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Lori Brown | Democrat

Monticello’s Jesse Levine hits the ball during the bottom of the first inning of Thursday afternoon’s game. Unfortunately for Levine, it was a pop fly that was caught for an out.

Port Jervis Red Raiders defeat Monti Panthers

By Lori Brown
MONTICELLO — May 25, 2010 — On Thursday afternoon, the Monticello Panthers honored their seniors prior to the start of their Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division III baseball game against the visiting Port Jervis Red Raiders.
The five Monticello seniors – Anthony D’Abbraccio, James Durland, Justin Larchevesque, Jesse Levine and Serafin Rodriguez – presented their loved ones with flowers and a self portrait.
Once the game began, however, the Red Raiders prevented the Panther seniors from earning a win in their final home game. Port Jervis took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning and went on to record a 6-3 victory.
With the win, Port Jervis improved its overall record to 11-8 and its Div. III record to 5-4. Monticello’s record dropped to 11-9 overall and 3-6 in Div. III.
Port Jervis got on the board in the top of the first as Chris Stawski doubled to bring Christian Rodriguez in to score and Andrew Smith’s single allowed Stawski and Joe Maillet to cross home plate.
The Red Raiders prevented Monticello from scoring in the bottom of the first as they recorded an out at home plate.
Port Jervis scored once in the top of the second to extend its lead to 4-0.
Monticello scored its first run of the afternoon in the bottom of the second. Anthony Gray singled and made his way around the bases due to errors by the Red Raiders to cut the Port Jervis advantage to 4-1.
In the top of the third, Port Jervis’ Hector Lanzo came home when Chris Miller singled to make it a 5-1 game.
Monticello pitcher Bobby Wagner recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
The Red Raiders played stellar defense in the bottom of the third as they turned a double play.
In the top of the fourth, Maillet had a leadoff double to left field. But Wagner recorded two strikeouts to help prevent Port Jervis from scoring in the frame.
In the bottom of the fourth, Monticello’s Chris Schnabel slammed a double to right field.  Moments later, Shane Jackson ripped a line-drive triple to right field to score teammates Gray and Schnabel and cut the Port Jervis lead to 5-3.
The Panthers prevented Port Jervis from scoring in the top of the fifth as relief pitcher Connor Briggs entered the game to relieve Wagner, who recorded eight strikeouts in four-plus innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, some Monticello players were walked. But Stawski entered as the new Red Raiders’ pitcher and prevented the Panthers from scoring.
During the top of the seventh, Lanzo doubled to right field and then scored on a double by Rodriguez to give Port Jervis a 6-3 lead.
“We had good pitching and good defense today,” Port Jervis Coach Tim Leonard said. “We lacked clutch hits, which was frustrating. Joe Maillet was outstanding and had a couple of doubles.”
Maillet reached base all five times he was up to bat. He had two doubles, a single, was hit by a pitch and given an intentional walk.
“Christian Rodriguez was a great leadoff batter,” Leonard said. “Chad Stawski leads the team in RBIs.
“Mike [Marra] did a great job turning the program around and getting into sectionals,” Leonard said of Monticello’s coach.
“Today we had poor execution,” Marra said. “Offensively, we had some opportunities but left some players on base. Defensively, it was tough on the pitcher. We kept battling with a 5-1 score. We lost all week, as we were struggling at the plate and had mistakes on offense.
Marra is expecting his team to play better in this week’s Class A tournament.
“If we are not making plays, it is going to be a short tournament, unless we turn it around,” he said.  “This is the first time we made it into sectionals since 2001. Momentum is everything. All teams [in sectionals] are competitive.”
Monticello is the seventh seed in the Section IX Class A baseball tournament. The team will play at second-seeded New Paltz at 4 p.m. today in a quarterfinal game.
Also in this afternoon’s Class A quarterfinals, fifth-seeded Port Jervis will visit fourth-seeded Wallkill.

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