Wildcats dominated by curveball wizard

TED WADDELL
Posted 6/6/18

SAUGERTIES, NY — On Saturday, May 26 it was all or nothing for the two teams taking to the Teddy Lorez Memorial Field to determine who would be crowned the 2018 Section IX Class D baseball …

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Wildcats dominated by curveball wizard

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SAUGERTIES, NY — On Saturday, May 26 it was all or nothing for the two teams taking to the Teddy Lorez Memorial Field to determine who would be crowned the 2018 Section IX Class D baseball champion.

And the winner was: the Tuxedo Tornadoes, as they blew past the number two-ranked Wildcats of Livingston Manor 9-1.

The final outcome wasn’t really up for grabs, as Manor’s pitcher set the tone of the blisteringly hot afternoon by walking his first three opponents at the plate, followed by a sacrifice fly by the shortstop to put Tuxedo up 1-0.

Joe Castellanos, Tuxedo’s ace hurler, then aided his own cause by scoring, followed in the next frame by four more Torando runs to put them ahead by six.

From then on it was either uphill or downhill, depending on which team you were rooting for: the top-seeded Torandoes (9-9) posted three additional runs, while the Wildcats (4-10) finally scored a run to prevent a shutout.

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Castellanos wrapped up the win, striking out 17 in six and two-thirds innings, finally pulling the plug for the outing due to his pitch count.

During this regular season of swats, he had 18 whiffs in a no-hitter against the Eldred Yellowjackets, and with the championship win—Tuxedo’s first Section IX crown since a Class C title in 2004—has almost 125 K’s in more than 50 frames.

Early in the game, the Tornadoes loaded the bases in the early innings, while at the end of the game their opponents had posted only three hits in the scorebook.

“We pretty much handled the D schools," said Torandoes coach Marco Margotta.

Singing the praises of his ace pitcher, he said Castellanos has a ratio of approximately two strikeouts per inning.

“He’s a hard worker, a quality kid… he looks out for the team, not just himself.”

Castellanos commented on the win, “I’m excited that we were able to do what we did… the guys stayed on top of everything and kept moving forward.”

Lucas Maretzo anchors the plate for Tuxedo.

“We did well this year… Joe’s clicking all the time really helped us out.”

Jeff Loeffler, coach of the Wildcats, said of the loss, “Joe did a heck of a job for Tuxedo… when you strike out 17 guys, you’ve got a good chance of winning.”

“They took us two out of three in the regular season, [but] we’re not hanging our heads.”

Noting that Manor didn’t post the greatest numbers this year, Loeffler put a positive spin on the season.

“We’d like to have had a few more wins, but we worked hard with some seniors… we have a very young mix in there, and we hope we can build from it.”

Manor’s Joe Gleason summed up the game.

“We did pretty well on defense; we just couldn’t get our bats going.”

His take on playing in the championship game?

“It was pretty cool”, replied Gleason.

Wildcats catcher Garrett Shaver said of the game, “We struggled to get the ball in play... Castellanos was dominant throughout the game.”

saugerties, baseball

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