Outstanding

Rhinebeck Hawks come up short against Haldane, coach still proud

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Go to any Rhinebeck baseball game and you’ll hear it at least 10 times, even when things are looking down: Rhinebeck head coach Bill Carney loudly saying “Outstanding.”

He could be heard even when the Rhinebeck Hawks were down 9-0 on June 4, and about to shake hands with their opponents after playing in their first-ever regional finals.

“We were definitely awed by the experience,” Carney told The Observer. “It was our first time in regions, and for most of our players, it was the first time playing at Dutchess Stadium.”

The Hawks had captured important spots coming into the game. After winning a 2-1 nail-biter against Pine Plains in the sectional semifinals with Kory Hutchins pitching, the Hawks aced Tri-Valley, 11-5, to take the sectional crown May 30 But the sectional competition was chump change compared to facing their regional finals foe, Section 1 champion Haldane and the #5-ranked Class C team in the state.

The game started innocuously enough. A fielding duel through the first couple of innings, pitched once more by Rhinebeck’s go-to big game pitcher Hutchins, left both teams scoreless until the third inning.

Which is when the floodgates opened.

Hutchins had trouble in the inning, thanks in no small part to a rattled Rhinebeck infield, which committed two errors, one a fumbled grounder and the other a botched pick-off attempt at first. The Hawks came out of the third trailing 4-0.

The situation would not improve.

After scoring one run in the fourth, Haldane launched another offensive salvo in the fifth, bringing in four more runs to bury Rhinebeck, 9-0.

The Hawks had chances late in the game to make a dent in Haldane’s sizable lead. They loaded the bases three times in the game, including in the fifth and sixth innings, but couldn’t manage to bring a runner in. Hutchins was pulled in the sixth inning.

Rhinebeck’s Sam Tigges had two hits and a steal in the game, and Haldane’s Jay Marchese led all batters, going 4 for 4 and batting in one run. Because of the early cushion, Haldane pitcher Ryan Koval was pulled after fewer than 50 pitches. Haldane went home with 15 hits on the game.

Carney isn’t about to hang Haldane’s batting practice with Rhinebeck on the shoulders of his pitcher, though. “Kory Hutchins didn’t pitch poorly, we just didn’t play our game of solid defense behind him,” he said.

Even though the loss was rough, it caps what is without question Rhinebeck’s most successful season of baseball.

Carney was effusive in his praise. “They are a tribute to the baseball program, Rhinebeck High School, their parents, and the entire Rhinebeck community,” he said. “It was a pleasure of a team. I will miss the seniors but look forward to seeing them during Christmas break next year, when they will be on hand to raise the championship banner.”

Carney said that Rhinebeck captain Will Burns, who won All-County and All-Mid-Hudson Athletic League accolades and batted .450 on the season, is the team’s MVP.

He added that Hutchins and Nick Hoynes will probably captain the 2014 Rhinebeck team, which, armed now with experience, is likely to be a great squad.

Outstanding, even.

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