Dave Brust’s Webster Yankees can’t get home soon enough. The pinstripes found more valleys than hills while traveling the roads of Upstate New York over the last nine days.
A quintet of hurlers held the Yankee bats in check Monday, as the Brockport Riverbats downed Webster, 7-0 in New York Collegiate Baseball League action at Ed Nietopski Field.
Chuck Fontana (Rutgers-Newark) danced through land mines for six innings to get the win, and Andrew Femath (Texas-Lutheran) added a spark with his glove and bat as Brockport grabbed a share of first place in the NYCBL West Division.
Webster loaded the bases in the fourth and fifth only to be denied both times. Ryan Chenoweth (Ball State) and Mike Walraven (Hofstra) rapped back-to-back singles in the fourth before Steve Muoio (Georgia C&S) worked a walk. Fontana got a fly ball to end the inning.
One frame later, Shawn Bailey (Cortland St.) picked up his second hit of the day. Dominic Catanzarite (Ball State) reached on an error, and Ollie Bertrand (Monroe CC) worked a base on balls. This time Fontana struck out a batter and induced an infield pop-up.
Bertrand walked to lead off the second. Walraven delivered a two-out single. Again, Fontana answered, this time with a ground ball to end the threat.
Brockport took the lead in the first. Richie Tri (Central CT St. U) singled and moved up on a wild pitch and fielder’s choice. Dave Ciocchi (Binghamton) plated the run with a two-out single to center field. Brockport would have all the runs they would need.
Webster starter, Dan Jurik (St. John Fisher), took the loss. The right-hander struck out five and walked three in five and a third innings of work. Brockport chased Jurik in the sixth. Femath led with a home run over the wall in left field.
Femath’s hit benefitted from the breezy afternoon in Brockport. “That wasn’t the best pitch I could throw,” said Jurik. “but I didn’t see that coming.” Brockport added another run when Ryan Skelle (St. Bonaventure) topped an infield single just over the glove of reliever Tyler Scott (Toledo).
Femath robbed Webster of a run in the seventh. With Matt Jacobs (UMass-Lowell) on second, Catanzarite ripped a shot into the hold between first and second. Femath ranged to his left, dove, and took away a sure hit and a run. The second baseman had eight assists on the day to go with two hits and a walk.
Tom Hembree (Texas-Lutheran) and Billy Cerruti (Rutgers-Newark) worked the seventh while Reid Rooney (Central Michigan) and Alex Adami (Binghamton) each worked a frame of relief.
Webster left 14 runners on base.
The loss comes on the heels of a double-header sweep at the hands of the Hornell Dodgers, 9-3 and 10-2. Hornell pasted numbers on the board in four different innings of the opener before breaking open the night cap with a six-run eighth.
This came one week after Webster dropped a pair at Allegany County.
One of the few bright spots of the last nine days came when Michael Craig (St. John Fisher) tossed his second complete-game shutout as Webster defeated Niagara, 5-0.
Bailey, Bertrand, and Craig will represent the home nine at the league All-Star game on Tuesday. Muoio, Nate Koontz (Ball State), Brian Pullyblank (So. Illinois), and Lincoln Rassi (Toledo) will participate in the Future’s game. Numerous Major League scouts will be on hand for both games.
Webster returns home Wednesday as the Allegany County Nitros visit Basket Road Field. Niagara and Brockport come to town Thursday and Friday. All games start at 7pm.