By Greg Gulas
In its first game at Tuesday’s Continental Amateur Baseball Association World Series, Rondinelli Tuxedo came from behind to tie the Ohio Yankees, only to lose on a walk-off triple in the bottom of the seventh.
The Rondinelli players made sure to flex their offensive muscles against Pittsburgh’s RBI Red Wings in the nightcap.
Dan Ferguson had a triple, double and four RBIs, while Rick Jones went 4 for 4 with a home run, driving in three runs, as Rondinelli (3-1) defeated the Red Wings, 13-1 in five-innings to finish pool play at Cene Park.
The field was narrowed from 15 to 12 teams with bracket play set to being today at 3 p.m.
“It was tough to lose the first game like we did, but give this team credit because they brought out the lumber right from the start in the nightcap,” said Rondinelli manager Terry Landis.
“Dan and Rick keyed our 14-hit attack while Cody [Hickman] gave us exactly what we needed on the hill; a nice, strong performance,” Landis said.
“Jumping out to a 9-0 lead after just two innings really helped,” Landis added.
A ground out by Ferguson and single by Jones plated runs in the opening frame for Rondinelli’s early 2-0 advantage,
In the second stanza, Rondinelli sent 12 batters, lashing out six hits, including a two-run homer by Jones, a triple by Ferguson and double by Ryan Trimbur as they scored seven times to forge a 9-0 margin.
Through the first two innings of play, Rondinelli had sent 23 batters to the plate to Pittsburgh’s seven.
“We definitely struggled at the plate in the first game, not hitting like were capable of hitting the entire game,” said Ferguson.
“We broke out the lumber right from the start in the second game and that made it a lot easier for Cody on the mound,” Ferguson said.
Hickman, who yielded just four hits, was in control the entire game as he allowed just one run and one walk, hitting one batter as well.
“My fastball was working for me the entire game, but my change-up and off-speed pitches were what kept them honest,” he said.
“We left too many runners on base in the first game and it cost us. We drove them home in the nightcap and that is what made my job just a little bit easier.
“It’s a lot better to pitch when you have a 9- or 10-run lead, but at the same time you just want to get the game over with and move on with a win,” Hickman said.
Pittsburgh starter Michael Mack absorbed the loss, lasting just 1 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and nine runs; six of which were earned.
“I’m very disappointed because when you don’t throw strikes and make plays in the field, it’s awfully tough to win,” said Red Wings manager Dave Roudabush.
“Conversely, Cory was consistent all night on the hill for Rondinelli and was always around the plate.
“When we did hit the ball, they made the plays and that was the difference in the game,” Roudabush said.
Astro Falcons 12, MAF Gators 7
The Astro Falcons scored five runs in the sixth inning. G.J. Senchak led the Falcons with two hits, three runs scored and a RBI while Brendan Cox had two hits and scored twice. Tyler Gentile had two hits and a RBI, John Beatty double and scored a run, and Dan Popio doubled and had a RBI. For the Gators, Mike Eisle had three hits including two doubles and scored a run.
Astro Falcons 13,
Miami Wolverines 1
The Falcons are undefeated after three games in pool play. Senchak and Sean Lubin had RBIs as Astro grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Winning pitcher Brad Smith tossed a five-inning one-hitter. He walked five and struck out two. John Beatty and Cody Kirk tripled while Jimmy Coates doubled. Senchak and Beatty each had two hits. For the Wolverines, Kyle Fisher tripled to foil the no-hitter.
Ohio Yankees 7,
Rondinelli Tuxedo 6
Mitch Keim drove in Cody Berg with the winning run for the Yankees as Rondinelli lost its first game in pool play. Gerard Rohan had a RBI in Rondinelli’s two-run first at-bat. Andrew Hoffman’s two-run single tied the game. Will Stribney tripled and Hoffman added a RBI double. Mitch Keim also tripled for the Yankees.
Rondinelli Tuxedo 11,
Michiana Scrappers 3
Dan Ferguson’s two-run single in the third inning tied the game. Ferguson also tripled and drove in five runs. Justin McGinnis tripled.