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Vol. 112 - Issue 1, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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Courtesy of the New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, N.Y (.PDF files)
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Sports


Post 579 falls to rival Oneonta, fails to qualify for playoffs
by Matthew P. Garrett

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 No. 3.

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 position.

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


 


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