Hamburg grad Kyle Sickau threw for Eden Post in a loss to Hamburg Post. Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes.
If the Eden Post 880 American Legion baseball team wanted to clinch sole possession of third place in the South Division, it needed to win the first of its final two games of the regular season.
Eden was set to host Hamburg Post 527 in a makeup game on July 9 after the July 7 meeting was postponed. Four runs were scored in the sixth inning, including two by Eden to keep things interesting. But one run was as close as Eden Post would get, falling to Hamburg in a 4-3 ballgame.
The loss kept Eden in a three-way tie with Alleghany Post 892 and Orchard Park Post 567 for the third seed in the South.
“We just didn’t play well, or not well enough to win,” said Bobby Burnside, who manages Eden with Rod Palmerton, Keith Baskerville and Gordy Karstedt. “Pitching was good. We just didn’t hit at the right times.”
Hamburg always held the lead, turning a 2-1 advantage into a 4-1 lead after scoring at the top of the fifth and the sixth.
But Eden would not go down without a fight, tacking on two runs of its own in the sixth to make a ballgame out of it.
“We said we had them right where we wanted them,” coach Rod Palmerton told his team before heading to the plate at the bottom of the sixth inning.
Brad Palmerton (Eden High School) scored on a balk to bring Eden Post within two runs. Silver Creek’s Nick Iskra hit an RBI single to left centerfield to score Ryan Boutelle (Gowanda) and make it a one-run contest.
But that was all Eden would be able to muster for the evening.
“I knew we were due to hit,” said Rod Palmerton. “We came out hitting, we just didn’t get enough. That’s all it was.”
Sal Carroccia, a St. Francis grad who just finished his freshman season as a member of Hilbert College’s baseball team, connected on an RBI-single to give Hamburg a 3-1 lead in the fifth. Matt Cerrillo drove in Hamburg’s fourth run with a two-out RBI double in the sixth to give Hamburg just enough runs to win the game before Eden tried to rally late.
“I told the kids that I had a lot of confidence in you guys. You still have a run in you,” Rod Palmerton said.
Carroccia pitched a complete game for Hamburg, giving up six hits, three walks and striking out one Eden batter.
Frontier’s Tom Stoklosa’s only hit was an RBI-single in the first inning, scoring Carroccia after he worked a walk and advanced on a passed ball.
Carroccia went 1 for 2 at the plate with two walks, and Mike High went 1 for 2 while walking twice and “played good defense at first base,” according to Hamburg coach Ryan Ilardi.
Eden Post’s first score came from David Baskerville (Eden High School), whose sacrifice hit helped Drew Scharra of Springville home to close in, 2-1, on Hamburg.
Eden Post had one game remaining at press time. Playoffs begin July 17.