Rockets post first baseball win; Margaretville holds off JayHawks
By Julia Green
The Roxbury Rockets earned their first win of the season on Thursday as they posted a 15-8 win over the host Windham Warriors. The Rockets were led by winning pitcher Andy Merwin, who went 3-for-4 with three runs, two doubles, and two RBIs.
The Rockets jumped out to an early lead, tallying eight runs in the first three innings to take a five-run lead. The Warriors battled back, tallying five runs in the fifth inning, but the Rockets put six on the board in the bottom of the fifth to keep the lead.
They were unable to recreate the result on Monday, however, when they played host to the visiting Charlotte Valley Wildcats.
The Rockets put up a strong offensive effort, tallying 10 runs in the outing, but the Charlotte Valley offense stayed a step ahead. The game was within reach for the Rockets through the third inning, when they trailed by only two runs, but a nine-run fourth inning by the visitors gave them a 13-2 lead. Roxbury went on their own scoring run in the bottom of the fourth, putting six runs on the board, and added two more in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to take over the lead.
Roxbury pitcher David Clark led the Rockets, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. He was relieved in the third inning by Nick Hamil. Andy Merwin took over the mound in the sixth inning.
The Rockets moved to 1-2 in the league and overall; they will travel to Gilboa on Thursday to face the Wildcats at 4:15 p.m.
The Margaretville Blue Devils kept the ball rolling on Monday, when they posted a 7-3 win over the visiting Jefferson Jayhawks. They were led by winning pitcher Patrick O’Connell, who tallied seven strikeouts and three walks over six innings.
Margaretville got on the board in the third inning, when Jon Fairbairn got hit with a pitch and O’Connell singled to put runners on first and second. A two-run RBI double by Grant Cure put two runs up for the Blue Devils, and an RBI single by Ian Williams gave Margaretville a 3-0 lead.
The JayHawks battled back in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs to tie it up, but the Blue Devils were not to be deterred.
Following a strikeout in the bottom of the sixth inning, Margaretville’s Daniel Vankeuren got hit with a pitch and was sent to first. A single by Cody Fronckowiak that got bobbled by the right fielder put runners at second and third with one out, and Fairbairn connected for a hit that sent Vankeuren home to make it 4-3.
The Jefferson pitcher elected to intentionally walk O’Connell, putting runners at the corners, and Brian Faulkner got hit with a pitch to load the bases. Fronckowiak stole home on a passed ball, and O’Connell scored from second base when the catcher’s throw back to the pitcher went astray. Another passed ball led to another run, as Faulkner crossed the plate.
“We scored three of our four runs on passed balls and an error,” Funck said. “That was big, to score three runs without a hit.”
Fronckowiak was the offensive leader for the Blue Devils, going 2-for-3 with a run, and O’Connell went 2-for-2 with two intentional walks and two runs. Williams went 2-for-4 with two singles and an RBI.
“And, maybe the spark of the whole thing, Grant Cure had the big two-RBI double in the third inning that got us on the board,” Funck said. “That got us going. That was the hit that gave us two RBIs.”
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Funck said. “Their pitcher, Tyler Dibble, was pitching right along with Patrick; they pretty much matched each other for six innings, and he’s definitely the best pitcher we’ve seen so far, and we knew going in that it was going to be a tough game. When Grant got us going with the RBI double, I think that gave the other guys some confidence that we could hit this guy. It seems like in the games we’ve played so far, we need a guy to get the big hit and then the other hits follow.”
The Blue Devils connected for eight hits and committed three errors. They are currently 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the league, and will face the visiting South Kortright Rams at home on Thursday.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the start, with the group of guys we have playing because they are such a great group of guys,” Funck said. “It’s going to continue to be a great season as we go on regardless of wins and losses, just because of the guys that are playing down here. MCS should be very proud of the team we’re fielding because they’re playing the game the way it’s meant to be played, and as a coach you can’t ask for anything more than that.”