Hot streak has RCS boys aiming for baseball title

By John Bernhardt

Don’t look now, but that’s the Roxbury Rockets stampeding hard behind the South Kortright Rams.  After a handful of early season nonleague losses, Roxbury seemed like an afterthought in the evolving Delaware League baseball race.  Yet, two league victories last week, including an impressive 5-2 win over Hunter-Tannersville, leave the Rockets breathing down SK’s neck, one game behind the Rams in the Mountain Division chase.

Roxbury used a four-run, one-out, fourth inning outburst and a solid Steven Hubbard pitching performance to best the Wildcats Tuesday on their home field.  With one out Andrew Camillone was hit by a pitch in the home fourth.  Jacob Liberatore worked a base-on-balls, and both runners scored when Adam Arvanche scorched a line-drive single off the left field fence.  Andy Merwin reached base when he was hit by a pitch.  The Rockets loaded the bases when Tim Douglas reached base on an infield error.  John Skipper’s single to right field drove home a run.  The Rockets scored one more time with Lucas Brewer picking up an RBI on an infield ground out.

The four-run explosion was all Hubbard would need.  With the game tied at 1-1, Hubbard  worked out of a sticky mess in the top of the third.  The Wildcats used two Rockets’ infield miscues and a Donald Pesciotta single to load the bases with nobody out.  The next H-T batter hit a chopper off home plate that Rocket catcher Andrew Camillone played on the high hop, stepping on home plate for a force and gunning the ball to first to complete a double play.  When Skipper ran down a fly ball in right field, the Rockets had escaped without yielding a run.

Leading 5-2, Roxbury took advantage of a twist of fate in the final inning.  The number nine batter in the H-T line-up led off with a single.  After Hubbard notched a strikeout, a Wildcat lined a shot that appeared headed for right field.  Once again, fate was on Roxbury’s side as the ball hit the runner’s foot for the second out of the inning.  A Greg Mudge single made the H-T clean-up hitter Pesciotta the tying run at the plate.  Hubbard shut the door by fanning the power hitter for his seventh strike-out of the game.

Adam Arvante had the only two-hit game for the Rockets.  Hubbard and Andy Merwin both had doubles for the victors.

Roxbury continued their winning ways besting Downsville, 11-5, on their home field Thursday.  Lucas Brewer and Hubbard both slammed three-run homers in a nine-run fireworks display in the Rockets’ first at bat.  

Brewer had four hits to compliment a complete-game pitching victory.  Hubbard slammed three hits that included a double.  David Clark and Camillone also nailed two-base hits for the Rockets.

The win improved Roxbury’s record to 5-1 in Delaware League play.  The Rockets trail South Kortright by a single game in the standings.  The two teams were slated to play on Friday but rains pushed back the contest to tomorrow.

Roxbury girls improving

A quick look at the box scores does not tell the real story of the Roxbury girls’ softball team.  The Lady Rockets dropped two Delaware League contests last week but are showing a world of improvement on the diamond.  Roxbury battled Upper Division contender Hunter-Tannersville to a 4-3 decision before losing to  Mountain Division leader Downsville, 9-3 later in the week.

H-T used base hits by Kirsten Davis and Catherine Romito to manufacture three runs in the home third, erasing a 3-1 Rockets’ lead.  A bases-loaded walk scored Amy Van Etten for the winning run in the rally.  Neither team could scratch out a run the rest of the way. 

Rachel Meckes had a three-hit game for the Rockets that included a double.  Briana George also doubled for the visitors.  

Heather Davie fired a four hitter for Roxbury.  Van Etten hurled a complete game victory of H-T.  

Roxbury turned in a sterling performance in Downsville later in the week.  The Rockets and Eagles resumed a rain-suspended contest in the top of the fourth inning with the Rockets trailing 8-3.  Downsville could only add one run to the score during the second half of the game played last week.  

Jessica Martin had two hits in the game for Roxbury.