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Stepinac Boys win Westchester title!!

Posted Wednesday, August 09, 2006 by Michael Odonnell

Condors defeat Mid-Hudson for Super 12 tournament title
(Original Publication: August 9, 2006)

PORT CHESTER 2 Joe O'Grady pulled up to Rec Park yesterday afternoon and just had to shake his head.

It was almost an hour and a half before his Condors took the field for the championship of the WBA Super 12 Wood Bat Invitational and eight players were already littered across the field stretching, throwing and taking batting practice.

"Oh," O'Grady thought. "These guys are ready to go."

The Condors needed that eagerness yesterday, but they needed their patience, too and luckily they had no problem finding a common ground. The Condors took advantage of 11 walks and a few clutch plays to beat Mid-Hudson 7-3 and capture the Super 12 championship a year after falling in the final.

"It was tough," Condors shortstop Jason Cusumano said of his team having to take so many pitches. "Everyone was so geared up to play in the championship game. But we stayed patient."

The key inning 2 and the inning that best represented the game 2 was the bottom of the second. The Condors were able to score four runs despite getting just one hit. Instead, they turned four walks and a hit batsman into a rally that helped seal the game.

Mid-Hudson, which beat Frozen Ropes Monday to win the losers bracket, simply ran out of pitchers. Yesterday's starter, Dave Shepperly, just had two molars pulled and was still in pain from it. When Shepperly couldn't find the plate, the team had few experienced replacements to turn to.

"They knew we couldn't get the ball over," Mid-Hudson coach Tim Farrell said. "And when we did get it over, they got big hits."

In the first inning, it was Condors third baseman Brandon Cruz who hit an RBI double. In the second, Cusumano added an RBI single. Then, center fielder Brian Pisano lined a leadoff triple into the bushes in center and later scored on an error.

Pisano factored in the field, too. He made a diving catch in short center field with a runner at third to end the fourth inning.

"That was a momentum changer," O'Grady said. "I've seen him make that play. If he doesn't make it, I'm surprised."

O'Grady, the junior varsity coach at Stepinac, has coached several of the Condors before, including Cusumano and Pisano, as well as John Euvino and Pat Massaroni, the two pitchers who combined yesterday to pitch a three-hitter.

One of the few non-Stepinac players on the team is left fielder Matt Gelston, who was named tournament MVP.

Gelston, who just graduated from White Plains, was the team's most consistent hitter throughout the Super 12. He was happy to win the personal hardware, but even happier his team 2 which went 6-0 in the tournament and won the winners bracket 2 didn't need to wait to claim the ultimate prize.

"We wanted to get it done right now," Gelston said.

Wish granted.

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