Senior Kyle Short leads MCS team over the Rockets

OVER THE TOP — Margaretville catcher Cooper Reither leaps for a high throw as Jefferson’s John Quagliano slides in safely during action last Tuesday at MCS. — Photos by Dick SanfordOVER THE TOP — Margaretville catcher Cooper Reither leaps for a high throw as Jefferson’s John Quagliano slides in safely during action last Tuesday at MCS. — Photos by Dick SanfordIt’s always tough for a high school baseball team to say goodbye to its seniors. For the Margaretville squad that will be especially so when they close their 2014 campaign and Kyle Short has played his final game.
Short has been nothing short of terrific this spring for Margaret­ville. Friday, the Blue Devils pitching ace won his fifth game of the spring without a loss, when Margaretville edged Roxbury 5-4.
Short did not have his best stuff on the mound as a gritty Roxbury nine dug in at the plate, extending at bats and getting enough metal on the ball to put it in play. In fact, when Short finished up his final inning on the hill in the fifth, the Blue Devils ace found himself on the short side with the Rockets in front, 4-3.
Top hitter, too
But, Short’s impact on a baseball game is not limited only to when he pitches. Short is the best hitter on the Margaretville squad with a .452 batting average, and Friday he made an impact at the plate getting four of the five Margaretville hits, going four for four with two doubles, scoring two runs and knocking home two RBIs.
Eric Mathiesen of MCS waits for the ball as a  Jefferson runner slides into second with a stolen base in last Tuesday’s game at Margaretville. Backing up the play is  second baseman Tristan Santiago.Eric Mathiesen of MCS waits for the ball as a Jefferson runner slides into second with a stolen base in last Tuesday’s game at Margaretville. Backing up the play is second baseman Tristan Santiago.
With the Blue Devils trailing 4-3, Short led off the fifth with a single to center field. Margaretville catcher Cooper Reither then blasted a 1-2 curveball deep over the left field wall for a game-winning home run.
Short wasn’t done yet. Matt VanValkenburg replaced Short on the mound in the sixth and walked the first batter he faced. Patrick Hanrahan then slammed a hard grounder down the first base line. Short, now playing first base, fielded the ball and stepped on first getting an unassisted putout, then fired a strike to shortstop Eric Mathiesen who slapped a tag on the runner to complete a critical double play.
Trailing 1-0 in the third, Chris Clark slammed a two-out double off Short. Will Rendler and Short then locked horns in a classic nine-pitch battle with Rendler eventually tapping a 40-foot ground ball down the third base line that he beat out for an infield single. A heads up Clark was off on the pitch and never stopped running to plate the first Roxbury run.
After Eric Mathiesen led off the Margaretville third, Short doubled him home and later scored to give the home team a 3-1 lead. But, Short experienced some rare location issues in the fifth, walking three of the first four batters he faced. With the bases loaded, Roxbury got one run back when Rendler grounded out to second base. Jacob Davis then blasted a long double in the gap between center and right, giving Roxbury the lead, and setting up Reither’s home-run dramatics.
Margaretville came up short two times when their ace pitcher was not on the mound last week, losing 13-2 to Jefferson and 13-1 to Stamford.