BETTER BELIEVE IT…SPARTANS FINAL FOUR BOUND-BEAT GLENS FALLS 7-6
INCREDIBLE JOURNEY CONTINUES FOR RED HOT SPARTANS AS CELEBRATION BEGINS
MARTINELLI-PHELPS LEAD THE WAY TO MEMORY MAKING WIN
OK New Hartford fans, don’t get mad at me for labeling this New Hartford Spartans baseball team Randall’s Runts. I use that description as a compliment to coach Randall, and his baby faced bunch.
After Thursday’s gut wrenching, 7-6 come from behind, victory over the state’s number two ranked Glens Falls Indians, I am still scratching my head and trying to figure out how a group so young and restless could have rallied back from two runs down, with two out, and just one precious strike left in their season.
Maybe they are too young to know better. Say what you will, the coache’s fledglings grew up in front of our eyes, on the diamond at Murnane, in the most important game of their young careers.
Watching John coach this crew, to this win, was something to behold. After blowing 2-1 and 4-2 leads, the veteran coach and his assistants, poked, prodded, pleaded and pushed all the right buttons as New Hartford pulled the biggest of all rabbits out of the hat in the form of a well deserved trip to the Class A New York State Final Four on Saturday.
The Spartans will take on Grand Island from Section VI in the Class A Semifinal at Union Endicott High School.
What a journey it has been, this post season, as the 6-10 wait till next year, Spartans wound their way through the playoffs with a winning streak now at five.
A streak that was capped off in style, when Ben Phelps, the game’s winning pitcher, ripped a 1-2 offering, from Glens Falls reliever Mike Harrington, down the right field line, to score Kris Martinelli, as the Spartans wrapped up the 7-6 win.
Martinelli and Phelps are owed free lunch, for at least a month, in New Hartford, as the duo put up huge offensive numbers.
Martinelli has been on a major roll and is just one of two seniors on the roster. In fact, the entire New Hartford offense has been in a groove, as the Spatans laid 13 big ones on Malone on Tuesday and ended up pounding out 15 hits in tonight’s game.
All Kris did, in big at bats all night long, was go 4-4, drive in a run, and scored the game winning run.
Phelps was not bashful at the dish, as he went 3-4 and drove in 4 runs including the winner, as he chased Martinelli home with his walk-off single to right in the bottom of the seventh.
Joe Donovan started the, never to be forgotten, rally with a single in the bottom of the seventh and ended up with two hits in three trips to the plate.
Catcher Connor Manderson was hot at home, as well going 2-4, driving in a run and scoring one.
The Indians (21-3), winners of 20 straight, had to travel back to Glens Falls again, the second time in two days, with nothing more than a boatload of bad memories about their visits to the Mohawk Valley.
You really can’t make this stuff up. Last night, the rains came at DeLutis in Rome and wiped the matchup away. Things looked good for Thursday as the grounds crew did a marvelous job preparing DeLutis Field One for play.
Things looked good until a big black blob settled over the center of the field and dropped way too much rain on the already soaked diamond.
As the rains continued it was decided that we would all be told to head to Murnane, in Utica, to try to get this one in.
It was nothing but blue clouds and sunny skies on the ride down Route 49, until the black blob decided to follow both teams and their fans to Utica. Following another 90 minute rain delay it was time to play ball.
Tory King got the starting nod for New Hartford and ended up battling his way through 5 1/3 innings, yielding 3 earned runs and 8 hits, while striking out two and walking 2.
New Hartford’s first run came thanks to the Martinelli-Phelps duo, as Martinelli singled to center and later came around to score when Phelps chased him home with a grounder to the left side.
The lead didn’t last long, as coach Dave Casey’s crew came alive. Alex Wright picked up an RBI for Glens Falls when his sac fly scored short stop James Rizzo. Logan Akins earned a ribby as he singled to left scoring Nick McKinney to put the Indians up 2-1.
New Hartford seemed to grab control, in the home fourth, when they plated three runs as the 4-5-6 hitters did their jobs.
Tory King laced an RBI single and Ben Phelps notched two more runs batted in with a single of his own as New Hartford had doubled up Glens Falls 4-2.
It was suddenly 4-4 as Glens Falls answered right back with two big runs of their own. It was that kind of game.
Big Mike Harrington laced a clean single to right and later scored run number three.
Alex Wright beat out an infield single and later scored, as Logan Akins continued his solid play chasing Wright home with the tying run.
Command indeed. The two runs scored this way. New Hartford starter Troy King started to fade in the late going as James Rizzo lifted a flair single to left, that dropped between three Spartans, with one out.
Rizzo quickly ended up on third base, as King tossed over to first and saw his throw sail past Kris Martinelli at first base.
Nick McKinney answered the bell in a big way with an RBI single to left chasing Rizzo home with run number five.
Mike Harrington continued his great day at the dish with a single to center to keep the rally alive.
McKinney plated run number six as Alex Wright picked up an RBI with a sac-fly to right field.
One thing is for sure, the fact that the Spartans were down a pair of runs did not seem to bother a loud and raucous New Hartford student cheering section, who pumped up the volume, hoping to spur their boys on.
Chants of, “I believe that we can win,” echoed through the yard and guess what..it worked.
The winning rally went like this; Joe Donovan started things off with one out, when he singled cleanly to left. Cooper Brown got under one and just like that, there was just one out left in the season.
Conner Manderson singled to left and then Kris Martinelli fought one off to lace and RBI single to right.
Trailing by just one, John Calabrese became a hero, in his own right, with an RBI single, ripping a 2-2 pitch, to keep hopes alive as Manderson scored run #6.
That set up the high drama as Tory King walked to load the bases. Up next was Ben Phelps who was down in the count, one ball and two strikes, before he sent his walk-off single to right and Kris Martinelli danced his way home with the winning run.
One for the books guys. Good luck in the Final Four from MHTS.
New Hartford 7 Glens Falls 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Glens Falls 0 0 2 0 2 2 0 6 9 1
New Hartford 0 1 0 3 0 0 3 7 15 2
New Hartford offensive highlights:
Joe Donovan-2-3-1 run scored
Connor Manderson-2-4-1 RBI-2 runs scored
Kris Martinelli-4-4-2 runs scored-1 RBI
John Calabrese-2-4-1 RBI
Tory King-1-3- 1 run scored-1 RBI
Ben Phelps-3-4-4 RBI