It was a long afternoon for the Newburgh Free Academy baseball team. First the Goldbacks arrived at Warwick Valley High School about 15 minutes before Thursday’s 4 p.m. start time.
Then on a cold afternoon, the Wildcats hit two three-run home runs during an eight-run third inning, sending the Goldbacks to an 11-2 loss in the first game of the 2018 season.
Despite the conditions, the Goldbacks got off to a good start, plating a couple of runs in the first inning of Warwick starting pitcher Jack Leahy.
Manny Bordoy and Pete Matthews each drove in a run with a single, but from there it was all Warwick.
Newburgh pitching struggled across the board as Warwick scored in every inning except for the second and sixth. They cut immediately into Newburgh’s lead in the bottom of the first inning by Danny McNally, but the bottom fell out on Newburgh pitcher Ryan Danyluk in the third inning. He gave up a leadoff double to Jack Vignola, then two straight walks loaded the bases before McNally gave the Wildcats a 3-2 lead with a two-run double to left field.
Two batters later, Ryan Mitchell ended Danyluk’s afternoon with a three-run home run.
Sean Rafferty didn’t fare much better in the inning. He walked his first batter, and then gave up a single. Two batters later, Jack Vignola launched a three-run home run to dead center field to cap off the big inning with a commanding 9-2 lead.
The Wildcats tacked on a run in the fourth on Devin Boone’s double and then in the fifth on Brody Ryan’s solo home run.
Other than the first inning, the Newburgh bats were quiet. After the first inning, the Goldbacks were unable to put more than one runner on base until the seventh inning when they put on two with two outs, but Tyler Santiago struck out to end the game.
The Goldbacks were scheduled to finish the week with a game at Cortland before starting a series with Kingston on Monday at Gruner Field.
By Mike Zummo