By Andy Simek
LIBERTY July 6, 2007 The Catskill Cougars earned a 5-4 victory over the Middletown Black Sox on Tuesday evening in a Babe Ruth League baseball game at Liberty High School.
The victory, which improved the Catskill Cougars’ record to 3-6, was also the team’s first win against Middletown this season.
Catskill scored twice in the bottom of the first inning.
Garrett Owen hit a double and then advanced to third base on Casey Pazzalia’s sacrifice fly.
Corey VanKeuren hit the ball deep into the outfield moments later for a two-run, inside-the-park home run.
Anthony Ventura scored another run for the Cougars in the bottom of the third.
After being walked, Ventura stole second base while Justin Garritt’s fly ball kept the Black Sox infielders occupied. Pazzalia hit a single, which allowed Ventura to cross home plate and give the Cougars a 3-0 advantage.
Middletown (8-2) reduced the Cougars’ lead in the top of the fourth as Jordan Dillard hit a home run.
Catskill, however, was not to be intimidated.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars loaded the bases. VanKeuren got an RBI on a strike-out as the catcher missed the third strike. VanKeuren safely reached base on the play and Chris Franke and Justin Garritt both scored to boost the Catskill advantage to 5-1.
The Black Sox, perhaps sensing a loss, rallied in the top of the sixth.
Matt Costello walked and Dillard doubled to put two runners on base. Matt Florio took the opportunity to do the same as Dillard, smacking the ball to the outfield. Costello and Dillard both scored on Florio’s double, which brought Middletown to within two runs.
Florio scored later in the inning as the Black Sox closed the Cougars’ lead to 5-4.
But Middletown did not score again the sixth inning and was then held scoreless in the top of the seventh as Catskill recorded the victory.