Sherburne-Earlville 2, Cooperstown 0
COOPERSTOWN – Sherburne-Earlville senior Matt Smith brought back memories of his first great moment on Doubleday Field with a career-defining performance on baseball’s most hallowed diamond.
Smith tossed goose eggs for seven innings – runs and hits – finishing with a no-hitter Friday evening. Smith also generated a deja vu moment blooping a two-run single in the top of the seventh to score Felix Rodriguez and Carter Cole with the game’s only runs.
Four years earlier – mere weeks before he entered his freshman year of high school – Smith lofted a soft single to right field scoring the tying an winning runs in Sherburne’s Otsenango Pony League championship win on this same field.
“Matt pitched tonight like he did all of last year,” said S-E coach Brian Hicks. “He was a real horse.”
Smith struck out nine, walked three, and relied extensively on his infield defense. Infielders Kevin Vibbard, Jesse Yerton, and Matt Crandall combined for 12 assists, and not one Cooperstown batter placed a ball in the outfield.
“Matt was never in any trouble, and no one even reached second base,” Hicks said. “The defense was incredible and did everything it needed to do. I’m hoping this game will turn us around. We didn’t hit it that great, but we did enough and got the big hit we’ve been waiting for.”
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Matt Smith (W) and Mick Khoury. Scott Harvey ((L) and Steve Segit. Doubles: (SE) Carter Cole (2).
Oneonta 3, Norwich 0
NORWICH – Norwich junior left-hander Cody Barnes was his usual dominant self, but the three runs surrendered by the NHS hurler were enough for his counterpart Kevin Smith as the Yellowjackets hurler tossed a four-hit shutout Friday.
Barnes may have set a Norwich record for strikeouts in an inning when he whiffed five in Oneonta’s opening at-bat; however, one batter reached on a third-strike passed ball, and another advanced to first following a third-strike wild pitch.
The two Oneonta runners then moved up a base setting up John Vega’s two-run RBI single. Vega also had an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth for added insurance. “I don’t think you see too many five-strikeout innings,” said Norwich coach Rich Turnbull. “It was just an unlucky inning. The bottom line is that we need to come out and hit better. We struck out nine times, and we need to get more than four hits. We just need to make better adjustments at the plate and take a better approach.”