Local teams battled in spring diamond play

Local teams saw plenty of action last week on the baseball and softball diamonds.

BASEBALL
Margaretville 23, Roxbury 6

The visiting Blue Devils soundly defeated the host Rockets of Roxbury 23-6 Thursday afternoon, with MCS pitcher Patrick O’Connell tallying four strikeouts and complementing his efforts on the mound with three RBIs and two hits, including a double. He pitched three scoreless, no-hit innings, giving up only one walk.
Margaretville did much of its offensive damage in the third inning, when it tallied 12 runs and seven hits and faced three Roxbury pitchers.
“We just got beat by a better team,” said Roxbury Head Coach Greg Funck. “Their pitching was excellent, and their defense – I think they only made maybe one error – and they can just hit the ball. We committed seven errors. You’re not going to win too many ball games when you make seven errors, especially against a better team.”
Five other Margaretville players pitched in the win, including Mitch VanKeuren, Ian Williams, Brian Faulkner, Nate Tuch and Chris Costa. Costa, O’Connell, and John Fairbairn had two hits apiece for Margaretville.
The Blue Devils tallied 13 hits and drew 10 walks in their first win of the season. O’Connell tallied a double and a single while Costa, John Fairbairn and Brian Faulkner added two singles apiece. Margaretville senior Jon Lee, in his first season playing baseball, made contact in all three of his at-bats and tallied a single.
Roxbury pitcher Kyle Ciaravino started on the mound for the Rockets; Jacob Liberatore and David Clark also pitched for Roxbury, who rallied for six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Margaretville had a 17-0 lead going into the inning, in which Jeff Piasek had a triple for the Rockets, who got a single from David Clark and another from Owen Sanford.
“We did well,” Greg Funck said of his team’s offensive effort. “We put the ball in play more, and [Margaretville] only struck out 10 between all their pitchers. Margaretville just made the plays. And it’s tough to bounce back from seven errors.”
He added that a major focus for his young squad in practice is placed on fundamentals.
“Some of the errors we’re committing, like catching fly balls with one hand… we’re just going back to basics.”

Margaretville 2, South Kortright 15
The Margaretville Blue Devils held a 2-1 lead over the host Rams of South Kortright at the close of the second inning, and trailed by only two runs going into the fifth inning, but it was that inning that would drastically change things.
The Rams posted a 10-run fifth inning in last Tuesday’s nonleague game, including a two-run homer by Dan Many, that all but sealed the win for Kortright. Many added a double in the same inning and Eric Burns had two singles to lead the Rams’ offensive rally.
Patrick O’Connell started on the mound for the Blue Devils, pitching the first inning before Mitch VanKeuren took over. Guy Nobile took over pitching duties in the fourth and was relieved by Cody Fronckowiak in the fifth.
Both of Margaretville’s runs came in the second inning. John Fairbairn walked and Guy Nobile reached on an error. Nate Tuch popped up to third base to score Fairbairn and Ian Williams drove a ball to the third baseman to score Nobile.
The Blue Devils finished the day with one hit and five errors; South Kortright tallied 12 hits and four errors.
Patrick O’Connell singled in the sixth inning to tally Margaretville’s only hit.
South Kortright pitcher Kyle Hotaling got the win for the host Rams.

Gilboa 5, Roxbury 0
It was a tough day offensively for the Roxbury Rockets, who were limited to just two hits by Gilboa pitcher Justin Kovacevich. The Rockets’ Tim Douglas stole the no-hitter from Kovacevich in the fifth inning with a single in the fifth.
“We pretty much got shut out by their pitcher,” said Roxbury Head Coach Greg Funck. “We only had two hits. Our defense was pretty good, but their pitcher just overwhelmed us.”
Funck added that his team made the plays they were supposed to make on defense, but that his young squad was unable to mount a dangerous offensive effort.
“Gilboa had one really good pitcher,” Funck said. “That’s all you need in the Delaware League, and you’re going to win some ball games.”
The Rockets were led by David Clark, Tim Douglas, and freshman Kyle Ciaravino on the mound.
“Kyle pitched really well,” Funck said. “He struck out four in two innings, so that was impressive. David had a couple strikeouts… we had three guys pitch two innings just to get some work in.”

SOFTBALL
Roxbury 2, Margaretville 3

The host Margaretville Blue Devils squeaked out a win in the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday to defeat the Roxbury Rockets, 3-2.
“They didn’t give up,” said Margaretville Head Coach Bill Lonecke. “They hung right in there. It was a very close game, and they played an excellent defensive game.”
The Blue Devils were down 2-1 heading into the final inning, in which Margaretville loaded the bases and a single by Caitlyn Roberts drove in the tying run. With runners on second and third, Kaitlin Buerge drove a ball into right field to send home Erica Faulkner and clinch the win. Buerge also had a key catch in the sixth inning, when Roxbury pitcher Heather Davie hit a solid drive to center field; Buerge grabbed it on the run.
“Kaitlin Buerge’s hit at the end of the ball game – she really tagged that,” Lonecke said. “She smacked it a good one. She’s come a long way from the junior last year who was in her first year playing softball. She’s definitely won her spot as my starting center fielder.”
Blue Devils’ pitcher Karli Tait tallied the win for Margaretville, which got two runs from junior Emily Kelly and two RBIs from Roberts.
Despite the positive result of the game, Lonecke said he’ll be looking for his team to make contact with the ball more in upcoming games.
“Roxbury had four hits and we had one,” he said. “We need to hit the ball more if we’re going to be successful. Other than that, it was a great ball game. I was impressed with them – they showed a lot of heart, they played very well together as a team and they never got down on themselves or each other. They played as well as I’ve seen any softball team play before, and they know they can do it now, so from their end and my end, everybody’s expecting great things from the season.”
It was a one-hitter for Roxbury pitcher Heather Davie, who tallied seven strikeouts.

Roxbury 8, Gilboa 2
A team effort from Roxbury pitchers Heather Davie and Jenna Johnston led to a one-hitter for the Rockets, who defeated Gilboa at home last Tuesday afternoon. Davie, who earned the win, tallied seven strikeouts over six innings.
A four-run third inning was key for the Roxbury offense, which was led by Karly Bolger with three runs and five stolen bases.