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Lori Brown | Democrat

As his teammates look on from the dugout, Livingston Manor’s Troy Correa hits a fly ball in the top of the second inning of Wednesday’s non-league baseball game between the Wildcats and host Tri-Valley Bears.

Livingston Manor,
Tri-Valley open the
scholastic baseball season with an 8-8 tie

By Lori Brown
GRAHAMSVILLE — April 9, 2010 — On Wednesday afternoon, the Tri-Valley varsity baseball team hosted a non – league varsity baseball game against Livingston Manor at City Field in what was the season opener for both teams.
Unfortunately, neither team could claim a victory as the game ended due to darkness with the score tied at 8-8 after eight innings had been played.
Manor (0-0-1) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Troy Correa slammed a double into right field and then stole third base. Ken Fisk grounded out, but Correa was able to score on the play.
T-V (0-0-1) answered by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Greg Swarthout singled and advanced to third base on an error. Moments later, Dan Byrne hit a single, which Swarthout to cross home plate.
Later in the frame, Bryne scored when Joseph Mickelson singled. But Mickelson was tagged out at second base while trying to stretch his base hit into a double.
Manor had a huge second inning and scored seven runs. With two outs, Troy Edwards hit a grand slam to bring home teammates, Trevor Taggart, Ross Abbott and Fisk. The blast gave the Wildcats an 8-2 advantage.
Crossing the plate earlier in the inning for Manor were Brandon Smith, Chad Rosario and Jeremy Rau.
T-V pitcher Jesse Brown ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Bears were unable to score any runs in the bottom of the second due to Manor’s great defense and pitcher Edwards, who recorded two strikeouts in the inning.
Manor started off strong in the top of the third as Smith ripped a double to left field. Brown recorded a strikeout then hit the next batter. At that point, George Baggatta took over on the mound for the Bears.
With one out and two runners on base, Baggatta, who is a sophomore, retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Mickelson led off the bottom of the third with a walk. He then stole second base and went to third base on a passed ball.
Aric Boyes then earned an RBI as he singled and Mickelson crossed home plate. But Edwards struck out the next two batters to end the frame.
After holding the Wildcats scoreless in the top of the fourth inning, the Bears scored three times in the bottom of the fourth to cut their deficit to 8-6. Bobby Beale walked and then stole second base. He got stuck in a rundown between second and third but was awarded third base because of interference by a Manor player.
Beale then scored when Byrne hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
Later in the inning, Brown slammed a double to right field to score Swarthout.
At that point, Manor called a timeout and brought in relief pitcher Chad Rosario.
Steven McInerney singled to bring home Mickelson.
The Wildcats then got the next two batters out to preserve their two-run lead.
Baggatta struck out two batters in the top of the fifth to prevent Manor from adding to its advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, Beale walked and stole second base. He moved to third base on an overthrow. T-V then successfully executed a double steal as Byrne purloined second base and Beale pilfered the plate.
Manor prevented any more runs in the frame, but the Bears had pulled to within a run at 8-7.
After Baggatta set the Wildcats down in order in the top of the sixth, T-V tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Facing relief pitcher Mike Mills with two teammates on base, Erik Raymond laid down a perfect bunt to safely reach first base and load the bases with no outs.
Baggatta then hit a line drive double to the outfield. Brown crossed home plate on the hit to knot the score, but McInerney was tagged out at home while attempting to score the go-ahead run.
Manor got the next two players out and the inning ended with the score even at 8-8.
In the seven inning, neither team could take the lead as the Wildcats stranded two runners on base and the Bears left the bases loaded.
Byrne took the mound for T-V in the top of the eighth. He struck out two batters and prevented the next batter from reaching base.
Manor played great defense to prevent the Bears from scoring in the bottom of the eighth. Manor catcher Correa recorded the final out as he threw out a T-V runner at third base to preserve the 8-8 tie.
The umpires called the game at 7:20 p.m. because of darkness.
“We had one good inning,” Manor Coach Jeff Loeffler said. “T-V pounced on our mistakes and chipped away to get back into the game. We had them but didn’t get it done.
“T-V didn’t quit and Coach John Rusin is a good coach,” Loeffler added. “This was a good first game. It is disappointing that it ended in a tie.
“Troy Edwards, our starting pitcher, did well and threw a lot of pitches in this heat,” Loeffler said. “Mike Mills, our relief pitcher, did a great job, too.”
Manor was scheduled to host Monticello in a non-league game yesterday and play at Sullivan West this afternoon in another non-league contest.
“We don’t see Livingston Manor again, so we don’t know if we are going to finish this game,” T-V Coach John Rusin said. “I would love to finish the game. “They took advantage of the game early on. My guys chipped away. They showed a lot of heart and kept battling.
“Relief pitcher George Baggatta recorded five shutout innings and did a great job,” Rusin continued.  “We enjoy playing Livingston Manor as we have a lot of fun, it is very evenly matched and all the kids are respectful.
“Manor did a great job closing the door when we were knocking,” Rusin added.
T-V was slated to host Liberty in a non-league game yesterday afternoon.

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