Margaretville boys drop three in a row, despite two-run homer in extra innings

By Julia Green
Downsville 5, Margaretville 4 (Thursday)
An RBI single to left-center in the final inning was all the Downsville Eagles needed to edge out the visiting Margaretville Blue Devils on Thursday. Despite scoring four runs in the opening inning, including a two-run single by Brian Faulkner, the Blue Devils were held scoreless through the remainder of the game.
“We had four runs in the first and then we just didn’t score any more runs,” said Margaretville Head Coach Rick Funck. “After the first inning we left 11 guys on base. We had the bases loaded two times with our number four hitter and number five hitter and got nothing out of it. We had our chances. When you leave 11 guys on in six innings – that’s almost two an inning – we just couldn’t get the big hit at the big time.”
Mitch VanKeuren started on the mound for the Blue Devils, tallying four strikeouts and one earned run over five innings. Brian Faulkner pitched the final two innings for Margaretville.
“The killer play, and how we allowed them to tie the game up, was in the fifth inning,” Funck said. “They had a first-and-third situation and we’ve got different plays so we’re not always predictable, and I put on what I thought was the safe play, but our throw back to the pitcher was a little bit low and the ball was dropped and the guy on third wasn’t even looking… that was just a killer. That was a play where the momentum could have turned our way, where we could have held them 4-3 instead of being 4-4. That was the deadliest play of the game.”
 
Jefferson 10, Margaretville 2 (Friday)
The Blue Devils suffered another tough loss at the hands of undefeated Jefferson on Friday, going scoreless until the fourth inning.
“The Jefferson pitcher, Ben Sharib, pitched a very nice game,” Funck said. “We were three up, three down for the first three innings – he went through our guys like a hot knife through butter.”
That trend ended, however, with two consecutive hits in the fourth inning, when Margaretville’s Jake Brophy started the inning with a single and Ian Williams followed with another single.
“Jake scored on a pitcher’s choice by Patrick O’Connell,” Funck said. “From that inning, we kind of fizzled.”
The Blue Devils showed a spark in the fifth, when Jon Fairbairn led with a double and the next MCS batter was walked, putting runners on first and second; however, a strikeout, a fly out and another fly out ended the inning.
“We got the first two runners on in the fifth but didn’t get anything out of it,” Funck said.
Cody Fronckowiak, who tallied two hits for the Blue Devils, led off the sixth inning with a single and ultimately scored to give Margaretville its only other run of the outing.
“Brian Faulkner pitched three relatively strong innings,” Funck said. “They scored one run off him in the second and two in the third inning. They were all earned runs, we didn’t commit errors there. Then in the fourth inning, it was 3-1, and in the bottom of the fourth, that’s when they did most of their damage.”
The Blue Devils started the inning with an error followed by a single. A ground out and a strikeout followed, taking the inning to the final out with runners on second and third, but a double drove in both runners.
“Brian was one out away from getting out of the fourth,” Funck said. “We gave up three unearned runs in the fourth inning, which made it 6-1.”
Ian Williams pitched the last two innings.
“At this point right now, we’re getting outclassed by other teams’ pitchers,” Funck said. “Not getting key hits from the guys you have in the lineup in key positions… we’ve got a whole group thing going on where we’re not really hitting the ball hard. We’re putting the ball in play but we’re not putting it in play authoritatively – that’s our biggest weakness.
“Defensively, we’re still playing OK for the most part,” he added. “We haven’t been giving runs away, but the errors we’re committing are coming at crucial times. We’re not making a lot of errors, but it seems like the errors we are making are hurting us.”

Margaretville 6, South Kortright 7 (Monday)
A three-run rally by South Kortright in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the host Rams a one-run victory over visiting Margaretville on Monday.
The Rams had a 4-2 lead going into the seventh inning, when a two-run double by Patrick O’Connell tied it at four apiece to send it into extra innings. Things were looking good for the Blue Devils following a two-run homer by Mitch VanKeuren’s in the top of the eighth, but the undefeated Rams battled back to steal the win with a two-run double by Kyle Hotaling.
Margaretville pitching ace Patrick O’Connell tallied eight strikeouts, three walks and threw 115 pitches before being relieved after seven complete innings. He also went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. The Blue Devils will host Windham on Thursday.

Gilboa 16, Roxbury 13 (Monday)
The host Roxbury Rockets dropped a tough 16-13 game to the visiting Wildcats of Gilboa on Monday. David Clark had two hits for the Rockets including a double; Jeff Piasek also tallied two hits and Joe Damillone doubled for Roxbury. Clark and Piasek combined for five RBIs for the Rockets.
Clark got the loss for Roxbury, which moved to 0-4 overall and 0-3 in league play. The Rockets travel to Stamford on Thursday.
Note: The Roxbury @ Charlotte Valley game scheduled for last week was rescheduled for May 5 due to inclement weather.