Friday, 18 May 2012 00:00
It was another beautiful day for baseball, and the St. Aloysius seventh grade CYO baseball team was ready to rebound from the previous day’s loss to St. Dominics. St. Als broke out early, executing a series of “small ball” moments to take the early lead, and they never looked back en route to a 7-2 seven-inning victory over St. Patrick, putting them back over the .500 mark with a 3-2 at the halfway point of the season.
It was another strong outing for St. Als starter Jacob Seidenberg, who quieted the St. Patrick bats with his sinking changeup, and went 5 2/3 innings before giving up his first walk of the day. After a long and somewhat controversial bottom of the first inning (explained below), Jacob breezed through the next four innings, never needing more than 11 pitches to set down the St. Patrick’s lineup. In the end, solid pitching, timely hitting, aggressive base running, and some great defense won the game for St. Als.
St. Als opened the scoring in the top of the first with a bases-loaded groundout by Jared Schwartz to make the score 1-0 after the first frame. But St. Patrick struck back in the bottom of the inning, when a one-out dribbler back to the mound turned into the most controversial play of the game. With the leadoff batter on third and breaking for home on the pitch, the St. Patrick hitter bounced a dribbler to the mound, which was cleanly fielded by Seidenberg, who then tossed to Schwartz at home for what appeared to be the second out of the inning. However, the runner jumped over the bat laying in the baseline, eluded the tag, and after missing home plate, dove back to touch the plate before Schwartz could apply the tag. Meanwhile, the St. Patrick hitter tried to take advantage of the chaos at home plate, and took off for second base. Alertly, Schwartz fired down to second, starting a 1-2-6-3-4 rundown, which ended when second baseman Josh Putter applied the tag as the runner tried to dive headfirst into second base. When the dust cleared, St. Patrick had tied up the game 1-1.
But in the top of the second, St. Als pieced together some masterful “small ball” play to put them ahead to stay. After Jay Korman and Nicholas Bornstein started the inning with solid hits and advanced to second and third on stolen bases, Ben Newman executed an incredible suicide squeeze play, laying down a perfect bunt to knock in Korman, and with lightening speed, beat the throw to first base. With Bornstein on third base, Danny Kosofsky followed Newman with a suicide squeeze of his own to drive in Bornstein for the second run of the inning. Newman later stole home on a passed ball, and after Jordan Greiff singled and stole second and third, he also scored on a steal of home. By the end of the inning, St. Als had a 5-1 lead on the strength of five hits and some very aggressive running.
Meanwhile, the defense held tight, as Korman snared two fly balls in leftfield in the second and third innings, and Michael Young knocked down a grounder to throw out the runner at first to end the third inning. Seidenberg helped his own cause in the fourth inning, as he fielded two grounders and caught a pop-up, recording all three outs in the inning. While the defense held their ground, the St. Als bats kept clicking, as Jacob Neiderman lashed a two-out double down the right field line in the top of the sixth, and after Bornstein reached on an error and Newman laid down his second perfect bunt of the game, Seidenberg lashed a two-out, two-run single to rightfield to complete the St. Als scoring.
In the bottom of the seventh, St. Patrick led off with a single, and the next batter hit a sharp grounder to shortstop. In the defensive play of the season to date, Greiff fielded the ball at short, ran full speed to step on the bag at second, then fired a rocket to first base, where Max Chafiian reached high to snare the throw and complete the double-play to erase the runners. When Seidenberg reached his pitch limit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, it was up to St. Als reliever Jonny Farkas to end the threat, which he did in two batters, inducing a 6-4 fielder’s choice to end the game.
Stay tuned as St. Als takes on the eighth grade boys from St. Dominics in their next game at their home on the Great Neck North High School fields at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 19.