Game Summaries & Headlines.
The Eagles Baseball team fell behind early, but scraped and clawed their way to a 13-9 win over the Massaponax Panthers @ The Ballpark @ The Forge on Senior Night. The win ended a three game Forge losing streak and evened up their district mark at 4-4, while raising the overall record to 7-8 on the season.
Senior Sam Benson got the ball on Senior Night for the GREEN, going 6 innings, surrendering 8 runs on 8 hits (many of the bloop variety) while striking out 4. Matt Hickey came out of the pen to shut it down in the seventh to secure the victory.
The Eagles got on the board first in their first trips to the dish. With one out, Jake Wortman doubled into the left field gap and then stole second. Keegan Doyle drove him in with a line single to left but was thrown out trying to reach second base, but the “good guys” were on the board 1-0.
The Panthers responded immediately with 3 runs of their own, on 4 hits and a Forge error to go on top 3-1. Ponax starter Ryan Aruanno sent the Forge down 1-2-3 in the home half of the second, and the Panther offense continued in the third.
With two outs, Benson walked Sam Betts, Jay Clements singled to left, and Nik Branch reached on an error, scoring Betts and sent Clements to 3rd. Panther leadoff hitter Aaron Leinenbach sent a 2-2 offering from Benson over the fence in left for a 3 run dinger that padded the Ponax lead to 7-1.
That was a wakeup call for the Eagles as they put up a touchdown and an extra point in the home half of the third to make it a one run game. The Forge spent the inning circling the bases in an effort to close the gap
The GREEN would take the lead in the home half of the fourth putting another crooked number up to capture the lead at 10-7. Keegan Doyle led off by reaching on an error. After an out, Aiden Tierney singled to left that put runners on the corners with no out. Jordan Tauriac grounded to second, scoring Doyle and pinch runner Chamernik went over to 3rd. Nate Zimmerman next delivered a ringing double to left scoring Chamernik and the Forge had a cushion after 4 full innings.
The Panthers scratched a run across in the 5th the beneficiary of back to back walks, a sacrifice and a Forge error before Benson fanned Betts and Leinenbach back to back to end the threat.
The Eagles would score 3 in the bottom of the sixth when Tierney lead off being hit by a pitch. Tauriac singled up the middle and again the “good guys” had runners on the corners with nobody out. Zimmerman drew a walk that loaded the bases, and when Preston Long lined out to right, Zimmerman was doubled off first and just like that there were 2 outs with 2 on and in scoring position. Kennard McNeal singled to center driving in both Tierney and Chamernik to make it 12-8 “good guys” after six innings.
Forge called on Matt Hickey to nail it down in the bottom half of the seventh, giving up a run after a walk and a hit batter, Leinenbach hit a ground ball to short that was bobbled, driving in Jack Clements with the final Ponax tally of the night. Hickey struck out Ryan Cloude and got Aruanno to ground to second baseman Zimmerman to put this one in the W column for the Forge.
No time to rest, the Eagles head on the road to Stafford on Tuesday to take on the Indians. These two teams battled back on March 29th with the Eagles take a 2-1 decision. The Indians got a little revenge in the Spring Break Tournament besting the Forge 10-4. Tuesday’s match-up will be the rubber match in the season as they battle for positioning in the Commonwealth District Tournament.
RECORD BREAKING NIGHT: Earlier in the season we got a taste of the brand of baseball this team is capable of. The Eagles under first year coach David Colangelo were going to be aggressive both at the plate, and on the base paths. Well, on Monday night, there was one team (Massaponax) who didn’t get that memo. The Forge had a night that landed in the record books with stolen bases and RBI’s. The team stolen base record was broken as the Forge had 14 in the game. The road runners obliterated the team record set by the 2001, 2002 and 2005 teams who all recorded 7 thefts in a game.
The individual stolen base record was tied by Tim Chamernik and Robert Moffett as they both had 3 apiece in Tuesday’s contest. The single game RBI record was set by Jerry Nieufang (7 RBIs) back in 2006. That went by the way side on Monday as Keegan Doyle shattered that mark enjoying a 9 RBI night.
O BY THE WAY: We can’t forget the Eagles completed a suspended game that took place at Massaponax High School back on March 27th with the Forge on top 11-4. That game was completed prior to Monday night’s affair with not much changing. The Forge took away a 21-6 win in the suspended game to make it a Forge Monday!