Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Canastota - Sauquoit softball turned out to be quite a game

By Perry L. Novak, Dispatch Sports Editor
Some thoughts on the Sauquoit Valley at Canastota softball game that was played on May 9. Box scores and linescores don’t always tell the story, and sometimes neither does the story tell the story as fully as desired.

Space and time limitations make covering an epic game like the aforementioned a challenge.
Some of the highlights I wished we had room for were:
1 - a terrific catch on a Kelsey Walton line drive by Canastota second baseman Sam McCarthy in
the top of the second inning.
2 - Jessica Patterelli’s three straight strikeouts on screwballs early in the game.

3 - Patterelli’s great play on a Meghan Gaffney dribble and Lindsay McGinley’s great stretch for a 1-3 out in the third inning for the hosts.

4 - McCarthy’s tremendous shovel throw to Alexis havens to begin a 4-6-3 double play in the top of the fifth inning.
5 - Emily Harp’s RBI hit on a 3-0 count in the bottom of the fifth for the hosts.
6 - Jessie Boswell’s shoestring catch in right field on a fly by Jessica Jecko and her throw to first base to double up Vanessa Jecko.

7 - Jessica Jecko picking off Patterelli in the sixth
8 - Walton, Nicole Burline and Chelsea Schloop hitting singles, Brianna Cardillo and Michaela Clark belting doubles and Meghan Gaffney hitting a single in consecutive at bats to rally Sauquoit Valley from a 4-2 deficit to a 7-4 lead in the top of the seventh.

9 - Canastota taking advantage of two inning-opening errors in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. Val Baer’s bloop hit followed the miscues, Boswell had a one-out hit and Ally Bernier slapped a single to force extra innings.

10 - Clark’s great throw to get Patterelli trying to score the winning run at the plate in the eighth.

11 - McGinley making a superb recovery from taking a bad hop off her chin to get the leadoff hitter out in the top of the ninth.

12 - Patterelli apparently hurting her ankle on a pitch to the next batter and toughing it out to pitch the rest of the inning.

13 - Sauquoit Valley taking advantage of a passed ball and a walk to keep the rally going and Shania Taylor shaking off a hitless day to rap a two-RBI hit.

14 - Danielle Taylor blooping a hit to plate the insurance runs seconds later.

15 - Bernier, despite her team being down four runs and down to its last out, slapping her way on base to make the visitors wonder if another comeback was in order.

Games like this even the losing team will remember with a bit of a smile decades down the road.

Monday, May 9, 2011

VVS Spring Scholar athletes

When reporting on high school and college athletes, it is often easy to forget that these young men and women are students first and foremost. Receiving a list of VVS' spring list of NYSPHSAA scholar athletes from athletic director Jim Burton is a great reminder of that. Here's they are:

Travis Regner is one of VVS' spring scholar athletes
Boys Golf
Christopher Brunscheen, Sean Fewer, Zachary Hubbard, Scott Johnson, Dylan Kavanagh, George Netzband, Kyle Renwick, Connor Shay, Jacob Voelker.
Girls Golf
Jordan Cousin, Alicia Gowans, Brittany Heysler, Molly Mumford, Sarah Pritchard, Tracee Schiebel, Nicole Scotto, Micaela Shay, Amanda Snizek, Emily Wagner, Emily Woodworth.
Boys Tennis
Ian Adams, Rober Dewaine, Dylan Duchene, Nicholas Fletcher, Steven Geer, Andrew Kane, Matthew McCall, Michael Morgan, James Neverette, Travis Regner, Devin Vallee, Thomas Visalli.
Boys Track and Field
Vincent Bailey, Tyler Curtis, Matt Femia, Brett Field, Dylan Guider, Samuel Htun, Aaron Oliver, Kyle Ossont, Nathan Roman, Nicholas Stoltz, Kyle Tarry, Anthony Thomas, Timothy Thomas, Colin VanNamee.
Girls Track and Field
Tamara Beal, Margaret Curtis, Molly D'Agostino, Cassie Dunbar, Devon Dunbar, Alyssa Durant, Kayla Fazekas, Jenna Fiacco, Ronnie Judge, Kerry Miley, Samantha Netzband, Mckenna Novak, Sahara Post, Kayla Prentice, Tela-Marie Prettyman, Briana Rascoe, Nicole Schlick, Jessica Smith, Melinda Stanton, Rebekah Talbot, Annamarie Visalli, Brooke Waite.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tommy John's perspective

Former Major League Baseball Player Tommy John helped Canastota Little League celebrate the opening of it's 60th season as the keynote speaker of a banquet on April 30, then throwing out the first pitch the next morning. He was asked about today's aspiring baseball players, being the name for the famous surgery, his thoughts on not getting into the hall of fame and his connection to central New York.

On being the first to undergo Tommy John surgery and now being it's namesake:
Tommy John throws out the first pitch in Canastota.
"I'm honored. I'll be dust in my casket and Tommy John surgery will probably still be performed by orthopedic surgeons. The rehab is better but I pitched in a ball game one year (and) one day after surgery. All the stuff we didn't know then that we did in our rehab; in the 13 years I pitched competitively after surgery I never missed a start. Whatever we did, we did it right.When I had it done (I) never thought it would be as epidemic as it is now. It's sad but I serve on a health and safety board for USA Baseball and Dr. Andrews is on there and Jimmy and I are talking about the surgery and he said it's becoming epidemic. His thing is it borders on child abuse. There are kids 12, 13, 14 years old coming in to have Tommy John surgery. You should not have to have that surgery at that age unless parents are making you pitch year round baseball."

On not being inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame (so far): 
Tommy John slaps hands with a Little Leaguer
"I only worry about things I can control. I worry about my golf game. I worry about getting my EZ Pass re-upped. If I get in, it will be the greatest day in my life. If I don't get in, I know how well I pitched. I know there from latter 60s to early 80s, about 13 years, my record was as good as any pitcher in baseball for the amount of wins and ERA. In fact, my ERA did not get over three until the last few years I pitched. I was well in my 40s then. I'll put my record up against the guys who are in the Hall of Fame. I believe my ground ball to fly ball ratio is the best in baseball history."

Advice to kids who may dream of playing professional baseball:
"If you're going to play the game, learn the fundamentals, practice and have fun. I had a big league manager that said, 'if you cannot have fun at this game you're getting paid for, then you've got to go back home and sell used cars.
"My dad told learn by observing. If you're a left handed pitcher, I would try and watch a game every time Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels or John Lester pitched. I would watch the good left handers. When I was a kid we had one game a week on Saturday (TV). That night my dad and I would play catch in the back yard and he would try to guess who I was imitating with my throwing motion. If you're a shortstop and you like Derek Jeter I would watch a lot of Yankee games."
On his connection to central NY:
"I come up in this area quite a bit. This winter I left New Jersey during a blizzard and went up to Watertown. I can say when I got into New York the snow stopped so it was a nice drive. I started my first Triple A baseball game at old MacArthur stadium in Syracuse. I think I went about four or five innings. My next start I won my first Triple A baseball game in Rochester."
Tommy John signs autographs for Little Leaguers

On pizza?
"I have a friend of mine named Don Ross, he had a great pizza place called Twin Trees Pizza in Syracuse. I used to go over and devour his pies all the time. Used to do a lot of autograph signings at the Carousel Mall. I would be driving back to Jersey eating Donnie's Twin Tree pizzas."