Twin Valley baseball comes up short in closer, prepares for playoffs
by Jack Deming
Jun 05, 2014 | 1789 views | 0 0 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Craig Green slides into home in Twin Valley’s Friday loss to Green Mountain.
WILMINGTON- The Twin Valley Wildcats have made it to the second round of the Division IV playoffs in each of their past two seasons, and that’s as far as they’ve journeyed. This year, the Wildcats begin their postseason with an automatic placement in the second round after achieving a first round bye, thanks to their 9-7 season record and a No. 3 seed in Division IV. The Wildcats were 7-1 in the Marble Valley League, and after falling behind on the year to 1-3 at the quarter mark, they stormed back, winning eight of their next 12. Senior Colin Lozito and junior Sam Molner were both named Marble Valley all-stars, and coach Jim Burke was voted MVL manager of the year by his peers.

According to Burke, all these achievements, and efforts of the past two months, must be put together on a clean slate, to help his team through the three-game season that leads to a championship. “We made it to the second round two years in a row and dropped it,” said Burke. “ We were handed the second round this year, and that says a lot about these boys to come back and take the No. 3 seed. They have fight in them and they’ve matured. The seniors know this is it. They were boys when I met them, but these seniors are now men who have taken responsibility.”

While Burke may have gotten a personal accolade, he credits his coaches Jessie Lane, Mark Berman, and Mitch Bulutski with the season of success. These three coaches delegated and set up practices, brought in new ideas, and helped fix batting stances, a task that has shown dividends through the consistent strong at-bats coming from the bottom of the order.

Burke credits his boys with persistence and good attitude when the chips were down. “They learned from last year to this year to never give up and they haven’t given up once this year,” said Burke. “We played as a team, and even down a few runs, we would always chisel back.

“Now it’s a three-game season and we’ll do it one game at a time. We do not have an easy game left, so what we have to do is step up one more notch and take it to that next level each game.”

Twin Valley will face Proctor at home on Friday at 4:30 pm.

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WILMINGTON- Twin Valley dropped their season closer on Friday afternoon, with five combined errors at shortstop and third base helping the Green Mountain Chieftains to a six-run first inning. Twin Valley starter Dal Nesbitt would allow one more run in the second, but the Wildcats would begin to make the game interesting, as Dylan Johnson and Craig Green scored a run each in the bottom of the frame.

Twin Valley deducted three more runs from the lead in the third as Nesbitt, Brett Swanson, and Sam Molner each tallied a run. As has been the case in multiple games this season, the Wildcats allowed a burst of runs in one inning, and Green Mountain was able to tack on four more runs on reliever Cade Nesbitt in the sixth inning. Green would come in to relieve Nesbitt, and shut down the Chiefs’ bats.

Down 11-5, the Wildcats fought back in the bottom of the sixth with three more runs, and one more in the ninth. Unable to complete the rally, Twin Valley fell 11-9.

Dal Nesbitt took the loss for the Wildcats, striking out four and walking four in five innings. Jake Cavacas took the win for the Chieftains.

Swanson and Johnson each went 2 for 3 on the day, combining for three runs, while Craig Green continued his late season emergence with a 2-for-3 night, two runs scored, and an RBI. Cavacas went 1 for 2 with three runs.

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