UTICA — The Clinton County Senior Mariners lost a heartbreaker in their first game Friday and then dropped its second game in the New York State American Legion Baseball Tournament at Murnane Field.
New Hartford recorded a 2-1 eight-inning victory over the Mariners in the morning, and Endicott Post #82 sent Clinton County home with a 6-3 decision later in the day. The Mariners, who were state runner-ups last season, finished with a 1-2 record in this year’s event.
NEW HARTFORD 2, SR. MARINERS 1 (8)
Ryan Faro’s suicide-squeeze bunt in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the tournament hosts the walk-off win after the Senior Mariners had the go-ahead run taken away in the top of the seventh when the third-base umpire ruled a Clinton County runner missed third on his way home.
Andy Kneussle took the tough loss as he went the distance. He struck out five, walked two and allowed three hits.
“Andy did an excellent job pitching and did what he was expected to do to give us an opportunity to win.” Mariners coach Matt Tolosky said. “But we had a few bumps in the road that got in the way of his excellent outing.
“Usually, in a close game like this, the team that makes the least mistakes usually has the advantage. That was the case here. But I’m confident our players tried to do their best.”
New Hartford grabbed the lead in the second inning when Matt Desens led off with a double, was sacrificed to third and scored on a passed ball.
It stayed that way until the sixth when Caleb Keysor led off with a walk, stole second, went to third on a sacrifice bunt and stole home on a botched suicide-squeeze attempt.
The Mariners then threatened to take the lead in the seventh following a walk and sacrifice bunt. New Hartford’s only error of the game resulted in Clinton County scoring the go-ahead run only to have it nullified when New Hartford appealed third base.
The hosts then scored the game-winning run in the home half of the eighth when Desens bunted for a hit, took second on a passed ball, went to third on a balk and home on Faro’s one-out suicide squeeze.
Jack Tolosky had two hits, and Tanner Rascoe added one.
POST #82 6, SR. MARINERS 3
A strong-hitting Endicott team erased a 2-1 deficit with two runs in the bottom of the third inning and then held off the Mariners the rest of the way.
Joe Reando, Dylan Narducci and Jacob McStine led Endicott with two hits each in support of winning pitcher Matt DePalma, who went the seven innings for the win. Endicott rapped 10 hits in all.
Clinton County finished with eight hits, and Brandon Rabideau led the way with two. Ryan Meyer doubled, while Jack Tolosky, Robby Knowles, Caleb Keysor, Mitch Cunningham and Brandon Buksa each contributed a hit.
Conor Casey took the pitching loss.
“We faced our second lefty of the day, and we had our fair share of chances,” Tolosky said. “It just didn’t go our way.”
The Mariners pushed across a run in the first when Adam Goldfarb walked, went to second on Knowles’ single, to third on a fly ball to center and scored on an infield error.
In the second, Buksa singled with one out, Meyer hit into a fielder’s choice and Rabideau singled in a run to give Clinton County a 2-1 lead.
The Mariners (28-9), down 6-2, added their third run in the seventh when Meyer doubled with one out. Tolosky then had a two-out infield single and stole second, with Meyer scoring on an overthrow of second.
“We had a state-bound team that showed a lot of potential,” Tolosky said. “We had a great season and it was pleasurable to coach a team this talented.
“On behalf of all our coaches, I want to congratulate our players for the season they had. We’re proud of them.”
New Hartford 2,Senior Mariners 1 (8)
Senior Mariners 000 001 00 — 1 3 1
New Hartford 001 000 01 — 2 3 1
Kneussle and Rabideau. Whalen, Phelps (6) and Manderson. WP- Phelps. LP- Kneussle. 2B- Desens (NH).
Endicott Post #82 6,Senior Mariners 3
Senior Mariners 110 000 1 — 3 8 2
Endicott Post #82 102 210 x — 6 10 1
Casey, Rabideau (4), Buksa (6) and Rabideau, Meyer (4). DePalma and Narducci. WP- DePalma. LP- Casey. 2B- Meyer (M), McStine (E).
Jr. Cobras 1, Jr. Mariners 0
ROME — The Clinton County Junior Mariners were snakebitten by Kashaun Curry for the second time this season Friday.
After blanking the Mariners 4-0 June 14, Curry fired a one-hitter on 10 strikeouts to help the Middletown Junior Cobras (American) to a 1-0 win in Game 1 of the American Legion Baseball Junior Championship finale.
Game 2 in the best-of-three series is slated for 10 a.m. today. Game 3, if necessary, will be played immediately following.
“They’re the defending state champions,” Clinton County coach Gary Duquette said. “They’re one heck of a baseball team. We hung with them right to the end. Both defenses were really good. Sometimes, you’ve just got to tip your hat.
“That’s twice now (Curry) has shut us out. But he can’t pitch (today). He threw 115 pitches. I can’t imagine we’ll face somebody as good as him (today).”
The ballgame remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning.
With one out, Curry reached on a walk before stealing second base. Killian Bloat’s two-out single scored Curry to give the Cobras (21-4) the lead for keeps.
Middletown’s Charlie Reichle registered the contest’s only extra-base hit, a double. Bloat, Francisco Malave and Westley Marte accounted for the team’s other three hits.
Ryan Whalen gave the Mariners (31-7) their only base knock in the sixth inning.
“After Ryan got on, Zach Bingel laid down a bunt to advance him to second,” Duquette said. “Keller Kowalowski ripped a shot to the shortstop. If that’s two or three feet to the right, that would’ve tied the game.”
Brantley Marion, a Beekmantown product, was tagged with the loss. Marion tossed six strikeouts on one earned run. The setback put his pitching record at 4-2.
“As far as we’re concerned, we have two No. 1 pitchers in Brantley Marion and Gerrit Rietsema,” Duquette said. “We’re coming with Rietsema (today). If we can push a few runs across, we can get back in this.
“These kids have stuck together all year long. They’re still confident. The first game will have a different outcome (today). There’s no way we can get shut out two days in a row.”
Middletown 1,Clinton County 0
Clinton County 000 000 0 — 0 1 0
Middletown 000 010 x — 1 4 0
Marion and Hartman. Curry and Bowen. WP- Curry. LP- Marion. 2B- Reichle (M).