Byram Hills senior pitcher Scott Rose wasn’t thinking about strikeout records until the final inning in the Bobcats’ 7-4 win over league rival Horace Greeley at home on Friday.
The crafty lefthander struck out Dean Rosenberg to tie the school career strikeout record. He then proceeded to fan Quakers’ second baseman Chris DiGuglielmo on a knee-buckling curveball for the final out of the game – his 89th career strikeout, now the most in the Byram Hills baseball program’s history.
“I didn’t have it in mind until the final inning because I wasn’t getting a lot of strikeouts until that inning,” Rose said of the feat. “But once I got that first one in the seventh, it was definitely on my mind for the second. It was cool, but more important that we got the win.”
Rose carved up the Quaker batters, only allowing three hits and surrendering just one earned run in his seven innings on the hill. He finished the day with six strikeouts and didn’t issue any walks. Byram Hills coach Scott Saunders was happy one of his aces was able to break the school record and pointed to Rose’s consistency as the key to his success.
“When Scott is on, he certainly records a lot of strikeouts for us,” Saunders said. “He’s a tough lefty with deceptive movement, and he’s been consistent. He works hard and he deserves it.”
Byram’s offense provided plenty of run support for Rose. The Bobcats already led 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Joe Summa stepped up to the plate with a runner on first. Summa crushed a long, two-run homer high over the left-field fence off Greeley relief pitcher Dan D’Auria to provide Rose with a bit more insurance.
The Quakers, who came into the game riding a three-game winning streak that included a home victory over the Bobcats two days earlier, could only manage to get one run back, when shortstop Leo Wolfensohn scored from third base in the seventh inning on a passed ball. Greeley’s other three runs came in the top of the third and sliced its deficit to two runs. Justin Ellick had a single in the inning that scored Bryan Hamerschlag.
In Greeley’s 4-3 win on Thursday, Ellick and Hamerschlag each had two hits and Andres Larramendi drove in two run. Even though the Quakers were unable to sweep the two games, coach Anthony Marino was encouraged to see his team put the ball in play.
“We were going to try to be aggressive in that third inning and make things happen,” he said. “So we were happy with that. But we weren’t happy with the other innings.”
The Bobcats got to Greeley starter Matt Re for five runs over the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, Chris Lattarulo hit a sacrifice fly to center, enabling Jared Feldman to score. Anthony Arditi and Henry Milano each recorded RBI singles for the Bobcats, who built a 3-0 lead heading to the second.
Feldman scored in the bottom of the second on a fielder’s choice, and Lattarulo crushed an RBI double into the gap in left-center field, bringing home Brian Hammer.
Now with nine wins this season, Saunders is looking for his Bobcats to get on a winning streak. They had dropped three of their previous four games.
“Any time you can win a league game like that, it’s huge for momentum,” he said. “Our league is very competitive and we constantly preach keeping it rolling.”
By A.J. Martelli