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G16 - Philies end skid, drop Little Falls, 6-3

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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: G16 - Philies end skid, drop Little Falls, 6-3

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

G16 - Philies end skid, drop Little Falls, 6-3

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- It’s taken three weeks into the New York Collegiate Baseball League season, but the Saratoga Phillies may have just turned the corner on a young season with a tightly played 6-3 over Little Falls Wednesday night at East Side Rec.
Saratoga put together a eight-hit, six run attack Wednesday night and kept their defensive errors to a minimum, ending another three-game skid this season.

The win was important, coming immediately after Tuesday night’s 14-9 loss at Amsterdam where the Phillies finally began scoring multiple runs versus their small ball habits of the early season.

“I told them last night, we’re this close,” Saratoga head coach Kevin Graber said, holding his thumb and forefinger almost together. “We scored nine runs on 14 hits. The at-bats were so much better and our pitching staff giving up 14 runs was an anomaly.”

The Phillies (6-10) didn’t put the bats on ice for the first game of their three-game home stand, scoring four runs in the seventh inning to put the contest away.

Jordan Wormsley (Vanderbilt), Dale Alberto (Nova Southeastern) and Dennis O’Grady (Duke) were issued consecutive walks by Little Falls starter Jimmy Hoyt (Centenary) and reliever Jake Arendsen (Oakland).

Wormsley scored on a groundout by Tyler Biddix (Virginia) to tie the contest at three apiece. David Coleman (Virginia) pounded out the game-winner a single through the middle, plating Alberto and O’Grady for the 5-3 lead. He would come around when Ty Hohman (Virginia Tech) stroked a single past a diving third baseman for the 6-3 lead.

“I was trying to work early in the count with runners in scoring position,” Coleman said. “I was trying to put the ball in play on the right side and put some wood on the ball, just to get the job done.”

While Coleman provided the go-ahead drive, J.D. Martinez (Nova Southeastern) continued to cement his name in the Saratoga record books, at the expense of the Miners.

Martinez sent a Hoyt offering over the left field fence for his seventh home run of the year, placing him second in the most recent NYCBL record book. It was also his fifth home run of the season against Little Falls.

“There is always that one team you do well against,” Martinez said. “Chipper Jones destroys the Marlins, there is always that one team.”

Martinez is batting .600 against the Miners on nine hits, five of them home runs, seven runs batted in and 26 total bases.
“Little Falls is the only team that pitches to me, not around me,” Martinez said. “Everyone else throws junk. I get impatient with the other pitchers and get out of my own mentality.”

Besides the timely hitting, the Phillies appear to be buoyed by the healthy return of catcher Larry Pempek (Northern Kentucky), Chris Buss (Old Dominion) and Nate Holland (Louisville).

“We have the opportunity to do something here,” Graber said about the three-game set at home.

Nova Southeastern righty Miles Mikolas started for Saratoga, going six innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two. Lefty Sean Lucas (Vanderbilt) earned the victory for his two innings of work, allowing one hit, walking a batter and striking out four. Josh Simmons (Wheaton MA) pitched the ninth, closing out the sixth win of the year for the Phillies.

Little Falls catcher Dave Wendt (Dawling) led off the fifth with a single to center and advanced to third on a double to right field by John Spatola that eluded Vince Farfaglia (Francis Marion). Wendt tied the contest at two apiece on a groundout to the first baseman. Spatola would score on a Nick Campbell’s pop fly out in foul territory. Farfaglia made a sliding catch to add an out to the inning, but his relay throw was not in time to catch Spatola giving the Miners a 3-2 lead.

The Phillies went ahead, 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth when Saratoga Central Catholic graduate Vince Farfaglia (Francis Marion) hit a one-hop double to the left field wall, driving in Ty Hohman (Virgina Tech). He reached on a one out single to center earlier in the inning.

Saratoga tied the score in the bottom half of the second when J.D. Martinez (Nova Southeastern) hit his seventh home run of the season, sending the Jimmy Hoyt offering over the 347-foot mark on the left field fence.

Little Falls got on the board first, courtesy of a fielding miscue that has plagued the Phillies of late. Saratoga catcher, Larry Pempek (Northern Kentucky) dropped a pop fly behind the plate in foul territory, giving Little Falls batter, Joaquin Valdes new life. He took advantage, roping a double down the left field line, scoring Mike Augustine (Boston College) who led off with a single to centerfield.

LITTLE FALLS 010 020 000 -- 3 9 1
SARATOGA 010 100 40X -- 6 8 1

Little Falls -- Jimmy Hoyt, Jake Arendsen (7), Jared Barnes (9) and Dave Wendt. Saratoga -- Miles Mikolas, Sean Lucas (7), Josh Simmons (9) and Larry Pempek.
2B -- (L) Joaquin Valdes, John Spatola, Dave Crawford. (S) Vince Farfaglia, David Coleman. HR -- (S) J.D. Martinez.

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