IYAA Baseball weathers the storms

Image: Blazing away — Italy started the 2009 baseball season in a blaze of glory.

Blazing away — Italy started the 2009 baseball season in a blaze of glory. (Barry Byers)

In the 14 and under boys division, The Italy Eagledogs, consisting of players from Avalon, Milford and Italy, had a shoot out with Whitney to start off their season at Whitney’s home field.

Italy took an early 1-0 lead but Whitney eventually built an 8-4 advantage. However, Italy took advantage of a Whitney pitching change, and after a few walked batters and a double from Bailey Walton, Italy rallied to tie the game 8-8.

Chase Hamilton, Italy’s starting pitching, left the mound after 70 pitches. Relief pitcher, Justin Wood, was solid keeping Whitney pinned down at the plate.

After center fielder Tyvion Copeland caught a deep fly ball to keep the game tied, time expired and both teams earned their 1st point toward a district championship.

The point scoring system awards 1-point for a tie, two-points for a win and 0-points for a loss. The team with the most points total at the end of the season will be declared the champs.

In the Italy Eagledog’s 2nd game, the team overcame a 5-4 deficit to defeat Hillsboro 11-8. Italy overcame several errors to hold on for the win and add another 2-points to their district total.

In game their 3rd game on May 11, the Italy Eagledogs went swing-for-swing with a talented Itasca team who bill themselves as a select team playing rec ball.

Late in the match, Italy had played near flawless baseball managing a 6-5 lead behind 80 pitches from Chase Hamilton and an inside the park homerun by Justin Wood.

Itasca had one last bat to make something happen and they did just that. After an Italy pitching change and capitalizing on one Italy miscue after another, Itasca jumped to a 15-6 lead leaving Italy with one final chance to protect their home field.

Italy delivered a small rally to make the score 15-9 but that was all the Eagledogs could muster as their record is now 1-1-1.

Update: On Monday the 18th, the Italy Eagledogs rematched Whitney in a game that could have a serious impact on the standings at the end of the season. Led by Russel Clingenpeel who delivered on his 1st pitching start of the season and closer Chase Hamilton, Italy edged out Whitney 9-7. Although Whitney had the upperhand in the first matchup, belting one long ball after another. It was a Hamilton inside the park homerun that set the tone for the Eagledogs at the midway point. Clingenpeel got the job done, during Italy’s last at bat as well, drilling a 2 run RBI past Whitney’s infield to seal the the deal for the Eagledogs adjusting their overall to 2-1-1.

The Italy’s 3rd and 4th graders coached by Ken Norwood, Stephen Mott and Steven Janek, took on Covington in an exciting game at Upchurch Field. Italy relied on the strong arm of Garret Janek to carry the pitching load while Gary Scott Escamilla was the man behind the plate handling the hind catching duties.

In fact, Escamilla fired a throw to 3rd base for an out to get the Italy fans cheering at one point.

Kendrick Norwood caught a pop up late in the contest to give Italy a chance, but Covington held on for the win 8-7 giving the Italy team an overall record of 2-2.