April 23, 2013
Casey whiffs 14 as Trojans’ streak grows
EAST SYRACUSE — Looking to add onto a three-game winning streak, Homer Central returned to OHSL Freedom Division play taking a Monday baseball road trip.
That’s where junior Jake Casey gave his team exactly what it needed, the lefty hurler fanning 14 East Syracuse-Minoa batters and allowing just four hits in a complete-game effort as the Trojans prevailed 6-2.
Homer improves to 2-1 in division play, 5-3 overall and now rides a four-game winning streak into this afternoon’s home clash with unbeaten Cortland High at 4:15 p.m.
“It was a superb pitching job by Jake,” Homer coach Robert Nasiatka said of Casey’s mound effort. “We had timely hitting by Connor Simonetta and Payten Boice. Chase Davis has been a wall behind the plate and throwing out runners again yesterday, one to end the game.”
As well as Casey pitched, the hometown Spartans (1-2 Freedom, 1-4 overall) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Matthew Barbini hit a single to left field with one out and Mike Hearn drew a two-out walk. Matt Hunter delivered a single to right field that plated both runners for the early lead.
From that point on, Casey, who also gave up a first-inning single, only allowed a seventh-inning double and struck out 10 Spartans. ES-M got two runners on base in the bottom of the fourth after an error, but a fielder’s choice got rid of that runner for the second out and after a hit batter, Casey got the inning ending strikeout.
He would face the minimum nine batters over the final three innings. Jack Burgan walked in the sixth and Brandon Breen hit the seventh inning double, but Trojan catcher Chase Davis threw both runners out on steal attempts.
Offensively, Homer got right back in the game in the top of the third inning. Tom Belton left off getting hit by a Joel Clark pitch and Davis (2-for-3) tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner, but Clark made an error on the play and both runners were safe. Casey helped his own cause with a two-run single to tie the game at 2-2. Casey would steal second and later scored on a one-out single by Connor Simonetta for a 3-2 Trojan lead.
Clark would pitch quite well for ES-M recording 10 strikeouts and getting out of the third inning with no further damage as the score remained 3-2 until the seventh inning.
That’s when Clark ran out of gas and Homer took advantage.
Davis led off with a single and stole second. Casey followed with a walk and Payten Boice singled home Davis. That would do it from Clark and Barbini came on in a relief role. He promptly loaded the bases by walking Millet DeAngles. Simonetta capped his three-hit day with a single to left-centerfield to drive in Casey and Boice for a 6-2 Homer lead. Barbini got out of any more trouble with a strike out, a ground out and catcher Burgan threw out a runner on a steal attempt.
After Breen was thrown out trying to steal in the bottom of the seventh, Casey fanned the final two ES-M batters to end the game.
“We did the small things that add up,” summed up Coach Nasiatka. “Bunting people over, stealing and hitting behind the runner.... it was a great tune-up for Cortland.”
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