THE STAR — Drew Scharra crosses home plate, during the sixth inning, to knot the game at 6 – 6. Photos by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — It took three hours to declare a winner. Once again, Eden emerged victorious.
In American Legion 19 and younger baseball action, Eden Post 880 took down West Seneca Post 735 on June 26, by a score of 9 – 8.
Eden fought back, on multiple occasions, during the match. In the sixth inning, Eden trailed 6 – 4. Dave Baskerville of Eden worked a two-out walk and Drew Scharra of Springville singled, to keep the inning alive.
Both runners came around to score and tie the game at 6 – 6, as Drew Scharra reached home plate off an error by the West Seneca third baseman.
The West Seneca team scored 2 runs, in the top of the seventh, to take the lead back.
With Eden’s back against the wall, once again, the boys rallied, for the second time. Eden loaded the bases with no outs, in the bottom of the seventh, forcing West Seneca to gather up on the mound, to regroup.
Baskerville hit a 2-run single to right field, to tie the game at 8 – 8 and send the game into extra innings. Todd Gardner, an Eden graduate, pitched a scoreless top of the eighth, after getting All WNY selection Ian Allen to pop out, to end the inning.
During the bottom half, Scharra beat out a ground ball that plated Brad Palmerton, to give Eden the 9 – 8 win.
HEY BATTER, BATTER — Brian Losel lays down a bunt, to advance Dan Kartstedt to third base.
“We found a way to win,” said Coach Gordy Kartstedt. “Putting the ball in play is huge. We took advantage of some of the mistakes they made. We took advantage of some bumpy hops and had some clutch hitting. We got some big hits when we needed them. We don’t play a lot of small ball, but we did early, today.”
GET THEM OUT — Trey Bley is shown pitching, during the sixth inning, against West Seneca.
The small ball included Eden’s perfecting two successful suicide squeeze plays, laying down two sacrifice bunts and stealing two bases. Baskerville went 2 for 2 in the victory, worked two walks and scored 2 runs.
Eden graduate Dan Kartstedt also had 2 hits, including hitting a standup triple, to lead off the fourth inning.
Scharra hit two singles, but none were bigger than his game winner in the eighth inning.
Springville-Griffith Institute’s Kyle Crotty started the game on the mound for Eden, pitching five innings and allowing 2 earned runs. Crotty made way to three other pitchers, including Trey Bley of North Collins and Gardner. This was the third straight game in which Gardner closed the door for Eden, in relief.
“Todd has a lot of heart; he came in and threw,” Kartstedt said. “When he needs to, he always throws strikes. He’s always had a knack for that. The pressure never seems to get to him. We love him in the outfield, so we hate to take him out because of the ground he covers, out there.”
Eden will take on Orchard Park in a double-header on Saturday, June 29.
“These guys believe in themselves,,” Kartstedt said, about the team that is now at 10 – 0, on the season. “They never think they’re out of a game. They just constantly think, ‘Hey we’re going to do it again’ and it’s a good way to think about things, in baseball and in life.”