By Ted Waddell
FALLSBURG Talk about a hard day “at the office.”
“It’s a tough scenario to be down 27-2, but we came back and got some solid hits in the seventh [inning],” said Fallsburg Coach Darren Kenney following his team’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV baseball game against the visiting Liberty Indians on Monday afternoon.
Liberty (8-4, 4-2 Division IV) scored 27 runs by the top of the sixth inning, only to watch Fallsburg (0-11, 0-4 Division IV) shake off the slumps and rebound to make it an exciting contest.
The Comets scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth and sent 11 runners across the plate in the seventh to make the final score 27-13.
“We chipped away with two [runs] in the sixth,” Kenney said.
In that frame, Fallsburg loaded the bases against Liberty pitcher Ryan Van Lieu. Sam Ingber scored the Comets’ first run of the contest when Van Lieu issued a walk.
In the bottom of the seventh, Liberty’s starting pitcher, Joe Ruiz, returned to the mound to close out the game.
In the top of the first, Liberty leadoff batter Justin Katz gave notice that the Indians came to play by hitting a home run.
After a pop up and a walk, Justen Mills homered. In the wake of a single, a walk and another single, Trevor Tompkins drove in the Indians’ fourth and fifth runs to close out the inning.
Liberty scored seven runs in the second on a two-run single by Mills, a three-run homer off the bat of Tompkins, and a two-run double by Katz.
Mills hit another home run in the third to extend the Indians’ lead to13-0.
In the fourth, Liberty added two runs as Katz began the frame with a single, followed by singles from Chris Lake, Mills and Abi Rubio.
The Indians tacked on five runs in the fifth as singles by Rubio and Ryan Van Lieu were aided by a couple of walks and topped off with Lake’s two-run double.
In the top of the sixth, Liberty repeated its second inning performance by sending seven runners across the plate. The big hit of the frame was Katz’s grand slam.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Comets’ bats came alive as they scored 11 runs. Mike Melko had a bases-clearing double and Ingber swatted a triple.
On the pitcher’s mound for Fallsburg were Nabil Javed (four innings), Nick Carter (2/3 of an inning) and Greg Simpson (2 and 1/3 innings).
The Liberty pitchers included Dustin Van Lieu (three innings), Joe Ruiz (three innings) and Ryan Van Lieu (one inning).
“They were pounding the baseball early,” Kenney said of the Indians. “They got off to a hot start and never cooled off, they were hitting the ball all over the place.
“Early on, we didn’t do too much, we got in a very big hole,” he added. “But I’m proud of my guys for getting 11 runs in the seventh.”
Liberty Coach John Wilhelm said his players came into the game with the goal of ramping up their hitting after coming off a couple of tough Division IV losses to John S. Burke Catholic High School last week.
“We wanted to score some runs and we did,” he said.
“We played well until the last inning, and then we struggled,” Wilhelm added. “It’s not the way we wanted to end the game, but we won.”