Ed Townsend | Democrat
Monticello’s Terry Duncan streaks to victory in his heat of the 400 meter run. He would take home two individuals golds and two relay gold to win “Outstanding Track Athlete” of the meet.
Story by Ed Townsend
GRAHAMSVILLE April 30, 2013 Dominant pitching and an explosive offense were the trademarks of the Chester Hambletonians baseball team as they swept Tri-Valley in three games played at both Chester and Grahamsville.
"Our goal was to go 3-0 this week because S.S. Seward (Florida) has not lost,” said Chester coach Mike Doucette. “If we go 2-1 next week with Tuxedo and 2-1 the following week with Seward then we can win the division outright."
In last Thursday's game at Tri-Valley, Chester senior Zack Krawczyk struck out 10 Bears batters in seven innings. “He has good control, spots the ball, is a smart pitcher and has good location,” said Doucette.
The strong line drive hitting Chester displayed throughout the three games came after after adjustments Doucette made following games against Class A Goshen and Class AA Middletown where they hit a lot of pop ups.
"We don't strike out a lot, we are a good contact team and we're tough 1-9," Doucette added.
In absorbing the three-game losing streak, Tri-Valley coach John Rusin had high praise for Chester saying, "they put the ball in play, they don't give up on the bats, they play great defense, their pitchers keep them in the game, they don't walk many batters and they are a very well-rounded baseball team."
Rusin pointed out "that it seems like every game in this series one inning is where things got bad for us. We played five out of seven or six out of seven good innings but unfortunately you need to play solid for seven innings to make a good baseball game. Chester did that and we did not.”
Still, Rusin is encouraged by what he sees from his team.
"I believe in my guys, they have the goods to be great, they are a great bunch of kids and they work very hard,” said Rusin. “But we have to move forward as we have six league games left, 12 games left overall and our goal is to get into the sectionals. We don't care how we get in and we hope to get enough league wins to do that."
The one bad inning in Thursday's game for the Bears was the top of the second when Chester scored five runs off four singles, two doubles and an error. Chester scratched out one run in the top of the first inning and took an early 6-0 lead after two innings.
Winning Chester pitcher Krawczyk also had two hits, Ryan Cabrera added three hits including a double and drove in three runs and Giovanni Alfonso doubled and singled twice to help boost Chester’s record to 9-2 and 6-0 in OCIAA Division V league play.
For Tri-Valley, Rodney T. Jester doubled twice, drove in a run and scored a run. Mike Foster had two hits and Justin Swarthout added two RBI's. The Bears overall record is 2-6 and 2-4 in OCIAA league games.
In the first game last week at Grahamsville, Chester easily won 15-3 as ace Mike Coffey allowed five hits and struck out 12 over six innings.
Alfonso went 4 for 4 and Colin Marco had three hits and three RBI's. Chris Wittekind also added three hits for Chester.
Tri-Valley's Jester and Foster each had two hits.
In the second game at Chester, Cabrera struck out nine in six innings and went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Colon Marco drove in two runs for the Hambletonians.
Jester had a two-run double and Josh Borozny went 2 for 3 for the Bears.
About his formidable pitching staff, Doucette noted, "when you have a guy that throws a perfect game and another guy that almost throws a perfect game, my initial thinking before the start of the season was that Coffey was my number one pitcher. But Ryan Cabrera (who had the no hitter against Eldred) has really stepped up and now it's like having a one and a one-A."