Three-run homer by Williams propels Margaretville boys to victory

Margaretville 5, Roxbury 2
The elusive sunlight glinted off the silver barrel of Margaretville slugger Ian Williams’ brand-new bat in the bottom of the sixth inning of Tuesday’s non-league showdown with the Roxbury Rockets. And the resounding crack as he made contact with Roxbury pitcher David Clark’s 0-1 pitch left no doubt that the ball was headed over the outfield fence.
Indeed, the ball sailed over the left-field fence, driving in the game-winning run as well as two more on Tuesday afternoon after the Rockets had tied the game in the top of the sixth.
“In that inning Cody Fronckowiak led off with a single, then Patrick O’Connell got hit with a pitch, and then Ian hit the three-run home run,” said Margaretville Head Coach Rick Funck.
And the new bat? “I hope it keeps working,” Funck said.
Williams led the Blue Devils with four RBIs while Grant Cure added one for Margaretville.
It was a close game from the start, with each team tallying a run in the opening inning and both remaining scoreless for the following two innings. Margaretville’s Jake Brophy singled and Cure had an RBI single to bring him home.
“It was 1-1 after the first inning, then [Roxbury pitcher] David Clark settled down and we went 1,2,3 in the second and third,” Funck said.
O’Connell led off the fourth inning with a single and advanced to third with only one out; Williams hit a fly to shallow left field to send O’Connell home to make it 2-1.
The Rockets battled back in the sixth, however, driving one run in to tie the game once again.
Roxbury’s Jacob Liberatore had advanced to third base, and Margaretville pitcher Jon Fairbairn, pitching in relief of starting pitcher Chris Costa, struck out a Roxbury batter but MCS catcher Cure was unable to hold on to the ball.
“Grant looked Liberatore back to third, and as soon as he threw it to first base, Liberatore came home,” Funck said. “Brian [Faulkner] threw the ball right back home, but the kid just beat the throw.”
That tied it at two apiece heading into the bottom of the inning, when Williams and his new bat stepped up to the plate.
Funck said he was pleased with his team’s overall effort, both in terms of strong defense and a solid showing at the plate.
“Garrett Fairbairn’s catch in center field was just an unbelievable catch,” he said. “I didn’t give anyone a chance to catch that when it came off the bat. And he had his first hit of the year, too.”
Funck was also pleased by the limited number of errors committed by his team; in fact, there were very few committed by either team, and he added that he knows his son, Greg, who coaches the Roxbury squad, was similarly pleased.
“It was definitely their best game of the year,” he said of the Rockets. “I know Greg was very pleased. I think Roxbury only had one error, so he was very pleased with his team’s performance, and I believe we only had two errors.”
Fairbairn earned his first win of the season on the mound for the Blue Devils, pitching two innings in relief of starter Chris Costa, and it was three up, three down in the top of the seventh as fellow MCS hurler Patrick O’Connell earned the save.
Margaretville was scheduled to play South Kortright in Cooperstown on Tuesday and Hunter-Tannersville on Wednesday.
“I think the way the whole thing plays out is if we beat Hunter on Wednesday, we are the champs on our side,” Funck said. “If we lose to Hunter, we would be 4-5 in the league, Hunter would be 4-4 in the league, and I don’t know where Windham is. So the simple thing is, we just have to win on Wednesday. If we win on Wednesday, we’re home free and we’ll play in the crossover game.”
The crossover game is scheduled for Thursday at Stamford.