By Ted Waddell
LIBERTY The Indians of Liberty posted their first win of the 2009 baseball season on Wednesday afternoon by defeating the visiting Fallsburg Comets, 13-3, in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV game.
Ricky Franke led the Indians to victory by hurling 84 pitches and striking out nine batters.
“It felt great, it was our first win,” said Franke, an 18-year-old senior pitcher. “We brought our bats today.”
Fallsburg (1-4, 0-1 Div. IV) rotated through three pitchers: Dan Seletsky, Cory McKeon, who was brought up from the junior varsity team for the day, and Matt Seletsky.
Evan Kirsch earned the hot bat award for Liberty (1-3, 1-0 Div. IV) with a two-run double in the second inning and an RBI double later in the game.
Kirsch’s RBI double in the second inning was part of a six-run outburst by the Indians.
Franke helped his own cause with a two-run double.
The Comets’ big hitter for the afternoon was Sam Ingber, who sent a runner across the plate in the top of the first, and sent another teammate home in the second.
Colin Whittaker scored Fallsburg’s final run of the contest in the sixth inning.
Liberty scored one run in the bottom of the first, six in the second, three in the third, one in the fifth and closed out their scorebook for the day with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
“Our gloves were a little weak today,” said first-year Fallsburg Coach Mike Weiner. “We had a few changes in our lineup [and] we had a lot of errors.”
Phil Fanning pinch hit for Liberty at the helm as Coach John Wilhelm was sidelined while recovering from knee surgery.
“Franke pitched a real good game today,” Fanning said. “We got a lot of leadoff batters on base, and we were able to put some timely hitting together.
“We’re young and we make young mistakes,” Fanning added. “We throw the ball around more than we should, and against an accomplished team, you’re going to struggle.
“It’s a good win, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”