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LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The swatters of Sullivan West hammered out the hits on Friday, April 12 as the Bulldogs defeated the home team Wildcats of Livingston Manor.
The game was called after five innings, as Sullivan West (3-2) dominated their opponents 13-2.
In the first frame, the Dawgs announced they came to play, posting three runs, followed in short order by three more in the second, two in the third, another couple in the fourth and an additional three in the fifth and final frame.
The Wildcats (0-4) staged a spirited, but short-lived rally in the bottom of the fourth as they sent two runners across the plate.
As the scorebook showed, Sullivan West’s first six runs were unearned, but a run’s a run no matter how you count it.
“I can only try to do the best I can for the team.” — Ryan Sayers
Manor burned through three pitchers: starter Kyle Fitch (2 innings), James Krupp (2) and Cody Froehlich (1).
Sullivan West’s Chas Mercado earned the win, while Ryan Sayers moved over from the hot corner to the mound late in the game to close it out.
“We made too many errors,” lamented Manor’s coach Jeff Loeffler regarding those unearned runs to start off the game. “All credit to Sullivan West, they hit the ball and put it in play.” His goals for the season? “Less errors and get to sectionals… Usually, our goal is to go to states, but now it’s fewer errors and making it to sectionals,” he added.
In 2011, the Wildcats took the brass ring as they were crowned the New York State Baseball Champions.
Garrett Shaver, a junior, anchors the catcher’s position for Manor, and has been a member of the varsity team since his freshman year. “We made too many errors, and we have to clean that up and put the ball in play,” he said.
Bulldogs coach Bill Kirk summed up the game, “First of all, I think we had some really good-at-bats today. We were patient when we had to be, [and] were aggressive when we had to be. It was a real team effort. A lot of good things happened for us today.”
Kirk reflected on the performance of his pitchers. “I’m very happy with Chad’s performance,” he said, noting it was Mercado’s second varsity outing. “I was hoping he could finish the game with a 10-run rule lead, but he started to get tired at the end… He ran out of gas.”
After Mercado’s fuel-injected hurling began to slow down, he was relived on the mound in the bottom of the fifth frame by Sayers, a freshman pitcher.
“He got two fly balls to right, and an out at first… He’s a good ballplayer,” said Kirk of his relief pitcher.
Mercado’s take on the game? “I was feeling really good coming off a day off with no school… I feel like I’m pitching [well]," he said. Goals for the season? “[I'm] looking to keep improving as a pitcher, improve on new techniques that I’m learning from my coaches,” said Mercado.
Asked what his goals are, Sayers replied, “I can only try to do the best I can for the team.”