Astro Falcons stay alive in Class B 16-U series
Sabella, Durkos ensure 16-U series
will continue Sunday night at Cene
By BOB ETTINGER
Andrew Sabella and his Astro Falcons teammates had some work to do entering Game 4 of the Class B 16-U championship series. Sabella and the Falcons understood just how to get that work done in forcing a fifth and deciding game with a 12-0 victory on Field 1 at Cene Park on Friday night.
“We left to many runners on base early in the series,” Sabella said. “The coaches said if we like a pitch, go and attack it. We wanted to attack early in the count.”
The Astro Falcons plated five runs in both the second and fourth innings and one each in the first and third. They netted the 12 runs on 12 hits.
“Really what they did today was go out and play how they know how to play,” Astro Falcons manager Jason Triveri said. “They didn’t make the situation bigger than it is. We wanted them to play loose, play our game and put the pressure on the other team. We were aggressive at the plate. We missed too many third strikes earlier in the series because we were looking for that perfect pitch. We came out swinging like we know how. We have a tremendous pitching staff, but we need to show them they have our support by scoring some runs. Tonight, we did that.”
The fifth and deciding game will be at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday at Cene Park’s Field 1.
“One thing we talked to them about was we have to come out with the same approach,” Triveri said. “This is a team that’s had a lot of success the last three years. They’ve stuck together and they’ve been in these types of games. We’re stressing as a coaching staff that it’s just another day at the office. They can’t let the emotions get to them. That’s what happened early in the series.”
Baird Brothers will have to bounce back.
“It’s tough,” Baird Brothers manager Matt DiSalvo said. They’re 15 years old. It depends on how they sleep on this. Some will go home and they’ll get nervous. I hope they all come back angry, they’re ready to compete and they play their best baseball of the season.”
Dylan Durkos allowed six hits and struck out one in the shutout.
“I kept changing the miles per hour on my pitches,” Durkos said. “I mixed it up, threw different speeds. I stayed confident and kept my head up.”
Sabella had two hits and drove in four and Connor Miller, Brayden Beck and Chase Franken all had two hits.
“We came out and attacked,” Sabella said. “When you jump on good pitches, good things happen. I was just looking for pitches to drive and trying to do something with them.”
Despite the rough outing, Baird Brothers hurler Jake Gehring showed his coach he has guts.
“I think we showed up too relaxed in the field,” DiSalvo said. “Jake is a special pitcher. I’m proud of Jake being able to handle it. As a young adult, that’s hard to handle. Those little mistakes add up and they stick to you. It’s not easy to handle. Being a young pitcher and being able to handle it, I’m proud of him for that moment. It showed better character and confidence in himself than if he went out and struck out 18. It’s too easy to smile then.”
The Astro Falcons had a runner at third in the second, bases loaded with one out in the third, and a runner at second in the third and fourth but failed to plate a run.