By Laura Stabbert
COCHECTON CENTER American Electric players said they are a softball team that “starts out their games very strong at bat” and Wednesday night they stayed true to form.
American Electric was sizzling, jumping out to a 9-0 lead after the second inning of the Sullivan County Beer League game against R&H Gorr at Heinle’s Field in Cochecton Center, but couldn’t cross the plate the rest of the way in recording a 9-5 victory.
In the bottom of the first frame, Mike Popolillo doubled, bringing in Josh Cunningham and then scored to start the momentum. Austin Sauer then walked and Brian Popolillo singled to get on base. Both players scored off John Nober’s double and American Electric had an early 5-0 lead.
John Nober scored before the inning ended to give American Electric a 6-0 advantage.
R&H Gorr did not answer in the top of the second inning.
In the bottom of the second, Mike Popolillo had a hit deep into the outfield which is an automatic double at Heinle’s Field. Rosa scored off the hit and then Popolillo crossed home plate to give American Electric a 8-0 lead.
Later in the frame, Brian Popolillo singled and drove home Rob Taylor to make the score 9-0.
The early lead was vital in American Electric’s 9-5 victory because in the fifth inning the skies opened up at Heinle’s Field. Though both teams were willing to play through light rain, a torrential downpour cut the game two innings short.
In the top of the third, R&H Gorr put four runs on the board. An error lead to a single from Brian “Mooner” Buday. Buday scored and John Glassel and Todd Houghtaling both crossed the plate on Dan Spagnoli’s double.
Chris Reichmann then scored as R&H Gorr cut the American Electric lead to five runs at 9-4. But Sauer made a catch in the outfield before R&H Gorr could deplete any more of American Electric’s lead.
John Whittaker started out the bottom of the third inning with a single. Bobby Glassel, the other half of the Glassel brother duo which is a force to be reckoned with, made a diving catch in the outfield to record the second out. And with Buday pitching, R&H Gorr kept American Electric scoreless in the inning.
In the top of the fourth frame, the bases were loaded and John Glassel was up to bat. Glassel’s hit off American Electric pitcher Rob Taylor looked to be gone into the high grass in right field, but a jumping catch from Nober denied R&H Gorr any runs. Houghtaling had a line drive down the third base line, but Rosa was able to make the play and R&H Gorr was kept scoreless in the inning.
Spagnoli scored in the fifth inning to make the score 9-5, but it was not enough for R&H Gorr to beat American Electric on its home field.