Cameron Turner Photo
NORWICH – The Chenango Hellcats hope that the tune has been set for their 2017 spring/summer campaign – earning back-to-back wins over Utica on Saturday, June 3.
“Game one was toughest win I’ve ever coached,” said Junior Hellcat head coach Nick McCullough. “You will never see a team commit eight errors, and still win. Until we did it today.”
The Junior Hellcats jumped to a solid 3-0 start after the first inning, before surrendering their first run to Utica in the top of the second inning. At 3-1, the Hellcats looked to keep the lead, sending two additional runners home for a 5-1 game after two innings.
That is when it seemed to all fall apart.
“We left the bases loaded twice. And we couldn’t capitalize,” said coach McCullough. “But the few big hits we had was enough.”
The Junior Hellcats gave up back-to-back innings of two runs a piece to Utica, resulting in a tied ballgame entering the fifth inning.
Breaking the silence in the bottom of the fifth inning – after blanking Utica in the top of the inning – Junior Hellcat, Eli Rodriguez of Norwich connected for a ground ball where he would reach on an error. This error on the play, secured Rodriguez a base and teammate Cameron Birtch a run.
Two batters later – Hellcat Nick Shoemaker was walked – Oxford native, Brad Beckwith stepped to the plate and simply shined in the spotlight. Beckwith connected for a single down the third base line – resulting in yet another run for the 7-5 Junior Hellcat lead.