Margaretville boys battle for league lead as baseball season enters final weeks
By Julia Green
Margaretville 19, Gilboa 7 (Tuesday)
The Blue Devils dealt a hardy loss to visiting Gilboa last Tuesday, defeating the Wildcats 19-7. The Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead, scoring seven runs in the first inning to Gilboa’s one.
“Gilboa did score an unearned run in the first inning – we had an error in the infield – but we came up at the bottom of the first inning and scored seven runs,” said Margaretville Head Coach Rick Funck. “Chris Costa led off with a walk, Cody Fronckowiak singled, and Patrick O’Connell hit a triple. We only had three hits, but Patrick had a triple to knock in a couple runs and we scored a couple more that inning on sac flies.”
The Wildcats kept themselves in the game in the second inning, putting two more runs on the board, but the Blue Devils kept the pressure on, tallying three more to take a seven-run lead. Margaretville held Gilboa scoreless in the top of the third and then tallied four more runs in the bottom of the inning to widen the gap to 11 runs.
“Patrick had another single to knock two people in,” Funck said. “He was our big RBI man that day with four RBIs, and Brian Faulkner also had an RBI single in the bottom of the third. After that, the game was pretty much over.”
O’Connell started the game on the mound for the Blue Devils, tallying five strikeouts over four innings, and Mitch VanKeuren took over and pitched three innings.
“Mitch did a nice job finishing it up,” Funck said. “He had a couple strikeouts.”
The Blue Devils capped off the outing with a two-run home run by Brian Faulkner and an RBI single by Grant Cure at the bottom of the sixth inning; Faulkner was 2-for-3 on the day.
The Blue Devils moved to 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the league with the win.
H-T 8, Roxbury 7 (Tuesday)
The Roxbury Rockets battled back from a four-run first inning posted by the host Wildcats of Hunter-Tannersville on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough to put the game in the win column.
The Rockets tallied four runs over the second and third innings to bring the score back within one run and held the Wildcats scoreless until the sixth inning, when an RBI double by Hunter’s Nick Jones and a throwing error by Roxbury gave the Wildcats a two-run lead.
The Rockets’ offense was led by Owen Sanford, who tallied two hits including a double, and Joey Camillone, who had two hits and an RBI. Sanford also led the Roxbury defense from the mound.
Stamford 17, Margaretville 9 (Thursday)
The Margaretville Blue Devils were unable to find their footing against Stamford on Thursday, dropping a tough 17-9 league game to the host Indians.
“It was a big game for us because Stamford is on our side of the league,” said Margaretville Head Coach Rick Funck. “We started out the game with our first five guys on base. In the top of the first inning we had two runs in and the bases loaded and nobody out, so we could’ve done a lot of damage right there in the first inning. Unfortunately, our next three guys struck out with the bases loaded – that was kind of an omen of things to come.”
The Blue Devils faced quite a challenge from Stamford pitcher Mike Brown, who tallied 16 strikeouts and complemented his efforts on the mound with a strong showing at the plate. Brown knocked out two home runs and tripled to lead the Indians.
“Mike not only pitched a heck of a ball game, he had two homers, a double, a single, scored four runs, had like four RBIs,” Funck said. “He killed us with his arm and he did pretty good damage with his bat, too. It was definitely the Mike Brown show.”
The Blue Devils tallied four runs in the third inning to bring themselves back to within three, but were unable to hold Stamford in check, as the Indians tallied eight runs between the fifth and sixth innings.
“It was one of the sloppiest ball games we’ve played all year long,” Funck said. “We walked eight, and five of them scored; we had four errors; three of the guys that got on base with errors scored; there’s eight runs right there. Obviously, that could have made the difference in the game. It’s just one of those games you’d rather forget about.”
With the loss, the Blue Devils moved to a .500 league record as they move into the home stretch of the regular season. The Blue Devils face Hunter-Tannersville on Thurs-day in game which, if won, would guarantee that Margaretville would at least be co-champions of the Upper Delaware division of the Delaware League.
“All we’ve got to worry about is what we have control over,” Funck said. “If we win Thursday, we are at least co-champions. I told the guys today, we’ve just got to get our confidence back. We’ve got to get it back for Thursday, because if they don’t get up for Thursday, I don’t know what it would take to get them up. When you have a chance to play for the championship on your side of the league… well, we’ve just got to get some confidence back and let that carry through to Thursday’s game. After that, anything can happen.
“There are four games yet to play before sectionals begin,” he added. “There are so many different things that can happen, and if we can do our part and win on Thursday, then we’ll take it from there.”
South Kortright 26, Roxbury 2 (Friday)
Friday was a tough day for the Roxbury Rockets’ baseball team, as they dropped a 26-2 loss to the visiting Rams of South Kortright. Tim Douglas led the Roxbury offense with two of the Rockets’ six hits and the only two RBIs of the day, which came in the third inning.
Much of the damage had already been done, however, following a 10-run second inning that gave the Rams a 16-run lead. It was a tough outing for the Roxbury defense, which committed 12 errors on the day.
David Clark tallied his third loss of the season on the mound for Roxbury.
The Rockets moved to 1-9 overall and 1-6 in the league following Friday’s game. They faced the host Blue Devils of Margaretville on Tuesday; no score was available at press time.