Rye Neck Boys’ Baseball Panthers Struggle into the Playoffs

5.20 RNHS Base2There are two main ways to lose a baseball game, and neither way is fun.

 

By Mitch Silver

 

5.20 RNHS Base1There are two main ways to lose a baseball game, and neither way is fun. You can drop a heartbreaker or you can get blown out. Rye Neck went with one of each last week, and both losses were to rival Keio Academy of Purchase.

 

Last week’s home game saw the Panthers jump out to a 3-0 first-inning lead. A two-out walk began it, and RBI by seniors Ben Weinstock and Frankie Caparelli and sophomore Kevin Tamucci seemed to have ended the game almost before it began — especially with soph Conor Liquori dominating the Unicorns on the mound.

 

It was still 3-0 in the top of the 4th when Liguori got the first out on a soft liner to Cory Parker in left. TheN Ben Weinstock let a bad hop eat him up at shortstop. The runner took third when an overthrow from the outfield wound up in foul territory. A routine bouncer to third brought in Keio’s first run.

 

As Rye Neck’s bats went silent, Keio’s came to life in the 6th. After another of the Panthers’ five errors, a loud double to the fence in left had runners at second and third. An RBI single, a stolen base, and a double-play grounder plated the tying runs.

 

Third baseman Kevin Tamucci switched with Liguori and struck out the first batter he faced. Then a walk, a slow bouncer through the infield and a 5.20 RNHS Base2sharp single to center loaded the bases. Tamucci seemed to work his way out of trouble when a liner to shallow left and Parker’s strong throw in held the runners. But he wound up the loser when he hit the next batter, forcing in the winning run in a 4-3 loss.

 

The two teams met again at Manhattanville College four days later, but this time it was no contest. Shutaro Wakayama was brilliant, allowed just two Panther hits and a walk over five innings while striking out seven. He also scored two runs and had two RBI for the 13-6 Unicorns. Meanwhile, Rye Neck went hitless for the 13th consecutive inning against their Class C rivals and lost 9-0.

 

The defeat evened the Black Cats’ record at 9-9 before they traveled to Dobbs Ferry Tuesday against the 4-7 Eagles.