FDR baseball head coach Kory VanZandt wasn’t happy with his team after their 13-6 loss to Pine Bush on April 19 at the Ed Mills Tiger Tournament, hosted by Poughkeepsie at Lake Katrine’s Gruner Field. The team fell to 2-3 with the divisional loss, and had a rough defensive and pitching showing.
“At this point in time, I don’t feel good at all about our team in terms of where we should be. We’ve had a tough schedule to start the season. We’ve got a talented group here, but we should be playing better than we have early in the season,” VanZandt told the Observer after the game.
It took a while for the game to start cooking, with FDR only down by one run heading into the third. But then things got hairy. Both teams had trouble dealing with fly balls on the blustery, sunny day, but the Presidents were the first to experience problems when Pine Bush scored two runs on a catchable liner in the top of the third to go up 4-0. Pine Bush then hung another run on the Presidents to go up 5-0 heading into the bottom of the inning.
FDR’s Kyle Ziggler knocked in a run on a double in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 5-1, but the Bushmen dropped another brutal side on the Presidents in the top of the fourth. Pine Bush’s last offensive push of the side was a triple, which brought one runner in to make the score 8-1.
FDR made a solid push to put a dent in the Pine Bush lead in the bottom of the fourth. Matthew Lahey and Alex Marinelli both got on base early in the inning, and Lahey was brought in on a sacrifice fly from Nick Rand; Joselito Santiago then scored Marinelli from third on a single. FDR came out of the inning down only 8-4, and then scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth.
But top of the seventh inning was a horror. After checking in pitcher Michael Boryk, Pine Bush resumed the hit parade, starting with a run scored on soft, catchable liner to go up 10-6, and following it up with a three-run homer to go up 13-6 and end their offensive stand. The Presidents couldn’t make anything happen in the bottom of the seventh. They didn’t even break out the rally caps.
“Biggest thing I talked to my guys about was defense,” said VanZandt. “We’re 2-3 now to start the season, and if you look at all of those losses, it’s our defense that let us down. Our pitchers today didn’t throw a lot of strikes. Any time you’re not playing defense and you’re giving guys free passes, it’s a recipe for disaster.”
VanZandt does feel, however, that the Presidents have a chance to turn the corner in the coming weeks.
“It’s still early in the season, and hopefully we can put a couple good games together, play some offense and defense, and get some momentum going,” he said.