The rainy weather and a late rally from the West Hempstead Rams did not stop Malverne Mules baseball from securing its first win Thursday.
The air was waterlogged as the two teams met on the field at West Hempstead High School. It was the sort of inclement weather ball players have to slog through every year in the stiff early season games.
Starting almost immediately, with one out in the top of the first, Mules’ pitcher Rancher Rodriguez doubled off lefty Brandon Sherman on a three-and-one count with a hard-line drive that bounced off the fence down the right field line.
After having reached third on a fielder’s choice, Rodriguez scored when left fielder Jordon Richard made first because of a fielding error that would have ended the inning, giving him a 1-0 edge to work off of when he took the mound.
“We acted like we were cold today. I thought if we field the ball behind the kid on the mound it would be a lot different. It could [have been] a different outcome,” said Rams Coach Cloghessy.
The Rams ended the day with six errors, five of which came in the first three innings, sprouting into five runs, like weeds in the mud for the Mules to feed on.
In the top of the fifth, catcher Jeremy Sarnataro drove in Jordan Richard from second with a hit to left, making it 6-2 heading into the waning innings of the game.
“At the plate, we did a good job of selecting pitches,” explained Malverne Coach . “In the past sometimes we [didn’t] go up there with an idea of what we want to do. But today we went up there looking to make the pitcher work. We got a lot of walks out of it and, you know, we got some runs out of it.”
Altogether, five batters got on base with walks, two of which ended up scoring.
During the middle of the inning, Coach Cloghessy got the rake out and added dirt to the ground around home plate and the pitchers mound. With two outs, the Rams mounted a rally on back-to-back triples from two sophomores. First, right fielder Joe Paladino #30 hit a line drive in the gap between left and center fielders that had them both chasing. Then, Brandon Sherman sent one in the same direction, only over the head and out of reach of the leaping Mule.
Rancher Rodriguez was showing fatigue, but he was able to pull it back together, get the last out, and leave Sherman stranded on third. He put out six of the next seven batters, and held on for the win.
“Our starting pitcher went the distance,” Coach Young noted.
The player with the stand out performance was Jeremy Sarnataro, who was two for four with a stolen base and an RBI.
Both the Mules (1-1) and Rams (0-2) start league games this week, the former against East Rockaway and the latter against Bethpage.
“I thought our pitcher Brandon pitched pretty well. We just didn’t field the ball behind him today,” said Coach Cloghessy.
He left saying, “We’ll work this whole weekend on fielding the baseball. And if we don’t give teams runs, we’ll be in a lot more ball games and win a few more ball games.”