sent Reichmann across the plate with a single to give Sullivan a 4-0 lead.
The fourth frame was a big one for the Spartans, as they racked up six runs. Reichman walked and Pintado followed with an RBI double by Pintado. Kuveke singled in Pintado.
After Gilmore reached on an fielders choice, Peterson and McElwee whacked back-to-back RBI singles.
In the sixth inning, the Spartans added an insurance run to their tally. After Kujawski walked and Dan Begnoche reached on an error, Pintado then singled to load the bases. Following a pop out by Kuveke, Gilmore scored Kujawski on a RBI fielders choice.
The stadium gives you a major league atmosphere, said Cobras Coach Tony Morales.
I told my kids never to underestimate a ball team, he added. We had a lot of errors . . . a handful, enough to lose.
Spartans general manager Tim Havas said, We finally broke out . . . I knew we had a talented team, and we would eventually play up to our potential.
Its good to see these kids live up to the expectations we had for them, he added.
Game 1 stats: the Spartans had 11 runs on as many hits and no errors, while the Cobras had zero entries in the runs column, three hits and four errors.
For Sullivan, Pintado was 2-for-3 and scored 2 runs; Kuveke went 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs; Gilmore had 2 RBIs; MeElwee was 3-for-3 with a double and 3 RBIs; and Reichmann was 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored.
In the second game of the double header, the Spartans sent three pitchers up to the mound: Brian Heavy (who took the loss), Biondo and Reichmann.
For the Cobras it was winning pitcher John Geni and Nick Marino.
Heavy gave up two runs in the second frame and four runs during the fateful fifth. He was then relieved by Biondo with the score 6-0 in favor of Marlboro. Biondo faced one batter and sent him back to his seat.
Reichmann took over the mound for the Spartans in the top of the sixth and struck out three.
In the home teams turn at bat in the sixth, they picked up their only two runs of the game. Kuveke reached on an error and then scored when Peterson doubled to left centerfield.
Player/coach Jared Carrier stepped up to the plate as a pinch hitter for McElwee and knocked Peterson home with an RBI single.
Marlboro tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh to close out the scoring at 8-2.
Game 2 stats: the Cobras had 8 runs on 8 hits and one error; the Spartans earned 2 runs on 5 hits with 3 errors.
Peterson was the home teams leading offensive player, going 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored.
Marlboro got two quick runs in the second, said Carrier. In the first game, our hits dropped in, (but) in the second game, we hit the balls right to people.
I think were still coming along, and our bats are definitely 100 percent better than in our first couple of games this season.