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Lori Brown | Democrat

After laying down a sacrifice bunt in the top of the first inning of Tuesday afternoon’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V baseball game, Tri-Valley’s Dan Byrne (2) sprinted down to first base. But Byrne was forced out on the play as the throw to Fallsburg first baseman Steve Teri, who is holding the ball in his glove, beat Byrne by a step.

Tri-Valley Bears top Fallsburg Comets

By Lori Brown
GRAHAMSVILLE — April 23, 2010 — The Tri-Valley Bears hosted the Fallsburg Comets on Tuesday afternoon for the second game of their three-game Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V series.
In Monday’s opening game at Fallsburg, T-V prevailed by the final score of 14-4. The teams were scheduled to play the third game of the series yesterday afternoon at Fallsburg.
On Tuesday in Grahamsville, the Bears posted a 15-9 victory over the Comets.
T-V (5-1-1, 5-0 Div. V) took an early lead as Joseph Mickelson hit a single to right field to bring home Bobby Beale in the top of the first inning. With two outs, Mickelson stole third base and then continued home after the throw to third was errant to give T-V a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, Mickelson, the Bears’ pitcher, struck out the side.
Fallsburg (0-5, 0-2 Div. V) played tight defense in the top of the second to prevent T-V from scoring.
In the bottom of the second, Fallsburg’s Dustin Foertsch and Zach Ingber hit singles, but they were unable to come around to score.
T-V’s Dan Byrne slammed a line drive up the middle for a double to start the top of the third inning.  With the bases loaded and no outs, the Bears added to their lead. Peter DiMilia was walked to bring home Dan Byrne. Steven McInerney was hit by a pitch, which enabled Mickelson to cross home plate. George Baggatta slammed a single to score teammates Jesse Brown and DiMilia.
The Bears added to their advantage as the frame continued. Before Fallsburg ended the inning, three more Bears crossed home plate to give the team a commanding 9-0 lead.
Fallsburg’s bats came alive in the bottom of the fifth inning as the team reduced the T-V advantage. Zach Ingber hit a double to bring home teammates Mike Matarazzo and Steve Teri. Jim Bertholf singled to right field to allow Zach Ingber and Corey McKeon to score.
After R.J. Cash walked, T-V brought in relief pitcher Tyler Lopez. With two outs in the inning, Tyler Lopez struck out the next batter, but not before an overthrow at first base from a pick off allowed Bertholf to score.
When the inning concluded, the T-V lead had been cut to 9-5.
In the top of the sixth, Byrne laid down his second successful sacrifice bunt of the afternoon – and was only a step away from being safe – to move Tyler Terbush into scoring position. Mickelson slammed a double to left field to bring Terbush and Bobby Beale in to score.
With two outs in the inning, Devin Kinney was walked.  McInerney reached first base on an error and Mickelson crossed home plate on the play. Baggatta singled to bring home Kinney, which gave T-V an 11-5 lead. McInerney also tried to score on Baggatta’s base hit, but Fallsburg left fielder Danny Seletsky threw the ball to catcher Bertholf, who tagged McInerney out at home plate.
After the Bears added two more runs in the frame to take a 13-5 advantage, the Comets responded with four runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Matarazzo scored when Ingber singled to center field. Corey McKeon double down the right field line to bring Foertsch in to score.
After Seletsky walked to load the bases with only one out, Byrne took over on the mound for the Bears.
Bertholf singled to shallow right field to score Ingber and McKeon. But Byrne ended the inning by striking out the next two batters to preserve T-V’s 13-9 lead.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the seventh, Mickelson singled to score Terbush. Fallsburg relief pitcher Bertholf struck out the next batter, but then issued a walk to Devin Kinney, which allowed Beale to score.
With two outs and bases loaded, Bertholf recorded his third strikeout of the frame.
Byrne then retired the Comets in order in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the Bears’ six-run win.
“Fallsburg played very hard today and never quit,” T-V Coach John Rusin said.
“We did a good job putting the bat on the ball,” he continued.  “Fallsburg battled back, but we maintained the lead. I am proud of the team’s ability to hit with two strikes.
“This was a well-played game from both teams,” Rusin concluded.
Fallsburg Coach Mike Weiner said, “We came a little short but didn’t give up. The errors in the middle of the game hurt us. We hope to get better.
“Corey McKeon pitched very well today, he ran out of gas,” Weiner added. “As he is a sophomore, I am happy with the results.”

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