John Jay opened the week with a 10-4 loss to Yorktown, and an 0-3 start had the season looking pretty dim. But two late-inning victories to end the week has shed some new light, and the Wolves are right back in it.
Still, heading to Somers on Thursday, May 6, a must-win had to be on John Jay’s menu, and despite having to take another look at the might of Somers’ Jack Kaiser, the Wolves delivered with a 5-3 win.
The game began with Miles Capobianco taking one on the chin. The leadoff hitter was hit by Evan Guardino, and after CJ Polworth walked, Alex Samayoa’s single scored two.
Kaiser, whose Tuskers defeated the Wolves on the football field a few weeks ago, stepped up to the plate against Alex Swee and crushed a solo homer.
Nonetheless, Somers’ Guardino would also struggle through the second, but after loading the bases, he got away unscathed by striking out Liam Tuohy. In the bottom, Somers then got even when Alec Skriloff committed his second error of the inning on Jeff Colella’s ground ball up the middle.
Skriloff seemed to make amends when his infield single loaded the bases with one out. But Guardino got Daniel Pieratti on strikes, and Lucas Orlovitz grounded out to end the threat.
The golden opportunity lost, Kaiser let John Jay off the hook in the bottom of the third by only smoking a harmless double. Both pitchers would issue blanks until the top of the fifth, and this time the John Jay football team had its say.
Like Kaiser, Daniel Gonzalez knows something about hitting hard as an offensive and defensive lineman, but on this day, he made his bones on the base paths. Gonzalez reached first on an error and took second and third on wild pitches.
So, the Wolves decided to keep a good thing going. Skriloff squared to bunt, and when the pitch went awry, Gonzalez skirted home for the 3-2 lead.
Spirits were high on the John Jay bench, until Kaiser delivered again for Somers. In the bottom of the fifth, the first baseman went dead center and the game was tied again.
But Gonzalez was up to the task and would exact retribution for the heartbreaking football loss. After Tuohy walked and Samayoa’s grounder moved the runner over, Gonzalez stroked a single for what proved to be the winning run.
“I was happy to get my revenge,” he asserted, and the big bat left it to Capobianco to retire the final five batters in relief.
But as the seventh inning arrived against Brewster on Saturday, May 8, the momentum appeared not to have carried back to Cross River. Trailing 5-2, the Wolves needed a rally.
Lucas Orlovitz lined a single to lead off, and a humpback liner by Skriloff to second left everyone safe. Consecutive walks and CJ Polworth’s sacrifice fly made it 5-4, but after Jackson Pizer flied out, Samayoa was left to settle the score.
The catcher refused to allow the moment to get the better of him.
“I wasn’t going to let my stomach knot up or my heart beat too loud, so I was just happy and smiling,” Samayoa said.
On top of the drama, Samayoa worked the count, fouled off a few pitches, and his two-out single spread the joy.
All tied, Gonzalez couldn’t deliver the win this time, but Polworth picked his teammate up. The reliever set down three straight Brewster batters in the eight, and on the changeover, Oscar Morabito also kept Brewster grounded.
Morabito dragged a perfect bunt down third, and after Orlovitz’s sacrifice bunt, Skriloff got to play hero. His single scored Morabito and no better table could have been set for Coach Geoff Curtis.
“My Mother’s Day is going to be much better now,” he joked in conclusion.