St. Luke's beats Rye in walkoff fashion
Updated 2:06 pm, Wednesday, May 6, 2015
After overcoming a six run deficit against visiting Rye Country Day, St. Luke's varsity baseball saved the fireworks for the encore in a wild game Monday. Senior captain Ben Rappaport's RBI single in extra innings plated the winning run in front of a jubilant crowd at Bucci Baseball Field, providing St. Luke's-which had trailed 6-0-with an 8-7 lead. The win was the team's third in a row, improving their record to (5-8) overall.
When asked about the state of the team that has recovered from a slow start, assistant coach Chris Mantz pointed to a willingness to play for each other. "There's a lot to say, but most important is how this team has developed as a family, as a unit," Mantz said.
Rye Country Day tagged the Storm's starting pitcher, Brian Beaumonte for six runs in the first three frames. Plating two in the first, one in the second, and three in the third, Rye took full advantage of St. Luke's' defensive miscues-the home team was tagged for seven errors on the day. Beaumonte settled into a groove, however, allowing just one more run. In seven innings of work, he struck out three, walked two, and yielded three earned runs.
A Wildcats offense that smacked 16 hits on the day was ultimately outdueled by the opportunistic bats of St. Luke's. After the Storm cut the lead to 6-1 in the fourth, right fielder Hugh Lavelle started the fifth with a walk. Starting pitcher Nick Sharpe hit Will Twomey and departed the game. With two outs quickly under his belt, new pitcher Pomroy was on the cusp of escaping the jam, but a wild pitch and a passed ball enabled both runners to score. Consecutive walks to Jacob Morgenstern and Nick Gault forced in two runs, cutting the lead to 6-3.
New pitcher William Grossman promptly hit the first batter he faced, Kyle Andersen, to load the bases. Cleanup hitter Ben Rappaport stepped to the plate and popped up to right fielder Erik Hanson, who dropped the ball, trimming a now tenuous lead to 6-5. Beaumonte then rapped a single into left field to score Andersen and Rappaport, giving St. Luke's a 7-6 lead.
Rye Country Day rallied from the disastrous fifth, to tie the game in the top of the sixth. After two singles and a walk loaded the bases, Hanson looked for a redeeming at-bat. His grounder eluded Nick Gault at second, scoring the tying (unearned) run. Enzo Stefanoni then strode to the plate in what would become the most critical at-bat of the game. The Wildcats' catcher lined back to Beaumonte, who cut down Ricky Levy, caught off of third, for a double play. Grossman struck out looking to quell the threat.
Beaumonte lasted one more inning before giving way to the eventual winning pitcher, Will Bralower. The junior reliever acquitted himself well, holding Rye to just one hit over his two innings of work. Rye's Levy, now on the mound for the seventh and eighth, matched zeroes with his counterpart. New pitcher Reed Connor found trouble immediately, however, in the bottom of the ninth. Consecutive walks to Gault and Kyle Andersen brought Rappaport to the plate with the potential winning run 180 feet away. The big first baseman launched a 2-1 offering into the right-center field gap, sending a scampering Gault across the plate-and a flood of jubilant teammates towards the hero of the afternoon waiting between first and second.