By Lori Brown
LIBERTY The Liberty Indians hosted the John S. Burke Catholic School Eagles on Thursday afternoon in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV baseball game.
Burke registered an 8-5 victory amid the wet and dreary conditions to improve its record to 5-6 overall and 3-2 in Division IV.
The Eagles’ Mike Murphy scored the game’s first run in the top of the first on an errant throw to third base.
Burke took a 2-0 advantage in the top of the second. Joe Lynott, who reached base on a walk, eventually crossed home plate when Dan Shannon was involved in a rundown on the basepaths.
Liberty’s Trevor Tompkins belted a solo home run in the bottom of the second to make it a 2-1 game.
Burke took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third when Anthony Van Curen hit a solo home run.
The Eagles then loaded the bases with one out.
Liberty Coach John Wilhelm called a timeout to switch pitchers as starter Evan Kirsch went to first base and Tompkins stepped up on the mound.
Lynott was hit by a pitch from Tompkins, which allowed John Conroy to score.
Moments later, Alex Pizzano gave the Eagles a 5-1 lead when he crossed home plate because an overthrow to third base.
Chris Undersinger was walked to again load the bases with still only one out in the frame. Nick Sarda hit a pop fly that dropped in, which allowed Steve Ferrazzara to score and give Burke a 6-1 lead.
The Indians then turned a double play to finally get out of the inning.
Liberty’s Chris Lake doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth and subsequently scored on a single by Justen Mills.
The Indians narrowed their deficit to 7-3 when Kirsch scored on a groundout by Abi Rubio.
Liberty (7-4, 3-2 Division IV) held the Eagles scoreless in the top of the fifth and then scored twice in the bottom of the frame.
Mills hit a line drive to center field, allowing both Justin Katz and Lake to score and close the Burke lead to 6-5.
The Eagles scored twice in the top of the sixth as Van Curen slammed a double to bring home Dan Shannon and Murphy scored on a groundout by John Conroy.
Ferrazzara walked to begin the top of the seventh and was thrown out by Liberty catcher Dustin Van Lieu while attempting to steal second base.
Liberty was able to get two more outs to end the frame.
The Eagles then held the Indians scoreless in their final at-bat.
“My team chipped away and kept going,” Burke Coach Tom Commins said.
“Our pitcher John Commins did a great job and Anthony Van Curen hit a home run,” Tom Commins said.
“My team stayed focused throughout the game,” he added.
Wilhelm said that his squad “came in a little flat in the beginning [of the game].
“Within a couple of innings, we dug ourselves into a hole and couldn’t get out of it,” he said.
“Trevor Tompkins hit a home run for us and kept it close,” Wilhelm added.