Volume 22, Number 53 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 14 - 20, 2010
DLL news: Barons no longer undefeated
On May 2 the Monarchs ended the Barons’ undefeated streak on a hot day with a walloping 11-1 win.
Their victory began with a hard grounder, which found a hole to centerfield and put Ryan Porcaro on first base. Noah Berrie cranked one out to deep right field, but it was outside of play.
Porcaro stole second and sped around to third during Clyde Huibregtse’s at-bat. Huibregtse’s sacrifice grounder scored the Barons’ first run, but Monarchs pitcher Sam Frere-Holmes found his groove, which lasted throughout the game. He struck out the next batter to end the inning for the Barons.
Brody Sharoff had his first start on the mound for the Barons. The game looked promising once Huibregtse easily gloved the Monarchs’ first batter’s pop fly at first base. But then Dario Flores blasted a cannon over the centerfielder’s head for a stand-up double, beginning a rally for the Monarchs the Barons never recovered from.
Teammate Noah Skelskie blasted one to right field, driving in Flores to tie the game. Frere-Holmes and Jackson Kaufman took a base on balls, loading up the diamond. While Sharoff was able to strike out the next batter for out two, the following Monarch, Kiefer Ludwig, walked in another run, and the first inning ended 2-1 for the Monarchs.
Frere-Holmes faced Tyler Rohan of the Barons at the top of the second, who brought him up to a full count and smacked one to third bat but couldn’t beat Skelskie’s throw to first. Frere-Holmes retired the next two batters with a mixture of called and swinging strikes, and the Monarchs came to bat again.
Sharoff of the Barons, recently recovering from a broken wrist, had trouble finding the strike zone. Michael Shorris led off with a walk for the Monarchs. The pitch hit Jake Dickerson. Sharoff complained of pain in his triceps and was relieved on the mound by Huibregtse. Felix Parker also took a base on balls, loading the bases up with no outs.
Huibregtse was able to strike out the next batter, but the following play was the proverbial straw for the Barons’ back. Justin Ho lined a shot to Nate Goldberg at second base. He then snagged the line drive for out two and waited for the shortstop to cover second. The odd timing of the play led to an overthrow, allowing two runners to score and the runner on first base to advance to third.
Then Flores walked and stole second when the catcher realized there was no one covering the base. Flores easily once Skelskie’s bomb to left field flew right by the Barons’ defender. Frere-Holmes took another base on balls, as did Kaufman, filling up the bases again for the Monarchs.
The four-run, error-laden inning finally ended for the Barons when short stop Josh Fish fielded a grounder and out-raced the base runner to touch third.
In the top of the third, Frere-Holmes struck out the side, and the Monarchs were at bat to reach a commanding 6-1 lead. But it seemed that the Barons had already given up on the game halfway before the fat lady sang.
Ludwig, Theo Levine and Shorris each took a base on balls, and Rohan continued to marinate in the catcher’s gear not only from the extreme heat but also the workout of chasing pitches to the backstop. Tommy Caruso, who usually catches for the Barons but hadn’t arrived until the bottom of the second, relieved Huibregtse on the mound.
Dickerson’s grounder to the pitcher was fielded well for the first out, but another run scored.
Caruso struck out the next batter, but Tyler Adams’ grounder drove in two more runs when the throw to first prompted Porcaro to leap off the bag.
The next batter grounded out to second, but the score became a wide 9-1.
Frere-Holmes continued to strike out one batter after another with ease, and the top of the fourth became another scoreless inning for the Barons as well as the eighth consecutive strike out for him.
Flores let loose again in the bottom of the inning, this time to the left-fielder, who was unable to hold the ball in his glove.
Flores stole second, inciting Barons’ fans to let out a collective groan. But in what would turn out to be the Barons’ best defensive inning of the game, Fish snagged a line drive to short for the first out.
The most exciting play of the game, hands down, was when Frere-Holmes, both a defensive and offensive threat, sent a ball sailing into right field. The Barons’ Max Dell-Thibodeau caught it in the air, reveling in the cheers from his teammates and coaches (and the moms, of course!).
Kaufman, the next batter, was credited with an RBI single, but was caught when trying to steal, which ended the inning.
In what turned out to be their last chance, the Barons had two quick outs in the top of the fifth, including another strike out for Frere-Holmes. Huibregtse took a base on balls, as did his teammate Devin Minnihan after a full count.
But a sharp grounder to the pitcher ended the inning for the Barons, putting the Monarchs at 10-1 by the bottom of the fifth.
First baseman Matt Bialosky took a base on balls and stole second during Ludwig’s at-bat. Caruso fielded Ludwig’s grounder for the first out, but Levine’s checked swing sent the ball into the outfield for an RBI single that ended the game by mercy rule with a 10-run lead by the Monarchs.
Coach Scott Noga, wrote in an e-mail, “In baseball, you learn more when you lose… It only takes one little spark to pick up the entire team and change the outcome of a game.”
The highlight of this game, though, was the pitching domination of Sam Frere-Holmes, who struck out 11 of the 18 batters he faced, and allowed just the one hit by Porcaro.