COOPERSTOWN — Cooperstown Post first baseman Eddie Bauer dove back into second base, head first.
With dirt still swirling about the play, the field umpire punched
Bauer out, signaling the end of last Tuesday’s Otsego County American
Legion baseball game with league rival Oneonta.
Post 579 had just failed to force a decisive third and final meeting
with the county’s lone other legion competitor, and as a result, failed
in its bid to qualify for the state’s regional playoffs.
Back on June 20, an 0-3 Cooperstown squad was blanked at Oneonta
Post 359 by a final count of 5-0. Entering last Tuesday’s Otsego County
rematch, Cooperstown Post was much improved at 8-6 overall, but lost
the contest — and subsequently, the regular-season series and only
county playoff spot — by a final count of 7-4.
“They were right in this one to the end,” said long-time Cooperstown co-coach Sharky Nagelschmitt.
Until of course, Bauer was doubled up at second base for the third and final out during the bottom of the seventh.
Earlier in the inning, a Scott Dubben single, a third base error,
and a walk loaded the bases for Post 579 with just one out. The team
was trailing 7-3 going into its final attempt, but a Colin Weeks RBI
made it 7-4 with still just one out and the bases loaded. That’s when
Shawn Connolly lifted a fly ball into center field for out No. 2, and
Bauer was caught too far off the bag at second and doubled up for out
Oddly enough, it was the second base running miscue of the game at
that same spot on the diamond for Cooperstown Post. Three innings
earlier in the bottom of the fourth, Weeks was called out on an Oneonta
appeal that the starting left fielder vacated the second-base bag too
soon on what appeared to be a routine tag-up toward third. That
questionable call also ended the inning, and halted a two-men-on,
one-run-down rally attempt for Post 579.
“I thought he tagged up,” offered Nagelschmitt in reference to Cooperstown’s first base running blunder.
Bottom line, however, is Post 579 had its chances against Oneonta
starting pitcher Kyle Donnelly. The team scored a single run off the
right-hander in innings one, four, five and seven, while during innings
three and six, stranded at least one runner on a bag in scoring
That offensive production was a huge improvement from what
Cooperstown was able to accomplish against starter Andrew Brown in the
June 20 meeting at Oneonta. That night, Post 579 managed just five
harmless singles. Last Tuesday, the Doubleday hosts began the contest
with a single, a walk, and an RBI double.
Nevertheless, Donnelly (like Brown) ended up lasting the distance in
the win. The right-hander surrendered four runs — three earned — on
nine hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Cooperstown, meanwhile, went through three pitchers in the loss. Ian
McGillivray got the start and lasted 4 and 2-3 innings, reliever James
Simonds pitched the next 2, and Dubben got the final necessary out in
his 1-3 inning appearance.
At the plate for Post 579, Weeks finished 2-for-3 with two singles,
Dubben was 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a single, while Connolly and
Tyler Spofford each contributed RBI singles.
Concluded Coach Naggelschmitt: “Oneonta’s always a good team.
They’ve got a losing record but they play a lot of ball against some
really tough teams.”
Oneon. 0 0 0 3 1 2 1 — 7 10 3
Coop. 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 — 4 9 3
Kyle Donnelly and Mike Sclafini; Ian McGillivray, James Simonds (5),
Scott Dubben (7) and Hyde Clarke. W - Donnelly, L - McGillivray. 2B -
Mike Seroka 2, Cody Lutie, Don Potter (Oneonta); Dubben (Cooperstown). Records: Oneonta Post 14-18; Cooperstown Post 8-7.
Game time - 2:01