Oct. 16, 2009
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - In the final game of this year's Blue-Gray October Classic last Friday at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth, the Blue Team scored four runs in the first inning, built a big lead and then hung on late for an 11-9 victory and ensure a two games to one series victory. The Gray Team nearly rallied from an eight-run deficit but could only get as close as one run before the Blue Team secured the victory.
The four-run first inning started with a strikeout by sophomore pitcher Tom Tesauro of the Gray Team, but the next four hitters all reached base safely. The last of the four was sophomore Matt Fleishman, whose three-run triple opened the scoring. He eventually scored later in the inning on a two-out single by freshman Chris Picyk.
The Gray Team scored its first run of the game on a double steal in the second inning before the Blue Team added single runs in the third and fourth to make the score 6-1. In the fifth inning, freshman Niko Gomez hit a three-run home run and the Blue Team eventually extended its lead to 10-2.
Down eight runs is where the Gray Team's rally started, however. Eight consecutive hitters reached base safely during what became a seven-run rally to make the score 10-9. A little luck went the way of the Gray Team as well, as a potential double play groundball hit an umpire and went for a base hit. A hit batter, two walks and one error were also a part of the inning for the Gray Team, which faced three different pitchers in the frame.
With the score still 10-9 in the final inning, senior Justin Bencsko reached base on an error leading off for the Blue Team. He stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by David Koczirka and then scored on a throwing error to home plate on a fielder's choice groundball in the infield.
Koczirka pitched the bottom of the seventh inning and faced the minimum three batters to earn the save. He did allow a hit to sophomore Kevin Wager on a double into the gap, but Wager was hung up between second and third and eventually was thrown out trying to get back to second base.
Senior Kevin Crimmel started and earned the win for the Blue Team, while Tesauro was charged with the loss.
NOTES: Assistant coach Dave Miller managed the Blue Team and was victorious in his rookie appearance in the October Classic ... Second-year assist coach managed the Gray Team and is 0-2 in series appearances ... The teams combined for 20 runs on 23 hits in the final game of the series, a single-game October Classic record ... The Blue Team had eight stolen bases in Game 3 ... The three-run home run by Gomez in the fifth inning was the only long ball hit in the series ... Eight of nine hitters on the Blue Team had at least one hit in the third game, as well as seven of nine Gray hitters ... Senior pitcher Brian Streilein had two RBIs in the game and freshman outfielder Steve Schrenk had two hits and scored three runs for the Blue Team ... Bencsko reached base four times in the game and finished the day with two runs scored and three stolen bases ... This was the second year in a row that the best-of-three intra-squad series came down to the final game.