By Rob Potter
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS The Youngsville Fire Department softball team won its first game of the season on Monday night at Gary A. Bradley Memorial Field at the White Sulphur Springs Firemen’s Park.
Youngsville FD, which plays its “home” games at Bradley Memorial Field, scored nine runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to turn a 7-1 deficit into a 10-7 advantage over White Lake FD.
But Youngsville FD had to withstand a rally by White Lake FD in the top of the seventh inning to record a 10-9 victory in the Eastern Sullivan Firefighters League game.
With the win, Youngsville FD, which is in its first year in the league, improved its season record to 1-7. White Lake FD dropped to 3-3 on the season.
Down 10-7 in its final at-bat, White Lake FD was determined to at least tie the score.
Cousins Evan Kraack and Jason Kraack began the top of the seventh with consecutive singles.
Evan Kraack was forced out at second base when Josh Cunningham hit into a fielder’s choice. Youngsville FD recorded the second out of the frame on another fielder’s choice play, but Jason Kraack scored on an error to bring White Lake FD within two runs at 10-8.
Dennis Rundle then scored on a single by Rich Krause to make it a one-run game.
After Juan Morales reached base to keep the inning alive for White Lake FD, Youngsville FD pitcher Rob Ward recorded a strikeout to end the game and secure his team’s victory.
“The first [win] is always the hardest to get,” Youngsville FD Coach Woody McGibbon said. “It was a good game. These guys have been coming along. Maybe this win will give them some more confidence.”
White Lake FD grabbed a 3-0 in the top of the first inning. With one out, Brendan Cunningham doubled to left field. He then scored the game’s first run when Evan Kraack doubled to right field.
Jason Kraack then singled home Evan Kraack to make it a 2-0 contest.
Moments later, Jason Kraack crossed home plate when Krause singled to left field.
White Lake FD extended its advantage to 5-0 in the top of the second. Brendan Cunningham ripped an RBI triple to left field and then scored himself when the throw from the outfield to third base was errant.
Youngsville FD got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second. Terry Davis walked to lead off the inning and scored when Kevin Lupardo hit a two-out, bases-loaded single to right field.
White Lake FD got that run back in the top of the third, however, as Rundle scored on a base hit by Colleen Collins.
In the top of the fourth, White Lake FD took a 7-1 lead. With one out, Evan Kraack tripled to right field. He scored when the next batter, Jason Kraack, hit a sacrifice fly to center field.
Youngsville FD sent 15 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth and scored nine runs. Phil Dutcher and Ryan Bose had an RBI triple and an RBI single, respectively, as Youngsville FD closed its deficit to 7-3. A two-run single by Matt Davies and an RBI single by Jonathan McGibbon made it a 7-6 game.
Tony Lupardo gave Youngsville FD an 8-7 lead with a two-run single.
After Ward hit a single to bring Mike Davies across home plate, Tony Lupardo scored the final run of the inning when Jim Bingay drew a bases-loaded walk.
The only negative aspect of the game for Youngsville FD was losing third baseman Jonathan McGibbon to injury. McGibbon hurt his left ankle while sliding into second base during the bottom of the sixth inning. He was carried off the field by three of his teammates and spent the rest of the game sitting on a picnic table, elevating his ankle and keeping an ice pack on it. Shortly after the game ended, McGibbon went to the hospital to have his ankle examined by a doctor.