Dodgers beat Legends & Frozen Ropes in Connie Mack World Series double elimination round
TROY - Twice Sunday, the South Troy Dodgers poured out of their dugout at Geer Field triumphant, but the celebrations weren’t without a sigh of relief.
The Dodgers worked out of bases-loaded jams in the sixth and seventh innings in the day’s first game against the Florida Legends, posting a 3-1 victory over the three-time defending champions of this Connie Mack World Series Qualifier Tournament.
In the afternoon’s winner’s bracket game against the Frozen Ropes Titans (McKinney, Texas), J.P. Sportman scored the go-ahead run by stealing home – a delayed double steal - in the bottom of the sixth. His former La Salle Institute teammate Dave Roseboom pitched a one-two-three top of the seventh to seal a 6-5 victory for the Dodgers.
"Playing in games like this, there is nothing bigger," South Troy catcher Will Remillard, a Cohoes native, said after the win over Frozen Ropes. "This is one of the biggest tournaments we play in. This is one of the biggest tournaments you can go to. If you’re going to win it, you have to do things like that. The little things. You have to come up clutch."
"We just knocked down two of the top organizations in the country, so we couldn’t be happier," said South Troy head coach Kevin Rogers. But we have a lot of work to do tomorrow and we’re going to get some sleep and try to win a couple of games tomorrow."
South Troy Dodgers vs. Cincy Flames, 1 p.m. at Geer Field
Richmond County - second-round bye
The brackets will be redrawn following the South Troy game, with round three set to begin at 5 p.m.
Frozen Ropes Titans 6, Cincy Flames 1
Richmond County defeated Team N.Y. Scout (sorry, do not have a score for this one)
South Troy Dodgers 6, Frozen Ropes Titans 5
Florida Legends 4, Richmond County 0
Cincy Flames 6, Team N.Y. Scout 1*
* Team N.Y. Scout eliminated from tournament
Against Florida, Josh Ingham drove in two runs and Dan Priore added an RBI on a suicide squeeze – they accounted for all four Dodgers hits in the game. Priore has had a great tournament from the No. 9 hole, but Ingham was dropped to No. 8 in the order Saturday after hitting No. 5 Thursday and Friday. It didn't bother him one bit.
"You don’t really have a weak spot in this order," Ingham said. "Matt Zanotta, the MVP of Section II, is batting seventh. That’s kind of silly.
"One through nine I think is one of the best lineups in South Troy history, so we can’t complain wherever you are in the order. You just have to get the job done."
Still, South Troy’s star was lefthanded pitcher Evan MacIntosh.
A South Windsor, Conn. native, MacIntosh pitched into the seventh inning before the Dodgers turned to the bullpen. Brian Tatelman, from East Hartford, Conn., struck out Flordia’s David Vasquez for the second out and got cleanup hitter Ozney Guillen, son of Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, to fly out to left field for the final out.
MacIntosh, who had loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, hitting Guillen and walking the next two batters, struck out Aramis Garcia to escape unscathed.
"I just trusted my pitches," MacIntosh said. "In order to pitch well, you have to throw any pitch you can for a strike at any moment in any count and we came out victorious. Well, I think this guy over here (nods to Tatelman) finished it out for me. I wish I could have finished."
In the game against the Titans, the Dodgers came-from-behind to take a 4-3 lead after three innings. Frozen Ropes used two hit batsmen, a single, a walk and an error to retake the lead in the sixth, but the Dodgers charged back.
Nick Bernardo’s pinch-hit sacrifice fly tied the game and when Braden Cogswell took off for second base when a pitch to Steve Anderson hit the dirt, Sportman took off for home and scored the thrilling go-ahead run.
"I was talking with Kevin at third base and he said if they throw the ball down, I’m going," Sportman said. "I just read what I saw and as he threw it, I went."
South Troy won the North Atlantic regional tournament in 2009 to advance to the Connie Mack World Series. About half of the team has returned, but they feel that winning close games and doing so in come-from-behind fashion is something this year’s vintage can do particularly well.
"Last year’s team, we had a lot of good ballplayers, but this year’s team, I feel we’re a lot more scrappy," Roseboom said. "We don’t have a lot of guys that hit the long ball – every once in a while we’ll have Steve Anderson hit a moonshot – but most of the time, we’re scoring runs by stealing bases, bunting guys over and getting the base hit we need.
"Compared to last year’s team, we’re a lot scrappier. We keep coming at people."
Frozen Ropes defeated the Cincy Flames, 6-1. For a boxscore from that game, click here.
MacIntosh worked into trouble in the sixth, loading the bases with two out on a hit batsmen and a pair of walks. He battled back and struck out Florida's Aramis Garcia to end the inning.
In the seventh, MacIntosh again loaded the bases (single, double, intentional walk) before turning things over to closer Brian Tatelman.
Tatelman struck out Florida's David Vasquez for the second out and got Ozney Guillen to fly out to left field to end the game, a 3-1 victory for the Dodgers.
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