It would have been easy for the Jamestown Red Raiders to hang their heads.
And, until recently, they might have.
But with the opportunity to claim their third straight Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 game, the Red Raiders shook off a late Frontier rally and found a way to win again Monday evening.
Jamestown shortstop Bram Johnson tags out Frontier's Joe Yetman at second base to end the first inning, while Red Raider second baseman Cameron Haberberger (22) makes the call during Monday's Erie County Interscholastic Conference Division 1 baseball game. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
Boe Brooks scored the tie-breaking run on a wild pitch and Jake Sisson delivered an RBI double - all with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning- to send Jamestown to a 6-4 victory at the Martin Road Complex.
The win improved the Red Raiders' record to 5-10 overall and 4-6 in the division, and avenged a 2-1 eight-inning loss to Frontier earlier in the season.
''In the last couple of games, our bats have come alive,'' Jamestown coach Dave Roehmholdt said. ''We've got the big hits when we needed them, got the runs across and picked each other up when we needed to do it.''
As pick-me-ups go, the one in the bottom of the sixth inning was an indication that the Red Raiders are headed in the right direction after a tough start to their season.
''They've really started to show (resiliency),'' Roehmholdt said. ''It started with the game against Lancaster (last Friday). We got down five runs to the third-ranked team (in Western New York) and it would have been easy to quit, but they never did. They fought back all the way and we were able to pull that one out (6-5). It was the same with this one here.''
Behind a strong effort on the mound by Brett Dehner, Jamestown led, 4-1, and appeared in control heading into the top of the sixth inning. But the Falcons combined back-to-back doubles by Jim Gleason and Tom Stoklosa, and RBI singles by Mike O'Rourke and Chris Koteras - sandwiched around a two-out Jamestown error - to tie the game, 4-4.
Johnson was brought in to get the final out to end the rally, and, just like they did at Lancaster three days before, the Red Raiders were able to bounce back and secure the victory.
With one out, Brooks, who made two ''loud'' outs in his first two at-bats, reached on an infield single and moved to third on a two-out single by Johnson, his third hit of the game. Brooks eventually raced home with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Gleason and then Sisson, who made an error that resulted in Frontier's tying run a half-inning before, laced a double to right-center field.
Johnson, the winning pitcher, retired Frontier in the top of the seventh, aided by a game-ending double play. Jamestown second baseman Cameron Haberberger snared a line drive and threw to first to double off a Falcons' runner.
Dehner scattered eight hits, struck out five and didn't issue a walk in 5 innings.
''He definitely has been pitching well,'' Roehmholdt said. ''He knows where to put the ball, he has a nice breaking ball, which is probably one of the better ones in our league. To see it combined with his velocity, he's very effective.''
Frontier opened the scoring in the first inning, plating a run on Joe Yetman's RBI single, but that was all it could manage until the top of the sixth.
Meanwhile, Jamestown plated three runs in the third, courtesy of an RBI single by Adam Westley and a two-run single by Kyle Emerson, who was making his season debut after undergoing shoulder surgery in January.
''He's worked hard with his conditioning first and then he was able to do tee work,'' Roehmholdt said. ''He's been looking forward to this day, since January probably. For him to get out there and contribute immediately was nice.''
The Red Raiders made it 4-1 in the fifth when Johnson led off with a double and scored on a single by Sisson, who finished with two hits and two RBIs. The score remained that way until the Falcons rallied in the top of the sixth.
Jamestown hopes to make it four in a row when it entertains West Seneca West on Friday.