Apr 19, 2012
Lawrence baseball earned its second win of the season on Thursday as it defeated cross-town rival Hewlett 6-5 in a game that came down to the final batter in the seventh inning at Hewlett.
Lawrence went into the sixth inning with a 6-3 lead, but starting pitcher AJ Gallo gave up two walks to open final inning, prompting coach Dennis Leonard to make a pitching change. However, that’s when the defense began to come undone for Lawrence. After a strikeout, and a double steal for Hewlett, Zachary Stempler hit a ball to the shortstop who fielded and threw to first, but first baseman Anthony Montilli couldn’t handle the ball in the dirt and the ball bounced out of play, scoring both runners. Another walk, a strikeout and then another walk loaded the bases. Tyler Shenker then struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
The stolen base at the end turned out to be pretty big,” Leonard said. “Those were two big runs we got in the seventh turned out to be pretty big, but I think these guys learned that it’s possible to pick each other up with the two strikeouts at the end. That was huge.”
Lawrence has seen its share of one run games this season, losing by that margin to New Hyde Park and Roslyn. Leonard feels this should change things.
“When you lose two one run games and you feel like you’re the better team, doubt starts to creep in,” Leonard said. “After both of those losses, we had great practices and heads were still held high. When you run into another one and you do close the door, I think you turn the corner. Big props to the boys for fighting it out at the end there.”
Meanwhile Hewlett is now on a seven game skid after winning their first two games of the season.
“We’re in all of these games,” Hewlett Head Coach Andy DiBernardo said. “We are one of two plays away every time. In the past two weeks, we’ve left the bases loaded down a run in the seventh inning twice. We were up a run against Plainedge and we gave that up. We’re on both ends of it and we just can’t get that one last play.”
DiBernardo says his team has to get into the game earlier in order to turn things around.
“Against New Hyde Park, we gave up eight runs in the first inning, came back and were up 10-8 and then lost that game. It takes us too long and we’re not getting that one little humpback liner to put over over the top.”
Luchiano Morello was responsible for allowing all of Lawrence’s six runs although not all were earned, but also struck out eight batters in the loss.
“He grinded through,” DiBernardo said of his pitcher. “He’s a fighter and does whatever it takes. He tries to put everything that’s going on behind him on himself though.”
Meanwhile for Lawrence, Gallo was responsible for allowing all of Hewlett’s five runs, although again, not all were earned. Leonard was disappointed to pull him from the game in the seventh. He struck out six batters in his six innings of work.
Both teams play their next games on Monday at 4:30, Lawrence on the road versus Bethpage and Hewlett at home versus South Side.
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