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Defense dooms Little Falls baseball in sectional championship

By By BRIAN SANDLER

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - With the Section III, Class C-1 title sitting there for the taking on Monday, the Little Falls baseball team committed five errors in the final two innings resulting in five unearned Tully runs and a gut-wrenching 7-6 walk-off loss at DeLutis Field.

Little Falls, the No. 2 seed and ranked No. 4 in the state in Class C, ends the season 22-3.  Tully, the top seed but unranked, improves to 20-6 and advances to the C-1 vs. C-2 state play-in game Thursday at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse.

After a four-run rally put Little Falls ahead 6-2 in the fourth, the Mounties settled down from some early-game struggles and held the same lead going into the bottom of the sixth.

Then the wheels started to slip.

Starting pitcher Evan Davis got the first out then gave up a walk.  The infield followed with back-to-back botched ground balls that each could have been inning-ending double plays, the second scoring a run to make it 6-3.  A run-scoring groundout cut it to 6-4 going into the seventh.

Pat Shepherdson took the mound in relief, and he was greeted by a dropped fly ball to put leadoff batter Andy Pagan on first.  A wild pitch moved him to second, a flyout moved him to third and an infield single by Bryan Malone scored him to make it 6-5.  Ben Smith then ripped a double down the left-field line, and a bobble in the outfield allowed Malone to score, tying the game.

Davis was then called back to the mound and an intentional walk issued to set up a double play.  But that possibility was never given a chance as Davis threw wild on a pickoff attempt at first, allowing pinch-runner Nick Paccia to score the winning run.

Overall, Little Falls committed seven errors in the game and six of Tully's seven runs were unearned.  The five errors in the last two innings came from five different players.

 

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