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Rob Potter | Democrat

In the above left photo, Livingston Manor’s Troy Correa follows through on his swing while hitting a grand slam home run in the bottom of the fourth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s Section IX Class D semifinal baseball game between the Wildcats and visiting John A. Coleman Catholic High School Statesmen. In the above right photo, umpire Cliff Hamlin and Coleman catcher Will Gray (20) watch as Correa jogs toward home plate.

Coleman Catholic edges Manor, 9-8, in Section IX Class D baseball semifinal

By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR — May 28, 2010 — The Livingston Manor Wildcats saw their hopes of repeating as Section IX Class D baseball champions and returning to the state final four dashed on Wednesday afternoon.
The third-seeded John A. Coleman Catholic High School Statesmen defeated host Manor, 9-8, in a Class D semifinal game.
Coleman (6-11) advanced to meet No. 1 seed Chapel Field in today’s Class D title game at SUNY New Paltz. Second-seeded Manor ended its season with a record of 12-6-1.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Chad Rosario led off the frame with a double to left field. After two outs were recorded, Rosario scored when Trever Taggart singled to right field.
The Statesmen answered with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Tom Murphy hit a one-out double down the left field line and scored on a single by Austin Koo.
Koo scored on an error moments later to give Coleman a 2-1 advantage.
Manor regained the lead by scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Troy Edwards and Mike Mills each hit a single and Brandon Smith reached on an error to load the bases with no outs. Troy Correa then blasted a grand slam home run over the left field fence to give the Wildcats a 5-2 advantage.
But the Statesmen responded with a seven-run fifth inning to move ahead, 9-5. Consecutive ground-rule RBI doubles by Justin Brossack and Will Gray allowed Coleman to cut the Manor lead to 5-4. Brossack then scored the tying run when Manor pitcher Edwards was called for a balk.
Gray scored the go-ahead run when Kyle Chambers doubled.
Later in the inning, Koo hit a two-run single and Jordan King had an RBI single.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kenny Fisk Jr. scored on a fielder’s choice to bring Manor to within three runs at 9-6.
In their final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcats attempted to put together a game-winning rally. Taggart ripped a one-out double to left field and Fisk followed with a single to center field. Following a strikeout, Mills singled to center field to score both Taggart and Fisk and cut the Coleman lead to 9-8.
After Smith reached base on an infield hit, Coleman pitcher Chambers got the next batter to hit a ground ball to third base. King fielded the ball and stepped on the bag to end the game.
“Right after that grand slam, we started to play better,” Coleman Coach Jeff Tomashski said. “That was the turning point of the game. After they hit the grand slam, we got fired up. We came out the next inning and scored seven runs.”
Tomashski was very proud of his team.
“They played a heck of a game,” he said.
Tomashski was not surprised that Manor kept playing hard until the final out.
“I told our team that Manor is a good team with a lot of character and they will not quit,” he said. “Manor will not quit until there are three outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.”
Manor Coach Jeff Loeffler noted that where the ball landed after the Statesmen made contact with the pitch made all the difference.
“A lot of their hits found the grass in front of our fielders,” he said. “Sometimes the ball finds the grass and sometimes it finds the fielder’s glove. Today, the ball found the grass.”
Loeffler praised the Wildcats for “playing great and being great kids.” He also lauded the Statesmen for “playing a heck of a game.
“We scored a couple of runs in the bottom of the seventh,” he said. “It would have been nice to get a couple of more hits and score two more runs.
“It was a nice year for us,” continued Loeffler, referring to the Wildcats’ 2010 season. “It would have been a little nicer to win the sectional championship again and go back to states, but it is so hard to win at this level year after year.”
Manor will be losing three seniors – Ross Abbott, Alex Cummings and Edwards – to graduation next month.
“We’re going to miss all three seniors,” Loeffler said. “Alex was a first-year player this season and Ross and Troy were four-year players for us.”

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