Adam Shinder/Recorder staff Broadalbin-Perth's Luigi Magliocca (23) stands in at the plate in front of Catskill catcher Matt Gabel, center, during Tuesday's Section II Class BB first-round playoff game at Ricky Cramer Field in Catskill.
By ADAM SHINDER
CATSKILL -- There were mistakes and missed opportunities in Tuesday's Section II Class BB playoff game against Catskill that the Broadalbin-Perth High School baseball team will look back on and regret. The one Patriots will rue the most was the mistake that was completely out of their control.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Patriots had runners on first and second with one out as shortstop Brett Getman stepped to the plate against Cats pitcher Nick Kimmel. Getman took the first pitch low for a ball, fouled off two pitches, then took three more out of the strike zone.
It should've been a walk to load the bases. Somehow, the umpiring crew lost track of the count and kept Getman at the plate, where he flew out to right on the next pitch -- a pitch he never should've had to face.
The next two batters resulted in three runs brought home for the Patriots. Had Getman reached, it would've been four -- and more importantly, the game wouldn't have ended in a 7-6 B-P loss when Catskill reliever Nick Macholdt got Logan DeNeuville to ground out with the tying run on third in the seventh inning to put an end to the Patriots' season.
"It should be (a tie game). I guess there's nothing you can do about it," B-P coach Dan Simonds said. "I asked about appealing it, because we have it on video, but they said that in high school baseball you're not allowed to make video appeals. I don't know what our options are in appealing it to the section, but it is what it is and it's over with."
For B-P senior third baseman Joe Zarecki, who went 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, it was a bitter end to his high school career, though he resolved not to harp on the controversy, as he felt there were other ways the Patriots could've given themselves a chance.
"We can blame one mistake by this person or that person, but I think there's a few things we could've done better to get us in the game or even win the game," Zarecki said. "We played a hell of a baseball game. There's nothing we can change now, it's over."
For the 10th-seeded Patriots, the mistakes came in the two innings in which seventh-seeded Catskill put up all seven of its runs. Two B-P errors played key roles as the Cats' plated five runs against Patriots starter Tyler Graham in the third inning, and after B-P had drawn within 5-4, Catskill got two insurance runs without a hit in the sixth on a hit batter, an error, an intentional walk and two bases-loaded walks.
"They made a couple mistakes and we capitalized on them, then we made a couple mistakes and they capitalized on them," said Cats coach Eric Joyce. "We were lucky that we capitalized for one run more."
Down 5-0 in the fifth, the Patriots rallied for three runs against Kimmel, plating one when Connor Pingitore reached on an error and two more when Zarecki cracked a two-run double to right that ignited the B-P dugout.
"We kept telling them the whole time that it would just take one run," Simonds said. "Once we got that first run, things kind of opened up for us. The whole dugout change and the life in the team changed."
Two Catskill errors allowed B-P to pull within 5-4 in the sixth, and after the Cats tacked on their two insurance runs, singles from Getman and Pingitore to lead off the seventh finally chased Kimmel.
Joyce moved Macholdt from third base to the mound, and Zarecki greeted him with a two-run single to right with the B-P senior reaching second when the ball kicked away from Catskill outfielder Mark Jones.
Zarecki exited for pinch runner Joe Kelly, but as he jogged off the field, he could feel the momentum turning.
"The whole time, I had faith in my guys," Zarecki said.
But, it was Macholdt who shut the door, striking out Noah Martin, inducing a grounder from Zach Morreale that moved Kelly to third, then getting a harmless grounder to second out of DeNeuville to end the game and leave Joyce with only two words to sum up the late drama.
"Heart attack," Joyce said.
The result left the Patriots heartbroken, though Simonds expressed pride in a team that relied on a number of underclassmen to get out of a 10-game midseason losing streak, qualify for sectionals and give B-P a chance to advance -- even if the fates conspired to knock them out.
"All these young guys came through," Simonds said. "They all came through in the times that we needed them, and what more can you ask for?"
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