By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR Livingston Manor cashed in at the “five and ten” Tuesday afternoon, breaking open a close game against Fallsburg with a 10-run fifth inning.
Adding six more runs in the sixth, the Wildcats cruised to the 21-3 victory, improving their record to 4-1 and taking the first two games of the three-game set
“Our bats finally woke up,” Manor Coach Jeff Loeffler said of his team’s 10-run fifth.
Joe Fredenburg and Taylor Pagan both ripped two-run doubles deep into the outfield and Robert Johaneman, Troy Correa and Mike Mills each recorded an RBI single during the fifth inning frenzy.
Key hits in Manor’s six-run sixth included RBI singles by Correa, Fredenburg, Kenny Fisk and Dylan D’Auria.
While he was pleased to see the Wildcats start hitting the ball well, Loeffler was also happy with his pitchers.
“Chad Rosario started for us today, and he pitched pretty well,” Loeffler commented. “He’s a senior and is gaining experience on the mound. He pitched a great game against Chester a couple of weeks ago, so this was his second win of the season.”
Loeffler said that his pitching rotation set up very well this week. Mills got the victory on the mound on Monday as Manor defeated Fallsburg, 30-0. Rosario pitched four innings on Tuesday to earn the win over the Comets and Correa pitched the final three innings in relief. Trever Taggart was slated to get the start when the Wildcats and Comets played yesterday afternoon in Fallsburg.
Even though Manor is off to a solid start in defense of its State Class D title, Loeffler knows there is still room for improvement.
“We made some mistakes here and there that we need to correct,” he explained. “You need to eliminate those kinds of errors and mistakes to play at an elite level in sectionals and states, especially to win those games. We just need to play our game.”
Fallsburg (3-2) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Josh Carter, who led off the frame with a single, crossed home when teammate Nick Brown drew a bases-loaded walk.
But the Wildcats took a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded, Dillon Taggart singled to left field to bring Johaneman and Correa in to score.
The Comets evened the game at 2-2 in the top of the third. Skylar Madura scored when Russell Corley walked with the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the third, Manor went ahead 3-2. Pagan, who hit a two-out double, scored when Johaneman singled to left field.
The Wildcats added two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Correa scored when Fisk reached base on an error and Fisk scored on a single by Mills.
Carter led off the top of the fifth for the Comets and scored moments later to make it a 5-3 game thanks to an infield hit by Corley.
“They had a big inning in the fifth and we couldn’t come back from it,” Fallsburg Coach Jeff O’Neill said.
“But we played much better than we did yesterday,” he added, referring to the Comets’ lopsided, shutout loss to Manor on Monday.
Despite his team’s second loss in as many days, O’Neill was pleased with how the Comets played.
“We were down by several runs, but we kept playing hard,” he commented. “Our guys didn’t quit at all. It doesn’t matter what the score is. As long as our guys are competing and giving it their best, I am happy with that.”
O’Neill is also encouraged that his team has a perfect 3-0 record in Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V.
“We still have a lot of baseball to play this year,” he said.