Gaining confidence to move forward
by Randy Capitani
May 04, 2017 | 2520 views | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ethan Fox delivers to home as a Springfield runner takes off from second base, and shortstop Eric Bolognani is ready to field a hit.
Ethan Fox delivers to home as a Springfield runner takes off from second base, and shortstop Eric Bolognani is ready to field a hit.
WILMINGTON- The Twin Valley High School varsity baseball team finally took the field this past week, after snow, rain, and April vacation caused a number of postponements. Coach Brian Monroe has been working to develop a young squad that features a number of eighth- and ninth-grade players. While the season has gotten off to a slow start, the Wildcats are showing incremental improvement in their play.

On Thursday, April 27, the Wildcats had their first game of the year, hosting Springfield at Baker Field. The Cosmos came away with a 20-2 win, their first after starting the season 0-4.

Springfield plated two runs off Twin Valley starter Ethan Fox in the top of the first inning to jump out to an early lead.

The Wildcats struck back in the bottom of the first. Senior Troy Felisko walked and reached second on a balk. Freshman Lucas Messing moved him over to third with a sacrifice bunt. Junior Joey Rafus singled Felisko in to make it 3-1. Springfield scored three runs in the top of the third to extend their lead to 5-1. In the bottom of the third, Rafus singled home Messing for the Wildcats’ second tally. Springfield erupted for 15 runs in the top of the fourth inning, and closed out the scoring for the day.

Rafus was 3 for 3 at the plate with two runs batted in.

“I know the score doesn’t show it, but our whole team had a lot of positive moments,” said Monroe. “Whether it was defensively or offensively. I’m very pleased with the effort and I am excited about the kids getting the opportunity to play games, as are they.”

Woodstock 18, TV 3

WOODSTOCK- The Twin Valley Wildcats hit the road on Saturday and, while their play improved, the outcome did not. The host Wasps stung the Wildcats, winning 18-3.

Joey Rafus started on the mound and pitched three innings, allowing five runs. He struggled with his command in the first inning, walking six batters and allowing four runs. He faced six batters in the second, giving up one run. In the third Rafus pitched a scoreless inning, facing only four batters.

“We are working hard for our pitchers to be more efficient, getting their arms in game shape,” said Twin Valley coach Brian Monroe. “Joey was able to settle down and show great progress.”

The Wildcats cut into the lead in the top of the fifth, scoring twice and trailing 9-3. They also stranded runners on second and third. In the bottom of the fifth, the wheels fell off and the Wildcats gave up nine runs.

According to Monroe, control on the mound was a problem for Twin Valley pitchers, and directly led to many of the Wasps’ runs. “Of the 19 batters that we walked in the game, all but three scored,” he said.

James McGovern went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Ethan Fox was also 2 for 3 with one RBI and a run scored. Allen Cole was 1 for 3 and scored a run.

“I am very pleased with how we played and we took a step in the right direction,” said Monroe. “As a team we are aware of the process and the time it will take. I could not be more proud of our effort and improvement.”

TV 5, Black River 5

WILMINGTON- Wildcat coach Brian Monroe says his young team is improving, and on Tuesday Twin Valley got a chance to show that improvement against Black River. Unfortunately, a passing rainstorm forced a suspension of the game with the score tied at five.

Pitching carried the day for the improving Wildcats. Freshman Allen Cole started and threw 2 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on only two hits. He was relieved by James McGovern who gave up two runs on one hit.

“Both of these guys battled and came back multiple times from down in the count to get the hitters out,” said Monroe. “Our pitching staff needed a good outing and these two guys stepped up.”

Twin Valley scored three runs in the bottom of the first, all after two outs. Ethan Fox walked and then consecutive hits by Joey Rafus, James McGovern, and Cole followed.

The Presidents battled back and went up 5-4 in the top of the fifth. But in the bottom of the inning, Twin Valley played small-ball to tie the score.

Troy Felisko laid down a one-out bunt. The throw to first went in the dirt and allowed him to reach base safely. Lucas Messing then executed a bunt-and-run with two strikes, moving Felisko to third. Felisko scored on a passed ball to tie the game up.

As the inning ended, the rains began and the umpires called the game . Monroe said he was unsure if the final two innings would be played. He also was happy with the direction the team is headed.

“We really competed today and played with a lot of enthusiasm. We are moving in the right direction and the kids had a lot of fun. The team is gaining confidence and it showed today.”

Twin Valley is now 0-2-1 on the season. They will be back in action today, hosting Green Mountain at 4:30 pm at Baker Field. On Saturday, Leland & Gray will be in town for a 4:30 pm game.

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