INDIANS-THE REAL DEAL-BEAT ND 9-3 AT STOP DWI CLASSIC
Sauquoit Valley and Notre Dame start off Day two of Stop DWI Tourney!
AARON LOPICCOLO-MONSTER ENERGY DRINK PLAYER OF THE GAME
If you are looking for the “real deal” this high school baseball season, look no further than the Sauquoit Valley Indians.
No wonder coach Frank Curriere was walking around Murnane Field in Utica with a big grin on his face, on Saturday, on a day the weather would make any glass half full type person pull the covers over his head and hide.
When the seven innings were over, we found out that the Indians were dealing aces when they sent Aaron LoPiccolo out to the mound to start against Kevin Green and his Notre Dame Jugglers.
LoPiccolo and company made Sauquoit Valley fans feel as though they were sitting on a beach on a balmy, sun filled Sunday when they wrapped up their (9-3) win. How good was LoPiccolo? On the mound he was lights out.
Aaron chucked a three hitter at Notre Dame, struck out 11 and allowed just two hits to go the distance and earn the Monster Energy Drink Player of the Game award for his efforts.
As if that wasn’t enough, LoPiccolo had a big day with the bat as well. Aaron was 2-4 with a triple and four big runs batted in and a run scored. Not a bad day.
LoPiccolo had plenty of help on the offensive side of things, as catcher Zach Thomas was tearing it up as well.
The big backstop doubled, had two hits and drove in four runs.
Third basemen Mark Martin also had three hits of his own, an RBI, and scored three big runs, as the Indians ran away and hid from Notre Dame.
Dante Rose and Zane Smith drove in runs for the Jugglers and Colin Hulser doubled and later scored in the fifth inning, but the three runs Notre Dame (1-4) scored were not nearly enough to keep pace with Sauquoit Valley now ( 5-1).
Like most of the games played at the Oneida County Stop DWI High School Baseball Classic, Sauquoit Valley jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back.
Notre Dame sent lefty Joe Massoud out to the mound to tangle with Sauquoit Valley. The Jugglers had entered tourney play coming off a (2-1) loss to Liverpool on Friday night.
Massoud not only had to deal with the red hot Indians offense, but also with the elements, as the rains came and the wind blew at a hearty clip, forcing outfielders to run in circles trying to flag down fly balls.
Back to back walks to start the ball game didn’t help Massoud’s outing as the pressure was on from jump street.
Lead off hitter Mark Martin and RJ Spinella worked out free passes to start the game off.
Aaron LoPiccolo showed early that he came to play with a great at bat that led to a three run first inning for Sauquoit Valley.
Catcher Zach Thomas then picked up an RBI of his own as he singled to drive in LoPiccolo to push the score to (3-0) Sauquoit Valley.
Massoud then showed some moxie, striking out Rob Slivinski, allowed a single by right fielder Ryan Drake and then busted one past both Trevor Morgan and Anthony Natale to end the threat by striking out two with runners on the corners.
To make matters worse, the Indians kept up the pressure by scoring two more runs in the top of the second to grab a commanding (5-0) lead.
Zach Thomas came up big by driving in two more runs. Mark Martin started the rally as he singled to deep left field. RJ Spinella and Aaron LoPiccolo both worked out walks to set up Thomas.
Martin got himself picked off trying to head to second before the walks to Spinella and LoPiccolo.
With two outs Thomas ripped a shot to deep left field to send Spinella and LoPiccolo to the plate with runs number 4 and 5.
Notre Dame let fans know they can do it too when they pushed across a pair of runs in the third inning.
Alex Lynch grounded out to start the Jugglers inning on offense.
Aaron Maccia reached base when Sauquoit Valley third basemen Mark Martin lost the grip on a wet baseball and threw wide to first.
Zach Kesterson worked out a walk to put men on first and second for the Jugglers.
Colin Pastorella dunked one into short left field to load the bases with Jugglers for Dante Rose.
Rose then worked out a walk and picked up an RBI, the easy way, to make it (5-1) Sauquoit Valley.
Zane Smith drove in a run by grounding out to the left side and the score was suddenly (5-2).
Zach Lallier walked and then swiped second to get into scoring position.
Mark Martin singled and that was all for Notre Dame starter Joe Massoud who was replaced by Connor Cough.
RJ Spinella was the first man Cough would face and Spinella tried to bunt his way on, but was thrown out, to bring Aaron LoPiccolo up with two men on.
As you would expect, on this day, Aaron came through with a two run single, to left field, as two more runs were chased home and Aaron had two more runs batted in to bring his total to four on the day.
Mark Martin scored in the sixth and Trevor Morgan crossed the plate, with an insurance run, in the top of the seventh inning to close out the scoring for Sauquoit Valley.
Notre Dame added a run of its own, as Colin Hulser singled and later scored in the bottom of the sixth.
Sauquoit Valley 9 Notre Dame 3
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Sauquoit Valley 3 2 0 2 0 1 1 9 8 0
Notre Dame 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 3 3 0