Hawks’ wings clipped

Rhinebeck drops heartbreaker, 5-2, in MHAL baseball semifinals

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The last time they were in Pine Plains the Hawks were there for the Phil Amelio Jr. Tournament and cranked out a late-game, five-run rally against Rondout Valley.

This time, they were on the receiving end.

“We played outstanding,” Rhinebeck head coach Bill Carney told his team after losing to Spackenkill in the semifinals of the Mid Hudson Athletic League tournament,on May 18. “We had it, but they took it.”

Rhinebeck’s Kory Hutchins pitched a gem through five innings, allowing only one run and hurling circles around Spackenkill pitcher Ben Jenkins, who beaned three batters in the first two innings. In the first inning, Hutchins batted in two runners to put Rhinebeck up 2-0. Joe Naglieri also made contact with a single.

There was very little action after that, until the bottom of the seventh. Spackenkill had been batting for distance for most of the game, but couldn’t find a hole in the Rhinebeck outfield. Hutchins gave up a base to Spartan Kenneth Herrera, who stole second base on a foul, and another hit to Blake Kawalski on a long line drive. Hutchins walked the tying run in with bases loaded, and surrendered the killing blow to Dan LaGasse, who batted a long drive down the right field line to bring in two runners. Spackenkill scored one more run, when Rhinebeck was trying tag a runner out between first and second and forgot about the man at third, who took home to end the game 5-2.

Carney was very positive after the game, though, bolstered by the facts that the Hawks gave heavily favored Spackenkill a run for their money through five innings and that they looked very prepared for sectional play.

“It was great,” Carney told The Observer. “We played great. It got away from us but that’s going to happen. Were there some rough calls (on pitches)? Yeah. We didn’t get the calls. But I’m very impressed with the way we played. We played like champs, we got beat by a good team. We’re ready now to go to sections—like I told the team ‘We didn’t take a step back – we took a huge step forward.’”

Rhinebeck will visit Red Hook May 22 at 4:15, and Section IX tournament play begins on May 24. Seeding will be decided upon today.

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