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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

FALLSBURG PITCHER DONALD Morton fires the ball to home plate as third baseman Nick Makofsky looks on.

Fallsburg Improves Record

By Rob Potter
FALLSBURG — April 22, 2005 – It didn’t take the Fallsburg Comets very long to recover from a tough loss.
Approximately 24 hours after losing an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V baseball game by a single run in the last inning to the Tri-Valley Bears, the Comets defeated the same T-V squad 6-4 on Tuesday afternoon in Fallsburg.
Fallsburg Coach Jeremy Levner believed the victory was the first for the Comets in a division game in three years. The team improved its record to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in Division V. The Bears fell to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in Division V.
Playing a key role in the victory was Fallsburg pitcher Donald Morton. The sophomore hurler gave up just six hits and four runs to earn the complete-game win. He recorded nine strikeouts and walked just three batters.
“He was really on today,” T-V Coach John Rusin said of Morton. “He was able to spot his pitches very well and he kept our hitters off balance with his curve ball.”
Levner was also impressed by Morton’s performance.
“He threw a lot of pitches, but he seemed to get stronger as the game went on,” Levner said. “He struck out the side in the sixth inning on nine pitches.
“He wasn’t nervous out there,” Levner added. “He gave up a few hits, but that didn’t rattle him.”
Morton got plenty of help from his offense as the Comets jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With two outs and the bases loaded, Brody Ehrlich drew a walk to force in Morton with the game’s first run. Justin Kruckmeyer then beat out a grounder to shortstop, which allowed Chris Gates to score and make it a 2-0 game.
But the Bears answered in the top of the second. With two outs and teammates Brandon Scott and James Connolly on base, Matt Smith ripped a double to the base of the fence in left center field. Both Scott and Connolly scored on the hit, which tied the contest at 2-2.
However, Fallsburg took the lead for good in the bottom of the second. Nick Makofsky smashed a double down the left field line to bring Shane Weigand and Gates around to score. Harris Seletsky then grounded out to shortstop, but was credited with an RBI since Makofsky crossed home plate on the play. Makofsky’s run gave the Comets a 5-2 lead.
Each team added a run in the third inning. T-V’s Joe Garigliano singled home teammate Matt Waldman to narrow the Fallsburg lead to 5-3. In the bottom of the frame, Ehrlich scored on a bloop single by Weigand to give the Comets a three-run lead.
T-V tried to rally in its final at-bat. Smith, who was 4-for-4 on the afternoon, led off the top of the seventh with an infield hit. Two batters later, Danny Knox doubled to put runners on second and third with only one out. Pinch-hitter John Borkowski hit a ground ball to third base and Smith scored when Borkowski was thrown out at first base.
But Morton ended the game with a strikeout.
“We made some defensive mistakes early in the game and they were able to get a couple of runs,” Rusin said. “I expect we will play better on Thursday.”
(Rusin was referring to yesterday, when the Comets and Bears were scheduled to finish their three-game series in Grahamsville.)
Levner was pleased with the way his team bounced back from Monday’s loss in Grahamsville. Fallsburg had a 4-3 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, but Justin Stubits scored on a wild pitch to tie the game and Fred Moore singled to bring Walter home with the game-winning run.
“This was a big win for us,” Levner commented. “That was such a heartbreaking loss yesterday, so we really needed this win today.”

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