Hawks shot down by CB West in opener
Free bases. In baseball, you wanna get ‘em, not give ‘em.
On Friday, March 23, on a day more suited for ice hockey then baseball, Council Rock South was handing them out like free water ices DW RLWD’s Rn WhH firsW GDy RI spring. The Golden Hawks gave away 16 of them, including 13 walks.
And Suburban One League (SOL) Continental Conference Central Bucks West took full advantage. The Bucks used just two hits in registering a 4-0 edge that included three unearned runs in the visitors’ fourth. In the eighth, after loading the bases on a pair of walks and a hit batsman, West strung together three straight RBI hLWs Ln D fivH-run HLJhWhinning outburst that saw the Bucks escape Holland with a 9-4 victory in extras.
CB West righthander gohn Fitz earned the win in a three-inning effort in relief of Bucks starter Cole Malinauskas. West southpaw Sean Loughery was credited with the save, allowing just one baserunner in the home eighth.
It was certainly a tough way to start a season for the Hawks, a team entering the current campaign as defending SOL National Conference champs and 2012 3,AA finDOLsWs.
Starting on the hill for South was senior lefthander Ryan Fleming, who is headed to Rutgers on a Division-I athletic scholarship. Fleming had problems with control, however, walking IRur bDWWHrs Ln WhH firsW WhrHH innings. With his team trailing in the top of the fourth, Fleming allowed West to load the bases on nary a hit then tossed a pair of wild pitches that saw the Bucks extend their lead to 2-0 on a run sFRrHG by RuWfiHOGHr :LOO Taylor.
That was the end of Fleming’s day on the mound. Making matters worse for the Hawks, reliever Dom Cocco issued a pair of bases-loaded walks that allowed West to go on ahead by a 4-0 score.
The boys from Holland battled back, however. Fleming – who scored two of South’s four runs and crushed a pair of inningopening triples – ignited both rallies for the Hawks, starting off with a one-out single in the home fourth. With two outs, catcher Pete DeLuca (2 RBI, D) smacked an RBI double that scored Fleming followed by an RBI sLnJOH by FHnWHrfiHOGHr 0DWW Scannapieco that closed the gap to two.
Fleming got things going in South’s direction again in the sixth, tagging Malinauskas with a leadoff triple then coming home on a bunt single by DeLuca after a walk to junior righthander Matt Walsh. With runners at the corners, Walsh came home with the tying run when DeLuca got himself caught Ln D runGRwn bHWwHHn firsW and second base. Fitz threw the ball away however and the Hawks runner was safe at second. He’d get to third on a passed ball, one of three occasions in the last three innings South had the winning run just 90 feet from home plate.
In the bottom of the seventh, shortstop Will Faccenda was left standing on third base after getting on board with a walk, reaching sHFRnG Rn D sDFrLfiFH DnG stealing third.
In the visitors’ eighth, the Bucks were back at it with the free bases. South righthander Matt Walsh, who’d
done a nice job in relief of senior Dom Cocco to that point including pitching a 1-2-3 seventh, allowed West to load the bases on a pair of walks and a hit batsman.
With one out, Bucks catcher Jason Peralta made the Hawks pay once more, stroking an RBI single that sFRrHG CB WHsW RuWfiHOGHrs Zach Marmelin and Miles 9HrruWR. BuFNs FHnWHrfiHOGHr Brennan Snyder followed with another hit that scored LnfiHOGHr RRE 3KLOOLSs DnG Peralta. A moment after Fitz reached base as a hit bats- man, West shortstop Pat Kelly stroked an RBI single that pushed the score to its finDO.
“You go from 90 feet from winning the game to down fiYH runs Ln WKH HLJKWK LnnLnJ just like that,” explained CR South head coach Ted Kirner. “It’s baseball.”
Coming off a season in which South sustained only one loss in capturing SOL National Conference and went all the way to the state championship game, one might suspect that expectations are high this season for the Hawks.
However, that may not be the case for South.
Gone are Hawks mound aces Brett DeStefano, Brian Donnelly and Jeff Miller. Catcher Dan CalODKDn DORnJ ZLWK LnfiHOGHrs Mike Chaykin, Zak Gross and Steve Wright have also graduated.
“We’re going to have to earn everything that we get,” stated Kirner. “We’re going to have to be a scrappy team and we’re open to the challenge. “We’re excited for it.” South graduated 13 seniors and what’s more, Greg Young, the only coach the Hawks had ever known, stepped down at season’s end in 2012.
It appears that it’s a whole new ballgame on Rock Way. In addition to Fleming, South is relying on righthanders Greg Paprocki and Matt Walsh along with Cocco, a lefthander.
“The key is getting these guys to gel as a group,” explained Kirner. “A lot of these guys want recognition. They have that passion burning deep down inside to just know that they can do it.
“They know it’s possible and they deeply want it; they just have to play.”
The Hawks open play in the SOL National Conference April 2 at Abington before coming home April 4 versus Truman. South returns just three to the varsity squad including Fleming, FDFFHnGD DnG rLJKWfiHOGHr Greg Paprocki.
Council Rock South infielder Jake Nevin gets back to first base in time to avoid the pickoff in season-opening duel against CB West.