By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE The Sullivan Spartans’ offense scored 23 runs last Saturday afternoon to sweep the Proswing Pride of Mt. Kisco in Westchester County in a Collegiate Baseball League (CBL) doubleheader at the Sullivan County Community College baseball field in Loch Sheldrake.
In the opening game, the Spartans shut out Proswing, 13-0. Several players paced the Sullivan offensive attack. Efrain Bautista hit a triple, Andrew Yager hit a two-run double, Brian White had two RBIs and Lou D’Esposito added two hits.
That was plenty of run support for pitcher Travis Renwick, who earned the complete game, shutout victory.
In Game 2, the Spartans had to overcome an early deficit to record a 10-4 win.
Proswing, which was the “home” team in the contest, took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Ryan Breslin scored on a double by Steve Haynes to tie the score at 1-1. After Sullivan pitcher Forrest Kirsch got the next two Proswing batters to ground out and fly out, respectively, Chris Fumasoli ripped a double to left field to bring Haynes in to score, which gave the Pride a 2-1 advantage.
Fumasoli then stole third base and when the throw to third was errant, he crossed home plate to push his team’s lead to 3-1.
But Sullivan didn’t waste any time in regaining the lead. D’Esposito led off the top of the second with an infield single. Following a strikeout, Alex Cordisco walked and Chris Stawski singled to load the bases.
D’Esposito stole home to bring the Spartans within a run.
Following a walk to Jesse Brown, Cordisco scored on a passed ball to even the game at 3-3.
Zac Menendez then singled to right field, which allowed Stawski to cross the plate for a 4-3 Spartans’ lead.
Brown gave Sullivan a two-run advantage by scoring when Bryan White grounded out.
The Spartans maintained their 5-3 lead until the bottom of the third. Breslin led off the frame with a double and later scored on a groundout by Malcolm Sigelbaum to cut the Sullivan advantage to 5-4.
In the top of the fourth, however, the Spartans increased their lead to 8-4. With one out, Menendez drew a walk and White followed with a single.
The next batter, Jake Schilling, singled to right field to bring Menendez around to score. White crossed the plate on an infield hit by Bautista.
When D’Esposito belted a double to left center field, Schilling scored to give the Spartans an 8-4 advantage.
Sullivan scored what turned out to be the last two runs of the afternoon in the top of the fifth.
With two outs and two teammates on base, White reached first base thanks to an infield hit. Cordisco, who had walked, scored on that hit. Schilling then singled to left field, which enabled Menendez to cross the plate.
Kirsch set down the Proswing batters in order in the bottom of the fifth. He issued two walks in the bottom of the sixth, but got out of the inning by getting two fly ball outs.
The Pride attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh as Mike Guillaro led off with a double. After two groundouts, Rob Bellastolos walked to keep the inning going.
But the game ended quickly as Spartans catcher D’Esposito threw the ball to first baseman Yager to pick off Bellastolos for the final out.
“We have struggled all season with our hitting,” Proswing Pride Coach Phil Schnorr said. “Will VanDenberg pitched a pretty good game for us in the first game today. In the second game, we struggled all-around.”
With the sweep of the twinbill, Sullivan improved its season record to 12-12 overall and 8-7 in CBL play. Proswing Pride fell to 5-13 overall and 2-10 in the CBL.
Sullivan Spartans Manager Steve Alhona noted that D’Esposito had a big day at the plate by going 7 for 8 in the two games.
Alhona also praised the performance by Kirsch.
“Forrest threw the ball well on the mound,” Alhona said. “He did a solid job for us out there. He’s the youngest player on our team and is a rising senior at Liberty High School. Pitching in this league is a great experience for him.”
Alhona was also pleased to see the Spartans earn two victories.
“It’s always nice to get wins,” he commented. “Winning these two games today guarantees that we will win the series against Proswing. Winning a doubleheader is huge.”
The Spartans and the Pride were scheduled to play the last game of their three-game series on Monday evening in Westchester County.
Note: Sullivan won both of its CBL games against the Connecticut Titans on Sunday afternoon at the SCCC field.
In Game 1, Sullivan prevailed 5-2 as pitcher Kyle Montross got the win. Andrew Yager led the Spartans’ offense by going 4 for 4 with two RBIs.
In Game 2, pitcher Craig Miller threw a one-hit, complete game 3-0 shutout. He struck out 11 batters.