By Lori Brown
MONTICELLO May 15, 2007 The Monticello Panthers earned their first victory of the baseball season on Friday afternoon.
The host Panthers defeated the Fallsburg Comets, 11-2, in a non-league game.
Monticello’s overall record improved to 1-11, while Fallsburg fell to 1-14.
Fallsburg started off strong in the first inning, however. Shane Weigand led off with a single. Colin Whitaker then reached base on an error, which allowed Weigand to advance to third.
Weigand then scored the game’s first run thanks to a sacrifice fly to right field.
Adam Pavloff slammed a single to right field and moved Whitaker to third base. Gavin Gandulla grounded out, but Whitaker was able to cross home plate on the play.
Unfortunately for the Comets, they were unable to score any more runs in the contest.
Monticello batted around in the bottom of the first. The Panthers scored four runs before the first out was recorded. With the bases loaded and no outs, Josh Cohen slammed a single over the right fielder’s head and brought home two teammates Chris Vaquedano and Mike Hughes to knot the score at 2-2.
Andrew Moss hit a single to right field, which allowed John Lacey to score the go-ahead run.
Erik Mayberg singled to deep left center field, sending home Cohen.
Later in the inning, Anthony Williams grounded out, but Moss and Anthony D’Abbraccio both scored on the play.
By the time Fallsburg recorded the third out of the frame, Monticello held a 6-2 lead.
In the top of the second, Fallsburg had bases loaded with two outs. But an infield pop fly ended the Comets’ scoring threat.
Monticello added to its advantage in the bottom of the second. Hughes started off with a triple over the center fielder’s head.
Fallsburg pitcher Joey Sep struck out the next batter.
Cohen then hit a double, but was tagged out on the basepaths. Hughes scored on the hit, giving Monticello an 8-2 lead.
Sep earned another strikeout to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Monticello’s D’Abbraccio scored on a base hit by teammate Jesse Campanaro. Moments later, Vaquedano hit a line drive to center field to bring home Anthony Williams and give the Panthers a 9-2 lead.
Fallsburg failed to get any runners on base in the fourth inning.
On the other hand, when Monticello got up to bat in the bottom of the frame, Lacey led off with a home run.
Cohen was walked and pinch runner Jesse Levine entered the game. Moss singled, sending Levine to third. Mayberg hit a double over the center fielder’s head, sending home Levine with the final run of the afternoon.
Monticello had the bases loaded with two outs, but the Comets recorded the third out to keep it an 11-2 game.
Fallsburg attempted to rally in the top of the seventh, but Nick Carter and Shane Weigand were left on base when Lacey recorded three consecutive strikeouts to end the game.
Lacey finished with eight strikeouts while earning the complete game victory.
Fallsburg Coach Darren Kenney said the contest was pretty much the story his team’s entire season.
“We are up, but don’t have anything inside us to finish with a win,” he said. “This is the end of a long week. This is our fourth game within this week fatigue sets in.
“This year is the first year we are a [Class] B team,” Kenney continued. “It is a step up and we play a tougher schedule.”
Monticello Coach Rob Keesler said that “we had good pitching and good defense throughout the game.
“After the first inning, we played good defense,” he added. “The bats were hot early on and we are usually not like that. We got a lot of men on the bases and drove in runs.”
“Senior John Lacey pitched seven strong innings and had a good game. He had no earned runs during the game.
“This was our best played game this season,” Keesler concluded.