TRI-VALLEY COMES UP BIG IN CHESTER GAME
"We had our eyes on the sectionals from week one," Tri-Valley varsity baseball coach John Rusin noted following his teams big upset victory over No. 1 ranked Chester, 12-6, Wednesday afternoon at Chester.
In regular season league play Chester swept Tri-Valley in their three game series.
The Tri-Valley win puts the 4th ranked Bears (now 13-8) into the Section 9 Class C Championship game against No. 2 ranked Rhinebeck. The game was played yesterday at 4 p.m. at SUNY New Paltz.
"We had to find a way to get into the sectionals and we're a better team than when we lost to them earlier in the season," Rusin added.
Tri-Valley climbed out of a 4-2 deficit after two innings of play when Bears right-handed starter Senior Rodney T. Jester gave up four runs on several long double blasts to center field but Jester settled down and gained the win by striking out five over six innings
Jester also led the Bears at the plate by going 3 for-3 with three RBI's.
When asked if he thought Jester would come back after being down 4-2 Coach Rusin said, "Rodney has been in a lot of big situations and he's a veteran, he been on this team since his sophomore year and he's seen it all, he was there when we lost the seven run lead in the seventh inning two years ago against Seward and he was there for the championship win last year."
Jester earlier this week in an out of county daily's analysis of Section 9 Class C play was tabbed as the "player to watch," as he "played in the Section 9 championship as a sophomore and a junior," and asked "will the Bears' offensive leader make it three appearances in a row in the big game?"
It certainly looks like Jester lived up to the early billing as coach Rusin pointed out, "he's had an outstanding season and I expected him to have a big season this year but it super-seeded even what I thought, he's a great leader, a great teammate and he just a great kid."
With Wednesday's win coach Rusin said "we continued our progression as a team and we just got better and earlier on we had a lot of new guys in new positions and it's all really about getting better each day."
Tri-Valley broke Wednesday's game open in their half of the fifth with Cody Exner being walked, Justin Swarthout also walked, Jester singled to right, Mike Foster walked, John Anzano walked, Aric Boyes walked and Andrew Exner hit a double deep to right center.
In commenting about his teams loss Chester coach Mike Doucette said, "a lot of walks and we were not around the zone and with Ryan Cabrera throwing we expect a lot better control."
Doucette credited Tri-Valley "with moving the guys over, hitting the gaps and they did everything they needed to do."
"We had high hopes after losing to Tri-Valley 1-0 last year and felt this would be our year, and your never going to see a bad baseball team come out of Tri-Valley toward the end of the season."
Adding to the Bears victory Wednesday was Mike Foster going 3-for-3 with one double and one RBI and Cody Exner with a double and a home run to the deepest part of center field.
Cabrera took the loss for Chester who ends its season with a 17-4 record.
Tri-Valley got into the Chester game by defeating No. 5 ranked S.S. Seward
Monday at Grahamsville, 7-4.
Alex Brown pitched a three-hitter and had three RBI's. Mike Foster went 3-for -4 with 2 RBI's and John Anzano went 3-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI.
IDENTIFICATION OF PHOTOS
Tri-Valley right handed senior pitcher Rodney T. Jester pitched six innings, striking out five and went 3-for-3 with three RBI's in the Bear's upset 12-6 win Wednesday over the Hambletonians at Chester.
Tri-Valley senior center fielder Cody Exner hit an inside the park home run to the deepest part of center field Wednesday in the Bears 12-6 win over Chester. There is no fence in the outfield and Exner's long fly ball sailed over the center fielders head which resulted in the fielder tumbling down a hill and the speedster Exner circling the bases to score a run.