Ed Townsend | Democrat
Tri-Valley senior Rodney T. Jester pitched six innings, striking out five and went 3-for-3 with three RBI's in the Bear's 12-6 victory Wednesday over top-seeded Chester in a Section IX, Class C semifinal game.
Jester leads T-V past Chester
Story by Ed Townsend
CHESTER May 31, 2013 "We had our eyes on the sectionals from week one," Tri-Valley baseball coach John Rusin noted following his team’s 12-6 upset victory over No. 1 seed Chester in the Section IX, Class C semifinals played Wednesday at Chester.
The Tri-Valley victory put the No. 4 seeded Bears into the championship game against No. 2 seed Rhinebeck. That game was played yesterday at SUNY New Paltz.
"We had to find a way to get into the sectionals and we're a better team than when we lost to them earlier in the season," Rusin added, referring to Chester’s sweep of Tri-Valley in their three-game league series, though every game was close.
Tri-Valley (13-8) fell behind 4-2 after two innings Wednesday as senior starter Rodney T. Jester gave up all four runs on several long double blasts to center field.
But then the right-hander settled down and the Bear’sbats heated up, including Jester’s, who went 3-for-3 with three RBIs.
When asked if he thought Jester would come back after being down 4-2, Rusin said, "Rodney has been in a lot of big situations and he's a veteran. He’s been on this team since his sophomore year and he's seen it all.
“He was there when we lost the seven-run lead in the seventh inning two years ago against Seward and he was there for the championship win last year.
"He's had an outstanding season and I expected him to have a big season this year. But it super-seeded even what I thought, he's a great leader, a great teammate and he’s just a great kid."
With Wednesday's win coach Rusin said "we continued our progression as a team and we just got better. Earlier on we had a lot of new guys in new positions and it's all really about getting better each day."
Tri-Valley broke Wednesday's game open in their half of the fifth with the help of five walks by Chester ace Ryan Cabrera, who threw two no-hitters earlier this year. Jester singled and Cody Exner doubled to push the walks across.
"A lot of walks and we were not around the zone, said Chester coach Mike Doucette. “With Ryan Cabrera throwing we expect a lot better control.”
Doucette credited Tri-Valley "with moving the guys over, hitting the gaps and doing everything they needed to do."
He added: “We had high hopes after losing to Tri-Valley 1-0 last year and felt this would be our year. You’re never going to see a bad baseball team come out of Tri-Valley toward the end of the season."
Adding to the Bears’ victory Wednesday was Mike Foster, who went 3-for-3 with one double and one RBI and Exner with a double and a home run to the deepest part of center field.
Cabrera took the loss for Chester, which ends its season with a 17-4 record.
Tri-Valley advanced to the semifinal game against Chester by defeating No. 5 seed S.S. Seward 7-4 Monday in Grahamsville.
Alex Brown pitched a three-hitter and had three RBIs. Foster went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI's and Anzano went 3-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI.