Baseball: Rams suffer a painful loss
COLONIE It was hard to tell what was more painful Monday for Amsterdam baseball coach Brian Spagnola — the line drive he took off his left wrist, or watching Zach Dufel try to pitch on a bad ankle.
While Spagnola had to watch all seven innings of a 12-3 Big 10 loss at CBA with a sore wrist, Dufel was forced from the game after two innings.
“You could see he was grimacing,” said Spagnola of his right-hander. “He rolled the ankle on his plant [left] foot, and you could see it was affecting him.
“It’s something he [originally] did during basketball season. I couldn’t leave him in there.”
The Brothers had strung together three consecutive hits to get two runs off Dufel in the first inning, with first baseman Zack DeThomasis singling home two runs.
Spagnola went to the mound after two more hitters, not liking what he saw in Dufel’s body language, but could only stay with his senior through two innings.
“He’s our best guy, and he gives us a lift when he’s out there,” Spagnola said. “So, when we lost him, we were in trouble.”
“When a starter goes down hurt, it’s tough. There isn’t a lot of depth on pitching staffs in high school,” said CBA coach Nick Davey. “You’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities, and we did that. We added on.”
While Dufel was forced from the mound with the injury, CBA senior Ned Monthie settled in as he pitched with a lead.
“We’ve been struggling a little offensively, so I wanted to go out there and shut them down,” said Monthie. “Getting those runs early was great. It helped out a lot. It’s more of a relaxed feeling on the mound. You don’t feel as much pressure.
“I was locating the fastball good, and the curveball was on today.”
Spagnola had to use three others on the mound to get through the final four innings.
“In a game like this, once it gets away a little bit, you see what other guys can do,” said Spagnola, whose team went to 4-2 in league games. “We lost a tough game to Troy on Friday, and I was curious to see how we were going to react, if we were going to come out swinging, or if we were going to let that loss affect us.
“We didn’t come ready to play, for the first time all year. We came out flat. To their credit, they took advantage of it.”
DeThomasis, CBA’s cleanup hitter, finished the day with three hits and three runs batted in. Matt Hamel and Matt Zappone, the Nos. 2 and 3 hitters, respectively, in the Brothers’ lineup, also had three hits as CBA racked up 16 hits, 15 of them singles.
The Brothers added to their 5-0 lead with a six-run fourth that saw them stroke five consecutive hits, four of them plating runs. Justin Decker’s two-run single was the final hit in that stretch. Catcher Jordan Mitchell had a two-run double in the third that gave the hosts their five-run lead.
“The first hit kind of starts the fire, and it goes on from there,” said DeThomasis. “Getting on the board first is really important for us, too.”
“We’ve been struggling to score runs, so it’s good we scored some runs today,” said Zappone. “You just build off it. One guy gets a hit, the next guys wants to get a hit.”
The only player who hit for Amsterdam was junior Andrew Rouse, who went 4-for-4.
“He and [Julian] Gallup are as good as there are for juniors in the Big 10,” said Spagnola.
Monthie was good enough to handle the rest of the Rams’ lineup, allowing only two other hits in his five innings.
“I only pitched three innings last year. There were a lot of seniors ahead of me,” said Monthie, who was making his third start of the season. “So it’s a change coming in this year and being one of our top guys, knowing I’m being relied on to keep us in the game.”
“Ned has given us three quality starts so far this year. We know what we’re going to get when he goes out there,” said Davey.
“He can pitch. He just needed an opportunity. He can locate his fastball. he holds runners well, and he can throw his breaking ball for strikes.”
Amsterdam 000 030 0 — 3 7 3
CBA 212 610 x — 12 16 1
Dufel, Glionna (3), Agresta (5), Jus. Gallup (6) and Robertshaw, Jar. Gallup (6); Monthie, Fallon (6) and Mitchell, Flores (5).