By Ted Waddell
FALLSBURG For the Fallsburg varsity baseball team, Thursday afternoon’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV game against the visiting John S. Burke Catholic School Eagles wasn’t anything to write home about as the Eagles soared to a 17-3 victory.
But that didn’t stop everyone in the Comets’ dugout from hollering up a storm.
“They’re a lively bunch in there,” Fallsburg Coach Darren Kenney of his substitute players, who, no matter the score, are always rooting for their teammates when they are batting or making a good defensive play.
“I played and coached other teams where when we started to get pounded, the dugout turns into a library,” Kenney added. “But these guys don’t really care what the score is, they’re here to have fun… they’re excited to be in there.”
The Comets are winless so far this season. But that doesn’t stop scorekeeper Stephanie Melendez from acting like a little sparkplug in the dugout. She cheers on the team, regardless of the numbers she’s writing in the book.
Melendez, a junior, gave up playing softball this season to serve as the Comets’ scorekeeper while at the same time earning some community service hours required for graduation.
Burke (8-9, 6-2 Division IV) sent 10 runners across the plate in the top of the first inning. The Eagles added three runs in the second inning, three in the fourth and another in the sixth.
Burke’s Steve Ferrazzara hit a solo home run in the second and teammate Dan Shannon doubled twice, once in the first inning and again in the second.
Connor Sullivan pitched six innings for the Eagles. He struck out 14 batters and picked up the victory.
Shawn Gillan closed out the game for Burke on the mound.
“They’re kind of struggling, but they had some nice defensive plays,” Burke Coach Tom Commins of the Comets.
“In the future, these guys will be a team to be reckoned with,” he added.
Fallsburg’s Colin Whitaker blasted a solo home run in the second inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Comets sent two runners home. Anthony Perrello led off with a walk and Nabil Javed singled to advance Perrello to third. Matt Seletsky had a base hit to allow Perrello to cross home plate.
Javed scored when Burke’s catcher fired the ball to second base and the ball skipped into the outfield.
Whitaker pitched six innings for Fallsburg (0-16, 0-8 Division IV). He was relived in the seventh by Sam Ingber, who was making his varsity pitching debut.
“They scored 10 [runs] early on which is a deflator, but after that we picked ourselves up and did a better job defensively,” Kenney said.