By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR The Livingston Manor Wildcats baseball team advanced to the Section IX Class D championship game with a 3-1 victory on Monday afternoon against visiting Chapel Field in a semifinal contest.
Weather permitting, No. 2 seed Manor and No. 1 seed S.S. Seward were slated to play for the Class D title on Wednesday afternoon at SUNY New Paltz.
With Monday’s win, Manor improved its record to 13-8 on the season. Chapel Field, which won last year’s Class D state championship, ended its season with an 11-12 mark.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Ken Fisk, Mike Mills and Troy Edwards hit back-to-back-to-back singles. Fisk then scored on Edwards’ base hit.
Manor doubled its advantage in the bottom of the fourth.
With one out, Brandon Smith belted a double to the fence in left center field. After Lions’ pitcher Travis Renwick stuck out the next batter, Smith scored when Troy Correa singled to center field.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth.
After leadoff batter Ross Abbott walked, Fisk hit a fielder’s choice ground ball to shortstop. Abbott was forced out at second base, but Fisk was safe at first. Fisk then stole second base and advanced to third on a passed ball.
Shane Lewis hit a two-out single to left field to bring Fisk in to score.
The Lions scored their only run of the afternoon in the top of the seventh.
Brad Vellenga and Danny Menendez opened the frame with consecutive singles. But Vellenga was picked off at second base on a great throw by Manor catcher Abbott to second baseman Fisk.
Following a flyout, Mike Wilson ripped a double to left field which allowed Menendez to cross home plate and fuel Chapel Field’s hopes of a comeback.
But the Wildcats’ pitcher, Edwards, struck out the next batter to end the game.
Edwards allowed the Lions only four hits and had four strikeouts as he recorded the complete-game win.
“We left too many runners on base today,” Chapel Field Coach Joe Canazon said. “We needed some more timely hits.”
The veteran coach also praised Edwards and the entire Manor team.
“He pitched a great game,” Canazon said of Edwards. “They have a very good team and they played well.”
Canazon was also pleased with the effort put forth by his players.
“My guys certainly don’t quit,” he commented. “Win or lose, you have to respect our team because there is no quit in these guys.”
Manor Coach Jeff Loeffler noted that two factors were key to his team’s victory.
“Troy and our defense definitely were the reasons we won today,” Loeffler said. “Troy pitched very well and our defense was outstanding behind him. We turned a couple of double plays, threw out a runner trying to steal second base and caught a runner napping at second base.
“Offensively, we were able to get good hits when we needed them,” Loeffler added.