September 19, 2021

Webster sweeps Elmira

July 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

WEBSTER, N.Y. – Superman had kryptonite. Sampson had his hair. Apparently, the Elmira Pioneers have “The Basket.” The NYCBL West division leading Pioneers came to Webster riding a seven-game winning streak. The Pios left with a pair of losses.

Matt Francis (U of R) got some redemption with a bases-clearing game-winning double in the opener, and Michael Sandman (Ball State) turned in a stellar relief outing in the night cap as the Webster Yankees took two from the Elmira Pioneers, 6-4 and 6-1 in New York Collegiate Baseball League action at Basket Road Field.

Francis more than made up for missing an earlier hit and run sign. The right-fielder went the opposite way with a two-out, two-strike pitch plating Matt Boulter (So. New Hampshire), Ollie Bertrand (Flagler) and Monte Marrocco (UMass-Lowell) with what proved the difference as the pinstripes came from behind to trim the first-place Pios.

Webster rallied twice in the game. Trailing by one in the bottom of the first, the Yanks used a quartet of two-out hits to take the lead. Bertrand delivered with a bases-loaded single scoring Matt Delewski (Toledo) and Boulter.

The Pios took the lead again in the third, before the Yanks rebounded again in the bottom of the frame.  Tyler Grogg (Toledo) reached first when he was hit by a pitch.  After a pair of stolen bases, Grogg came home on a ground ball by Blake Beemer (Ball State).

The two teams remained deadlocked until Francis provided the game winner.

“That at bat says a lot about Matt,” mentioned coach Dave Brust. “He didn’t hang his head. He could have, but he didn’t. He made a mistake earlier, and he knew it. He got a chance to make up for it, and took advantage of it.”

Jared Locke (Toledo) pitched six strong innings for the win. Locke retired seven in a row at one point and struck out three.

“He had good command,” said Brust. “He competed. That’s one of his hurdles.  He doesn’t always throw his best stuff. He’s learning to become a bulldog. With his stuff, he can be one of the best in the league.”

Tim Johnson (St. John Fisher) came on with bases loaded and retired the side for his fourth save of the season. The Sodus, N.Y. native made a bang-bang  play snaring a line drive off the bat of Elmira’s John Snyder, turning and getting the double play at third.

Webster did not settle for a split.

Johnny Brill (Rollins) provided an early spark in the night cap. Rollins slashed out a one-out double in the bottom of the first scoring Francis and Grogg, and the home nine were on their way. Bertrand brought home Boulter with a ground ball to grab the early three-run lead.

The Yankees did not score again until the eighth when Chase Grissom (UNC Pembroke) doubled home Boulter and Brill.

Webster had more than enough runs.

Pat Corrigan (MCC) held the Pios in check for five frames. Corrigan surrendered just one run while fanning two and inducing three double plays.

Sandman took over in the sixth and retired all nine batters he faced.

“That is the type of performance we knew we could get from Mike,” commented Brust. “That is what he is capable of doing.”

Sandman struck out three while getting the Pios to pop up three times.

“I had a couple of bad outings lately,” noted Sandman. “Coach Brust talked to me about balance point. I was working on it yesterday, and I focused on it tonight.”

Webster improves to 17-17 on the season, and finds themselves in a tight battle for the playoffs in the NYCBL West division. Johnson worked a perfect ninth.

“Tonight was a big momentum swing for us,” added Sandman. “These wins get us going.”

Hornell, Alfred, Geneva and Webster are all within a game and a half of eachother for the final two playoff spots.

“I just want to make the playoffs,” said second-year veteran, Bertrand. “I feel like we play better as a team. Last year we had three guys carrying the load. This year it could be anybody. Like today, Francis gets the big hit. He was 0-3 and comes through when we needed it.”

Elmira falls to 22-12 with four of those losses coming in all their appearances at “The Basket.” In the home opener, Webster rallied for eight runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Pios 8-7. The Pios had not lost since the pinstripes pounded them 12-1 on July eighth.

Webster hosts Alfred on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at “The Basket.”

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