By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE April 9, 2004 The Tri-Valley Bears overcame an early deficit to visiting Monticello on Wednesday to record their first victory of the young scholastic baseball season.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, T-V (1-1) responded with three runs in the bottom of the opening frame. Ryan Briggs and J. R. Rennison each smacked an RBI double in the inning, helping the Bears take a 3-1 lead.
After Monticello (0-1) scored a run in the top of the second, T-V added two runs in the bottom of the frame thanks to a two-run double by Zac Bright. A two-run home run by Matt Waldman in the bottom of the third helped the Bears build an 8-2 lead.
We had a couple of opportunities with the bases loaded, but we didnt capitalize on them, Monticello Coach John Spear said. Had we been able to score some runs on those occasions, it might have been a different game.
One of those bases-loaded situations was in the top of the third, when the Panthers could not narrow their 8-2 deficit. But Monticello added a run in both the fifth and sixth innings. In the top of the fifth, the Panthers clawed a run off of Briggs, who was the Bears starting pitcher. With one out, Kyle Brasington ripped a solid double to right center field. After moving to third base on a passed ball, Brasington scored on a single by Dan Catalano.
Then in the top of the sixth, Monticello put runners on second and third with one out. Leadoff batter Justin Gray grounded out, but was credited with an RBI when teammate Pete Murray scored on the play.
The next two Panther batters, Matt Russo and Brasington, drew walks from T-Vs Waldman, who had relieved Briggs earlier in the inning. But Waldman got out of the jam by tagging out Frances Stevens at home plate when Stevens attempted to score on a passed ball.
The Bears added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, one of which came on an RBI groundout by Matt Calabrese.
Waldman struck out two of the four batters he faced in the top of the seventh inning to earn the save. Briggs, who pitched 5 1/3 innings to pick up the win, struck out five batters and walked two.
T-V Coach John Rusin was very pleased with his squads performance, which came only a day after a lopsided loss to Onteora.
The guys came to the field today with smiles on their faces and a good attitude, Rusin said. They worked hard from the get-go and played well.
Its always nice when you can get a victory against an A school, added Rusin, referring to the fact that Monticello is a Class A team according to the student population classifications which are set by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHAA).
Spear noted that he has a very young team this season.
Well work on the positives we had in this game and build from there, he commented.
Monticello is scheduled to face Ellenville tomorrow in a non-league contest, while T-Vs next game is slated for Tuesday. The Bears will play host to fellow Class C team Tuxedo that afternoon.