By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR The S.S. Seward Spartans used home runs and a last-inning scoring outburst to defeat the host Livingston Manor Wildcats, 12-6, on Tuesday afternoon in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI baseball game.
Seward hit three home runs in the game. The final round tripper was Shane Kinley’s three-run shot over the fence in right center field which was part of the Spartans’ six-run performance in the top of the seventh inning that broke a 6-6 tie.
Manor’s Shane Lewis led off the bottom of the seventh and reached base by beating out an infield ground ball.
But Spartans’ pitcher Justin Sinisi retired the next three Wildcat batters on a groundout, a strikeout and a groundout, respectively, to end the game.
Seward (13-4, 5-0 Div. VI) wasted little time in taking the lead. In the top of the first inning, clean-up batter Nick Salamone blasted a three-run homer.
Manor (6-6, 0-2 Div. VI) answered with a run in the bottom of the first. With one out, Ken Fisk doubled. He scored moments later when Chad Rosario singled to left field.
After a scoreless second inning, the Spartans added to their lead in the top of the third. Kinley began the frame with a bloop single to center field and moved to second base on a passed ball. Kinley advanced to third base by tagging up when Scott Glowaczewski flew out to left field.
Anthony Rico then singled to center field to bring Kinley in to score. Rico was able to make his way around the bases and across home plate as Justin Velez hit an infield single and the Wildcats committed an error.
When Rico touched the plate, he gave Seward a 5-1 advantage.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the fourth when Manor registered two runs. Mike Mills and Jonah Hinkley both crossed home plate as Troy Correa singled and advanced to third base on a Spartans’ error.
Seward got one of those runs back in the top of the fifth as Glowaczewski led off with a solo home run to center field.
But the Wildcats scored three times in the bottom of the fifth to even the contest at 6-6.
Troy Edwards and Lewis singled and Rosario reached on a fielder’s choice as Manor loaded the bases with one out. Edwards scored on a groundout by Brandon Smith and Lewis and Rosario both crossed the plate when Mills ripped a double to right center field.
The Spartans took the lead for good with their six-run rally in the top of the seventh. In addition to Kinley’s aforementioned three-run homer, Sinisi and Nick Ullman had RBI singles in the frame.
Seward Coach Bill Steele was happy to see his offense respond in its final at-bat.
“It was long overdue,” Steele said of his team’s offensive performance in the seventh inning. “Manor did a great job. They played hard and were able to rally and tie the game. I was really worried that we wouldn’t be leaving here with a win.
“It definitely helped that we have five seniors on our roster and Manor only has two seniors,” he added.
Manor Coach Jeff Loeffler noted that his players need to improve their performance during the whole game.
“We didn’t play all seven innings today,” he said. “Coach Steele runs an excellent baseball program. We hope to reach that level of excellence someday. We have the talent to be up there, we just need to execute better.”
Loeffler said that how his team fares in its seven upcoming Division VI games will determine how successful the season is. Weather permitting, Manor was supposed to meet Seward again yesterday afternoon. Next week, the Wildcats will face Chapel Field in a three-game series. The following week, Manor will square off against Eldred in another three-game series.
“We need to execute for all seven innings and stay disciplined and we can play with these teams,” Loeffler said.