Margaretville baseball club improves to 7-1

By John Bernhardt

Margaretville rolls
The Margaretville boys’ baseball team is on a roll. A three-game sweep last week boosted the Blue Devils overall record to 7-1. Margaretville is 3-0 in Delaware League play.
“We have different people coming through every game in every facet of the game,” explained Blue Devil coach Rick Funck. As an example, Funck noted that Brian Conine went a perfect 3-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored, and four RBIs in Friday’s, 17-8, Delaware League win over Jefferson. The day before, Nathan Tuck was the hitting star slamming a triple and double and driving home 4 RBIs in a 19-6 win over Schenevus. Kenny Wilson’s two-hit, three RBI performance spearheaded an, 18-12, extra inning affair earlier in the week in Davenport.
With the score knotted at 7-7 in the bottom of the fifth inning, heads-up base running by Patrick O’Connell ignited a five-run explosion against Jefferson on Friday. O’Connell led off with a single then stole second, third, and home to break the tie. After swiping second and third, the quick thinking Blue Devil took advantage of an aggressive JayHawk catcher to score the tie-breaker. Suspecting the catcher would come out throwing, O’Connell took a huge lead off third, then raced for home the second the ball left the catcher’s hand heading for third. The speedy O’Connell raced home just ahead of the third baseman’s throw scoring the go-ahead run.
Chris Costa’s two-run double later in the inning rounded out the five-run outburst. After Jefferson got back one run in the top of the sixth, the Blue Devils came back with five more to put the game away in their half of the inning.
Costa’s daring base running spearheaded a six-run extra-inning rally in Davenport last week Tuesday. Brian Faulkner and Costa walked to start the extra frame. A double steal put the runners in scoring position at second and third when Kenny Wilson chopped a soft infield grounder between the pitching mound and second base. With Wilson legging out an infield single, Costa hustled all the way around from second to give the Blue Devils a two-run lead in the added frame. Margaretville used Wilson’s single, five bases-on-balls and one hit batter to score six times in the inning.
The team contributions have not been limited to the Margaretville offense. Several Blue Devils are sharing the load on the pitching hill, too. “We really don’t have a number one pitcher,” explained Funck. “We’ve been pitching by committee with several different guys chipping in on the mound.”
A major factor has been the emergence of eighth-grader John Fairbairn as the Blue Devils’ regular catcher. Fairbairn, the leadoff batter in the lineup, is doing a solid job behind the dish giving Funck the luxury of using last year’s catcher, Brian Conine more on the pitching hill. Conine pitched six strong innings in his only start in Stamford earlier in the season, won a decision in relief in Davenport, and snuffed out a Schenevus rally from the bullpen on Thursday.
The Blue Devils have received quality ‘strategic innings’ on the mound. Mitch Van Keuren started strong in the Schenevus game, throwing only 28 pitches in three scoreless innings before tiring in the fourth. Brian Faulkner threw three, one-run innings, striking out six batters to close the deal the following day against Jefferson.

Roxbury blasts Davenport
Steven Hubbard played long ball Friday, helping Roxbury power past Davenport, 12-7. The Rocket senior went 3-for-4 slamming two triples and a home run with five RBIs. Hubbard’s power outage boosted the Rockets to the .500 mark at 3-3. The Rockets are 1-1 in Delaware League play.
Hubbard was at the front of a Rocket team-batting surge against the Wildcats. Rockets’ bats were booming up and down the lineup as the home team pounded 14 hits. Adam Arvanete banged four hits, and Andrew Camillone and Lucas Brewer both had two each for Roxbury.
Lucas Brewer went the distance throwing a complete game victory for Roxbury.

Hubbard records 17 Ks
A dazzling performance on the mound by Roxbury senior Steven Hubbard lifted the Rockets past Windham, 5-2 in a game played in Roxbury last week. Hubbard was brilliant on the hill striking out 17 Warriors.
Adam Arvanete’s two-run single keyed a three-run Rockets’ rally in the first inning giving Hubbard all the support he would need. Senior Andrew Camillone blasted a solo home run in the fifth to provide some added insurance. Evan Goettsche and Tim Douglas both smashed extra base hit doubles for the Rockets.
Andew Alberti turned in an impressive pitching performance for the Warriors. Alberti entered the game after starting pitcher Anthony Alesi was hit by a pitch in the first inning and could not continue. The Windham reliever limited the Rockets to two runs the rest of the way, striking out 13.
The game was played in Roxbury but was considered a home contest for the Warriors. Windham cannot play games on their home field due to the construction of an addition on the Warriors’ campus.

Lady Rockets can’t hold leads
Friday was a frustrating day for the Roxbury girls’ softball team. Playing on the road in Davenport, the Rockets pounded out 17 hits and held leads of four or more runs three times during the Delaware League contest. But, the Rockets couldn’t put their hosts away, squandering an eight-run lead in the sixth inning to drop a disappointing, 16-15, decision.
In the end it was a bases-loaded walk to Katie Brown that forced home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Trailing 15-7, the Wildcats rallied in the home sixth, scoring eight times to tie the score then walked away with the win in their final at bat in the seventh.
Amanda Toombs went 2-for-4 and Chelsea Haight scored four times for the home team. But, it was the Roxbury bats that sizzled with Heather Davie going 4-for-4 and Briana George 3-for-4 to pave the way for the Rockets. Davie and Jessica Utsler had double for the visitors. Morgan Romann blasted a triple for the Rockets.