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April 19, 2014

 

Trojans sweep past Fulton

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

The awakening of the bats and two solid pitching performances made for a good day for Homer Central on Good Friday.
Darius Stevens tossed a six-hitter in the Trojans’ 11-1 OHSL Freedom Division baseball win over visiting Fulton in the first game of this doubleheader, supported by a 16-hit offensive display.
Playing as the visiting team for the second game, Homer starter Rex Ryan was given an eight-run lead in the top of the first inning and the senior limited the Red Raiders to three hits during a 14-2 triumph to complete the sweep.
The Trojans improve to 3-0 in league and overall play with the twin bill success, while Fulton falls to 1-3 in the Freedom Division and 1-4 overall.
At the plate, Jake Casey went 6-for-8 on the day with a double, triple, three runs scored and five RBIs. Chase Davis was 6-for-8 as well with a double, four runs scored and three RBIs. Jake Hayes collected his first hits of the season by going 5-for-7 with a double, five runs scored and three RBIs.
Nate Ulrich was 4-for-8, Connor Simonetta went 3-for-6 and Chris Lee was 2-for-3 in the opener while Gage Root collected his first varsity hit in the first game while Anthony Saraceno and Zach Egan did the same in game two.
“The job Darius and Rex did in a week where you have nine games is in valuable,” Homer coach Robert Nasiatka said of his starting pitchers. “Rex got hit in the head with a line drive at last Saturday’s scrimmage in Vestal. That concerned me, but he settled in.
“Darius was impressive,” he continued. “He wants the number two slot in the rotation and, if he keeps working like this, he’ll have it because he really did look good. Chris Lee also got some work and that was important. We are still working on things and we still have to do work on a lot of stuff because we have had just three games and three outdoor practices. It was nice today because everyone got to contribute.”
For Hayes, it was nice to hit the ball well after an 0-for-3 opening day.
“It was kind of contagious,” Hayes said. “A lot of guys started hitting the ball today. I’ve been working hard on my hitting and that translated into what I did in the game today. I really just had to get into the right mindset. I didn’t really do anything different. I just needed to get my confidence up and I did that.”
Homer 11, Fulton 1: “All my pitches were working,” Stevens said who posted eight strikeouts and walked four. “My slider and fastball were on spot. I was just trying to pitch like my favorite pitcher from the Milwaukee Brewers, Yovani Gallardo. It was great to be out here and finally pitch against another team.”
Stevens gave up a first-inning single and a walk in the second inning, but just faced four batters.
The Trojans took a 1-0 lead when Connor Simonetta singled and later scored when Nate Ulrich doubled. Simonetta was holding at third, but the outfielder missed the cut-off man and Simonetta dashed home.
Fulton got its lone run in the top of the third on a two-out walk to Jeremy Langdon (2-for-3). Jon Cummins followed with a double to centerfield.
The Trojans broke the tie in the bottom of the third inning. Hayes hit a one-out double. Davis singled to put runners at the corners. Davis stole second and on the throw, Hayes used the delayed steal to scored from third. Casey singled to put runners on the corners and Jake Trieweiler legged out an infield single that scored Davis. Casey went to third on a fielder’s choice by Simonetta and he scored on a passed ball for the 4-1 cushion.
Stevens pitched out of bases-loaded trouble in the fourth and fifth innings. In the last two innings, Stevens struck out two of the three batters in the sixth while Lee came on to record two strikeouts in the seventh as he retired the side in order.
Homer added seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to blow the game open. The Trojans had seven hits in the inning. Casey hit an RBI triple to start things off while Davis concluded the scoring with a two-run double.
Homer 14, Fulton 2: “I feel like I’m pitching well,” Ryan said. “I got run support in the beginning and I knew I had a good defense behind me. It was fun to pitch today.
“I did have a little trouble finding the zone early,” he added. “I wasn’t worried because I had the defense behind me so I just concentrated on throwing strikes.”
Homer sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning with the first six batters getting on base with a hit. Hayes came up for the second time in the inning and ripped a two-run double for the 6-0 advantage. Davis added an infield single that scored the next run and Casey made it 8-0 with an RBI single to centerfield.
That would be it for Fulton starter Dan Coant. Dillon Guernsey came on to start the second inning and pitched well until the Trojans put five runs on the board in the top of the sixth inning.
The Red Raiders got their two runs in the bottom of the first inning and both were unearned. Michael Bolster led off and reached on an error instead of the first out of the inning. A walk to Cameron Clark (2-for-2) and a walk to Cummins loaded the bases. Cody Green hit into a double play that would have ended the inning had Bolster had been put out. Instead he scored from third on the play while Clark went to third. Another walk was followed by an RBI single off the bat of Jake Seymour before another ground out ended the inning.
The only other Fulton hits were Clark’s singles in the third and fifth innings. Ryan did issue a third-inning walk and hit a batter in the fifth, but retired the side in order in the second an fourth inning. The Red Raiders did get two runners on in the sixth inning, but Ryan got a flyball to end the threat and his day.
Homer scored five more runs in the top of the sixth inning. A two-run single by Casey and two-run double by Nick Guerrera were the key blows. The Trojans added one more run in the top of the seventh on an RBI double by Igor Sokolik.
Lee tossed the seventh inning again for the Trojans and faced just four batters. He did walk one Fulton batter but the ball never left the infield as the Trojans closed out the sweep.
The real highlight was a play worthy of ESPN. Peter Ravesi hit a pop-up behind third base. Davis gave chase and made an over-the shoulder catch as the wind carried the ball away from him. Green left first base on the play and was nearly to second because he didn’t think Davis would make the catch. Wrong choice. Davis not only made the catch, but wheeled around a fired a strike to first baseman Casey for the double play to end the third inning.
“Zach Egan did a very nice job catching game two,” Nasiatka said. “That gave Chase the opportunity to make that unbelievable play at third.”
Homer will return to action today in the Partigianoni Tournament. The Trojans faced McGraw at noon in the first round at Barry Elementary School. Cortland or Dryden will provide the opposition at 3 p.m.
HOMER JVs split a doubleheader at Fulton Friday. The Trojans won the opener 14-8, but lost the second game by a 13-7 count.
Homer (4-1) jumped out to a 10-0 lead through the top of the fifth inning in game one thanks to a six-run second inning.
Brandon Grant went 2-for-3 with a double, four runs scored, three stolen bases and two RBIs to lead Homer. Peter Davis added a 3-for-5 bat with three RBIs while Storm Grant (double, 3 RBIs) and Ryan Aylesworth each went 2-for-4. In addition to 13 hits, the Trojans drew 16 walks.
Matt Guerrera worked the first four innings and recorded five strikeouts.
In game two, Joe Settineri was one of six Trojans to get one hit as the bats went silent. Settineri made two diving catches in the outfield as well.
Homer JVs will travel to Bishop Ludden Tuesday for an 11 a.m. contest.

 

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