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MAR - Game: 13 Clifton Park 5, Manalapan 2

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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: MAR - Game: 13 Clifton Park 5, Manalapan 2

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.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

MAR - Game: 13 Clifton Park 5, Manalapan 2

Clifton Park comeback win gives life for another day

Clifton Park bounced back from a 2-1 deficit and a timely home run by Northern New Jersey champion to put it in a win and in position for today’s final round with a 5-2 win.

After Manalapan’s Mike Marantz drilled a Pete Russo offering on a low line over the centerfield wall in the fourth inning, the Bulldogs responded with its own long distance dedication.

Russo set the table, reaching on an infield single left of first base, beating out a diving first baseman who stretched out to attempt to tag the bag before he stomped his foot on the base.

He moved to second on a groundout and had to strain his neck as he watched Justin Yurchak’s two-run home run sail high over the center field fence for a 3-2 lead.
The home run was a rarity for the Bulldog slugger, one of only a handful of round-trippers this season for Yurchak.

Russo went five innings, allowed two runs and walking two batters. He wasn’t placed on the mound to attempt to strike out the entire Manalapan squad.

With just a tenuous one-run lead in the sixth, Manalapan took its chances, intentionally walking Yurchak to load the bases and get to Kolin Krebs.

Krebs pounded the ball up the middle and saw it smothered by the Manalapan second baseman, but was unable to dig it out the ball from underneath himself and force out Yurchak at second. A quick thinking lead runner, Will LeRoy took advantage of the Manalapan miscue. As the second baseman and shortstop stood surprised by the safe call at second, LeRoy raced home for the 5-2 lead.

Yurchak came on to pitch the bottom of the sixth giving up two singles, but securing the win striking out the side.

The win gives Clifton Park a 2-1 pool play record heading into today’s finale against Metro New York champion, Kingsbridge, at 11:30 a.m. Both squads enter with a 2-1 record and the winner advancing to Monday’s semifinals.

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