SOMERS, N.Y.— It is always a classic duel when Mahopac and Somers collide on the baseball diamond and last Thursday afternoon was no different.
It was the Indians who persevered this time in a 7-4 triumph over the host Tuskers. Somers mounted a comeback, but Mahopac was able to hang on.
“We recognize that the game is not over until that last out,” Mahopac coach Chris Miller said. “They had the resiliency to put a couple good at-bats together and that’s what happened.”
Tusker third baseman Joe Napolitano smacked a first-pitch fastball off Dylan Brehm for the two-run single that handed them a 4-3 edge moving into the crucial sixth inning.
Nick Keating replaced starter Marc Maestri on the mound, but loaded the bases and walked Matt Merlini to bring the tying run home before Colin Smith was sent to the hill versus centerfielder Steven Daly.
“We had three walks and two hit-by-pitches in that inning,” Somers head coach Joe Wootten said. “If you do that, you are just waiting to be beaten.”
Coming through in the clutch yet again, Daly zipped a two-run single straight up the middle to hand Mahopac a 6-4 lead.
“I just relaxed, got my pitch and drove it not trying to do too much,” Daly said. “I know a lot of guys on (Somers) and it’s a little competition even more than the game. It’s definitely nice to come back and get the ‘W’ after being down.”
Indians’ ace Brian Murray ran into some trouble in the seventh inning before closing out the determined Tuskers. He retired the first two hitters without a problem, but gave up back-to-back singles to Maestri and left-fielder Christopher Boncarto.
With Napolitano stepping in, Somers could taste a last minute comeback, but instead he tapped one right back to Murray as Mahopac prevailed.
Simeone pitched 4.2 innings with five strikeouts while letting up four runs. He did even better at the plate, ripping an RBI triple in the first inning.
“He has shown that he could pitch throughout preseason,” Miller said. “We felt pretty comfortable that he would give a great performance.”
It was a fundamentally solid showing by the Indians, who walked seven times and committed zero errors in the field. The junior Brehm also fared well out of the bullpen, weaving out of jams to throw 1.1 innings for no earned runs.
For Somers, the southpaw Maestri ate up a firm five innings while fanning two batters. He even had two hits with a sacrifice fly while Boncarto pounded a double and a single.
The power-hitter Napolitano slashed two hits for two RBI and second baseman Matt Mariani roped an RBI single in the second.
Previously, the Indians played two matches against archrival Carmel on Wednesday, April 12, and Monday, April 10. They magically erupted to score eight unanswered runs after trailing 6-1 before the fifth inning of Wednesday’s 9-6 home win.
“It’s going to be all year like this with these crazy games,” Miller said.
Brehm and Krasniqi notched two RBI apiece to pace Mahopac’s string of offense. Joe Usewicz, senior Pat McGee, senior Matt Montera and Avallone all drove in one run.
Senior John Ravoli started the game on the mound, but it was the Indians’ bullpen that saved their late advantage.
Junior Billy Moeller tossed 1.1 innings and allowed one run, while senior Tyler Rimaldi pitched two perfect frames. Fellow senior right-hander Mark Trio shut the door in the seventh.
The Indians endured a 7-4 defeat in the first crazy game at Carmel. Despite trailing 2-0 after one inning, they built a 4-2 edge shifting into the bottom of the sixth. The Rams, similar to the Indians in the second matchup, poured on five runs and ran away with the win.
Daly played exceptionally again, going 2 for 3 with a bases-clearing triple. Avallone added an RBI single and Brehm shined in relief once more by pitching two scoreless frames.
The Indians (3-2) hosted Mount Vernon on April 19 and visit John Jay Cross-River on Saturday, April 22, at 2 p.m.