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STAMPEDE Tames LI Cougars in Tournament Opener

Jun. 10, 2016

Today was opening day for the Smithtown STAMPEDE at Baseball Heaven's Bat for a Cure Tournament.  Veteran, Jason, was on the hill looking to give his Smithtown teammates a quality start versus the LI Cougars.  The game quickly shaped itself into a pitchers' duel as Jason gave up a single in the 2nd and 2 more in the 5th, his final inning.  His Cougar counterpart allowed a leadoff infield single to Rob in 3 innings of work.  Cougar relievers (2 inn, 1 inn) allowed 4 more singles.

Smithtown threatened to score as early as the 1st & 2nd innings.  However, the Cougars wiggled out of trouble using their defense, even after having Rob on 2nd base with no outs (1st) and back-to-back walks to Rich and Salvatore (2nd).  Smithtown again failed to score after 2 Cougar miscues to start the B3rd put Wes and Peter on base with no outs.  Following a 1-2-3 4th for the Smithtown offense, the tide was about to turn.

Smithtown made their hits count as the game wore on.  Jason got dinged for an unearned run in the top of the 5th, departing down 1 - 0 on an inning ending pop out to 1B Jeremy.  To get Jason off the hook, Smithtown needed at least a run.  With one out B5th, Salvatore worked a full count walk after fouling off several pitches.  Jason, helping himself, smacked a single through the hole into LF.  Wes got drilled in the ribs to load the bases.  Peter  then poked an infield hit to the left of the mound for an RBI, tying the game at 1 all.  Franklin singled deep to the SS hole to keep the line moving, make it 2 - 1 Smithtown.  Rob stepped in for a bases loaded walk.  3 - 1.  With 2 outs, Nick dug in and singled, a one hop screamer at the deeply-positioned Cougar left fielder.  Peter coasted home from 3rd, but Franklin, flying around third, was nipped at the plate on a bang-bang 7-6-3 relay.  Now 4 - 1 Smithtown, that would be the final score.

Jason (5 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 SO) made quality pitches when needed and got several quality defensive plays at just the right time.  In the 3rd, the Cougars threatened, 2 outs runner on third.  The Cougar 3 hitter hit a sure-single up the middle.  SS Nick darted just into CF, nabbed it, spun & threw a strike to Jeremy's stretch at 1B to preserve the shutout.  2B Wes, 3B Anthony, and 1B Jeremy took turns registering assists and putouts  around the diamond.  CF Salvatore ran down a long drive in right center to keep the Cougars in check T4th. 

To secure the win for Jason and his mates, Jeremy came on to relieve in the 6th.  Jeremy earned his 1st (2 innings) save of the season, retiring 6 of the 7 batters he faced.  A 1-2-3 6th punctuated by Jeremy racing to cover 1B on a ball in the hole.  Rob (now at 2B) went to the hole and fired a strike, leading Jeremy to the bag, for a stellar out.  T7th, Jeremy induced 2 ground ball outs to 3B Anthony.  A harmless HBP was sandwiched in-between.  At 1B, Jason grabbed the final out on a popup to finalize the victory. 

The STAMPEDE shook out a few bugs and worked out a few kinks in their season opener.  Sunday versus Team Valle the STAMPEDE will hit the ground running at Moriches Complex.





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