By Lori Brown
FALLSBURG May 22, 2007 On Thursday afternoon, the Fallsburg Comets hosted the Chester Hambletonians in a non-league baseball game.
Chester gained the lead early on and held that advantage throughout the contest on the way to a 15-8 victory.
Fallsburg’s overall record fell to 1-16, while Chester’s record improved to 6-12.
Chester grabbed the lead in the top of the first as Jean Carlos Ramirez slammed a double to left field to bring home teammate J.P. Hackett.
In the bottom of the first, Comets’ leadoff batter Shane Weigand walked. But he was stranded on the basepaths when the next three batters were set down in order.
The Hambletonians scored five runs in the top of the second inning to extend their lead to 6-0. Key hits in the frame included RBI singles by Hackett and Mike Schmidlein.
Fallsburg got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second. Colin Whitaker led off with a single and was awarded second base on an overthrow. Later, Kenny Corley reached base on an error and Whitaker scored on the play.
As the inning progressed, Matt Seletsky scored on an error to bring the Comets to within four runs at 6-2.
In the top of the fourth, Ramirez hit an RBI double to give Chester a 7-2 lead. Moments later, Andy Lefkowitz hit a two-run homer over the right field fence.
The Hambletonians added five more runs to take a commanding 14-2 lead.
With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Corley scored on a base hit by Weigand and Mike Melko scored on a hit by Gavin Gandula.
Facing a 15-4 deficit heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Comets tried to come back and win or at least tie the score to send the game into extra innings. Joey Sep, who singled to reach base, scored on a single by Whitaker.
Corley hit a single to left field line to put two runners on base. Seletsky then slammed a three-run home run to bring Fallsburg to within seven runs.
Unfortunately for the Comets and their fans, that was as close as they could get as Chester’s Darren Mann came in to pitch and quickly got the last out of the game.
“We are not at a point of looking at sectionals,” Fallsburg Coach Darren Kinney said. “But a clean seven innings of baseball and wins will come. It is not a point if we have talent, it is just that we need more than one good inning.
“We will get there,” Kinney continued. “We have four games [left]; our goal is for two wins to close the season out.
“We are building for next year. We have six tenth-graders and we will build on a positive note,” he concluded.
Chester Coach Tony Mancuso said that his team “hit the ball and hit up to our capabilities.”
“We made a play when needed,” Mancuso added. “J.P. Hackett, a sophomore, had his first win as pitcher and gutted it out. He did a good job for us today.
“We played with pride [today],” Mancuso said. “We played good and we will see how we finish up.”