2016 District 8 Fall Ball

Fall Ball team

Crown City’s 11-u fall ball squad took on the finest Central New York had to offer, but its fiercest opponent was the weather.

Every single week from early September brought on the same pattern – sunny weekdays followed by saturated weekends. Nonetheless, the team and its coaches managed enough creative scheduling and spread enough absorbent to complete a full schedule and won all seven games, besides.

Results ranged from a 76-minute 3-0 victory over Homer, a no-hitter, no less, to the grand finale, a scheduled nine-inning game vs. the North Syracuse Bianca which consumed 513 pitches and lasted just four minutes less than four hours in a biting chill. Coffee consumption and bathroom use may have reached unprecedented levels, were such records maintained.

Crown City won the game 20-12, after yielding most of a 15-1 lead. Despite Stellan Seward’s inning-saving catch in right during a nine-run Syracuse fifth, it was 15-12 as the ninth began, whereupon Alex Dintino, Rob Atkins and Connor Casterline, the bottom of the order, worked walks to flip the lineup to leadoff man Caden Albright. Albright doubled for his fourth hit and Nate Stiles followed with his second home run of the season, quelling most fears about the possibility of extra innings.

On the other extreme was the Homer game, second of the season, scheduled at the last moment Sept. 18 due to weather and travel factors. Tyler Blake, Caden Albright and Liam Woodard combined on the no-hitter, yielding only two base-runners. Two excellent plays at shortstop smoothed Woodard’s save, but due to extensive substitution and ineffective scorekeeping, the name of the “perp” is lost to history. Whoever, he can pat himself on the back when he gets the chance. Evan Shank singled in the go-ahead run, his final at-bat of the autumn.

Marvin Bell’s heads-up double keyed Crown City’s 7-3 victory over North Syracuse Lambertson in that day’s first game. Nick “The Thin Man” Charles singled in the same inning. The two games combined did not consume three hours.

Crown City swept North Syracuse Lambertson the following weekend, 10-3 and 13-7, overcoming a 6-1 deficit in the second game by totaling nine runs in the fifth and sixth. Luke Rogoff had a key hit in the sixth and Steven Zogg flipped the batting order by drawing two walks and scoring two runs. Consecutive grabs in center and right field helped close things out in the sixth.

October brought 12-2 and 13-6 victories over East Syracuse-Minoa Federico. Austin Cotterill’s clutch fifth inning pitching allowed for an early termination in the first game and Danny Jackson went 3-3 with two runs and two RBI.

In the second game, Crown City rallied from an 0-4 deficit with a seven-run, eight-hit fourth (the five-run inning limitation had been waived). Eleven of the 12 Crown City batters hit safely.

Crown City finished with a .418 team batting average, .563 slugging average (Stiles’ exceeded 1.000) and a .512 on-base percentage. Pitchers struck out 97, walked 36, hit four and posted an earned-run average of 3.34. Complete individual statistics are available through Coach Woodard. Greatest success, though, was the number of new friendships made, and several commendations for good sportsmanship, especially when an opposing hurler was felled by a line drive on the first pitch of the final game.

For the record, he returned later and pitched three strong innings. Crown City can wait ‘til next next, but this one will be hard to top.

--Coach Doug Smith