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South County legion baseball picking up after dwindling numbers

SHEFFIELD – Last year, a struggling economy and possibly a lack of focus pushed the South County legion teams, Lenox Dale and Southern Berkshire, to the brink of summer ball extinction.

This year, with the resurgence of Lee baseball players, Lenox Dale appears to have reloaded, while the Southern Berkshire squad continues to fight for enough players.

“We have 10 guys from Lee this year and a couple from Wahcoanah, and they have done a good job,” said Lenox Dale Manager Brian Wade.

While Wade has fought for only one win at the start of the two-month legion season thus far, he is pleased and optimistic that the program will pick up in the next month and in the years to come.

“Lots of guys have been showing up for batting practice before home games and getting extra swings – it’s just a matter of time before we get our bats going,” Wade said.

After a postponed game with Post 68 on Monday, the Dales traveled to the Berkshire School and Thomas Young Field to battle Kevin Rueger’s Southern Berkshire squad.

With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the second, Southern Berkshire’s Dan Meandro laced a triple to center to score Colby Rueger. Meandro then crossed home plate on a wild pitch to put his team up 5-3 after two.

Lenox Dale pitcher J.T. Brown battled through five walks and a slew of wild pitches, while rarely used SB pitcher, Henri Morrison, who hadn’t pitched since JV – worked out of a tough jam in the third inning.

With the Dales loading the bases with one out, Morrison induced a shallow pop up to center while catcher TJ Shumsky bailed out Morrison by picking off a runner at second base.

Morrison then helped his own cause with a single to left that the Dale’s left fielder over-ran for a two-run error, giving the Southern Berkshire team a comfortable 7-3 cushion.

“We played a rough game – we tried to get a couple of good defensive outings then we turned around and commit a couple of errors; we gave up stupid runs that we can’t give up, that’s what happened today – we had two outs – the ball goes between the first baseman’s legs then the outfielder over runs the ball and two runs score,” Wade said.

While Wade may have been frustrated with his defense and the fact his team hasn’t gotten its bats going yet, he has been pleased with the commitment on the mound by Austin Salnitis, who had a rough spring throwing for Kevin Downer’s Millionaires.

“He’s been pitching well – his curveball is looking good,” Wade said after Salnitis threw two scoreless innings on Tuesday night. “We wanted to give him a couple of innings tonight because we have a double header versus North Adams on Friday night.”

Lenox Dale cut the lead to 8-5 in the seventh when Armani Ingenini added a RBI single that scored Dillon Benham. John Graziano then added a sacrifice fly RBI to center that plated Heamon Williams, who doubled.

Southern Berkshire’s Colby Rueger came into relief to shut the door, for the 8-5 final, as both teams have split the season series to date.

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Posted by on June 27, 2013. Filed under High School Sports,Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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