Gardner and Webster turn back the Thunder
WEBSTER, N.Y. â€“ In just 24 hours, Dave Brustâ€™s Webster Yankees have gone from hunter to the hunted. After losing seven of ten games, the Yankees found themselves on the outside of the NYCBL playoff picture.In the last two nights, the pinstripes have climbed the ladder to a potential post-season spot.
Jason Gardner (Tusculum) allowed just one run over eight innings, and a trio of Yankee hitters combined for six hits and four runs as Webster defeated the Alfred Thunder 6-1 in New York Collegiate Baseball League action at Basket Road Field. With the win, Webster takes controlof their own destiny in the push for the 2010 playoffs.
Ollie Bertrand (Flagler) plated Tyler Grogg (Toledo) with a bases-loaded ground ball as the home nine grabbed the lead in the bottom of the first. Blake Beemer (Ball State) followed with a double down the left field line scoring Matt Delewski (Toledo), and Webster had all the runs it would need.
Gardner wielded his way through the Alfred lineup allowing just six hits on the night.
â€œMy slider was getting the job done,â€ said the native of Honeoye Falls. â€œI lost my fast-ball in the late innings, but my slider kept them off-balance.
Twice, Gardner retired seven consecutive batters.Â The right-hander struck out six for his third win of the season.
â€œJason kept his pitch count low and had great command tonight,â€ said Brust. â€œHe walked just one batter. That is the deciding factor in our success.â€
AlfredÂ failed to advance a runner beyond second for the first seven innings.
Gardner is in second stint with the organization. He pitched with the club in 2006 when they were known as the Rochester Royals. Since then, he required surgery to repair his pitching elbow. The recovery from the took 18 months and washed out two college seasons for the former Monroe Community College star.
â€œItâ€™s been a lot of hard work,â€ said Gardner. â€œBut wins like tonight make it worthwhile.â€
Webster added three in third. Delewski singled to lead off. After Matt Boutler (So. New Hampshire) was hit by a pitch, Bertrand loaded the bases with a hit. Beemer drove in his second run when he was hit by a pitch. Monter Marrocco (U Mass-Lowell) brought home Boulter with a single, and Bertrand scored on a ground ball by Matt Francis (U of R).
Marrocco capped the scoring in the fifth. The second baseman reached when he was hit by a pitch and came around to score on a pair of infield errors.
Delewski finished with two hits and two runs scored. Bertrand added a pair of base raps with an RBI and a run scored. Grogg stole a base, scored one time and had a pair of singles. Marrocco had two hits, an RBI and a run scored.
Webster improves to 18-17 on the season and grabs a game and a half lead for the final playoff spot. The Yankees travel to Geneva tomorrow for a battle with the Red Wings. Game time is set for 7 p.m.