Vikings trim Panthers, 5-3

By Mike Zummo
Posted 6/9/21


The pitching staffs for both teams were cruising through four scoreless innings before things took a turn in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Valley Central baseball team took …

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Vikings trim Panthers, 5-3


The pitching staffs for both teams were cruising through four scoreless innings before things took a turn in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Valley Central baseball team took advantage of the Wallkill Panthers’ walks and mistakes as they scored five runs in only one hit in the fifth inning, and then held on for a 5-3 non-league win on Wednesday afternoon.

“We had that one bad inning where we gave up five runs,” Wallkill coach TD Mills said. “I told the guys this has been the theme. Just like the Highland game when we lose its walks and errors. Pitching has been fine, but we haven’t been getting much offense at all.”

Except for the fifth inning, the Panthers kept the Vikings off the board. Tyler Mack threw three scoreless innings, allowing a hit with five strikeouts. Outside the fifth inning, Jacob Squiles worked around a base runner but got out of trouble.

Squiles got into immediate one-out trouble when he hit Matthew McDonald with one out and then Bellow followed with a booming double off the left field fence. With runners on second and third, Sebastian Rockwood walked to load the bases.

Michael DiTullio grounded to third base, but Wallkill catcher Allen Mirabal was off the plate and McDonald came home with the first run of the game.

Still, the Panthers were on the verge of escaping when Squiles got Andrew Bonilla to line out to right fielder Logan Volz.

However, they couldn’t immediately find the final out.

“We should have got out of that inning with maybe one run or no runs if we make the play at the plate,” Mills said. “That’s one out and maybe the double play, there’s the other out. So, if you make the plays, you win and whoever has the least amount of walks, errors or mistakes at the end of the games usually wins.”

The walks started coming after the final out. Joshua Miller walked to send home the Vikings’ second run, and then Rockwood came home when John Scotto reached on an error. DiTullio and Miller each scored on passed balls.

“We were just being aggressive on the base paths,” Valley Central coach Robert Leonard said. “We took advantage of their mistakes. We had the bases loaded and they had three or four passed balls and we scored every time on the passed ball.”

Giving up five runs, however, gave the Panthers some life as they loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, pushing across a run on Volz’s RBI single, but Bello struck out Anthony Scarano and Mirabal to end the inning.
“We’ve got to figure stuff out offensively,” Mills said. “We have to figure out how to get guys on and get guys in.”

They got them on and in the seventh inning and put the tying run on base when Bello gave way to DiTullio on the mound. Jack Rauschenbach knocked in a run with a single to cut the lead to 5-2 and Kyle DeGroat scored when Chase Hermance reached on an error.

Bello’s throw from second base pulled Miller off first base, but Hermance was called out and the Vikings left the field thinking the game was over. However, on appeal, Hermance was ruled safe, and he went back on the field to record the final out.

“That was a good call by the home plate umpire,” Leonard said. “He was definitely off the base.”
DiTullio then struck out Volz to end the game.

“He did a nice job,” Leonard said. “They were back up and hooting and hollering and he did a nice job. That was a nice pitch to end the game.”

Both teams are headed to their respective Section 9 tournaments. The Panthers were scheduled to travel to Saugerties in the Class A tournament, giving the Panthers four days to figure out their offense.
The Vikings were scheduled to host Pine Bush.

“I’m confident moving on, but it’s going to be tough,” Leonard said. “Everybody left is a good team. There’s no easy win. I’m excited. It’s my first year after coach (Eric) Bartle retired, so I’m excited to even get this opportunity in my first year.”


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