(SAR sports) On SAR Senior Night at the New York Boulders stadium, the SAR Sting battled the Heschel Heat and the intensity was that of a playoff game. Both teams put everything on the line, and after the dust settled, the Sting came out with an 8-7 win. After a shaky start, the Sting received shutdown pitching and just enough timely hitting to come away with a victory.
The top of the first was uneventful as the Sting went down 1-2-3, to the Heschel starter Caleb Friedman, but the bottom of the first was utterly antithetical. Sammy Hershman took the mound for the Sting and he struggled, walking four in the first inning, producing a run. He was able to wiggle his way out of trouble, limiting the damage. After a scoreless top of the second for the Sting, Hershman went back out for the second and walked three, hit a batter and gave up a single, resulting in two runs—and aside from an out on the basepaths, Hershman was unable to retire anyone in the second. He was pulled from the game for Chaim Stark. Stark did a nice job in the second, only allowing one run to score, putting the score at 4-0 Heat.
In the top of the third the first two hitters were retired, but the Sting were able to muster a two-out rally. It all started with Stark drawing a walk. Hershman followed with a walk, then Matthew Milstein and Zacharya Abraham each reached on errors, resulting in a pair of runs. The rally fizzled, but the Sting had cut the Heschel lead in half, to 4-2.
The lavish venue of the game certainly added extra pressure, and the Sting would need a big performance from a big time player. And they got just that from Stark. The lights weren’t too bright for him, as he dominated for the rest of his appearance, stopping the bleeding that was the Heat offense. In his first clean inning he worked around a walk, getting through the inning unscathed.
In the top of the fourth, self-proclaimed pest on the basepaths, Stephan Nayowitz walked, then proceeded to create chaos, stealing second and third and then scoring on a dropped third strike.
After a shutdown inning from Stark, the Sting were gifted the lead. With two outs and a man on first, Freidman and Sammy Fisher walked four batters and hit a man, to give the Sting a 6-4 lead. While a two-run lead seemed slim, with Stark on the mound this game seemed like a forgone conclusion.
If only it were that easy…
Stark retired Heschel 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fifth, and in the top of the sixth, the Sting were able to string together multiple hits and multiple walks to extend their lead to 8-4. With a much more comfortable lead now, the Sting coaches made the tough decision to take Stark out of the game and bring sophomore Sammy Eis into pitch. Eis immediately got into trouble in the sixth, surrendering back-to-back singles, followed by a walk. Eis induced a fly-out, allowing one, seemingly unimportant run to score. He then struck out the number five hitter, Gross, of Heschel. With two outs, Eis picked the runner off of first, and a lengthy rundown ensued, resulting in the third out of the inning. However, during all of the commotion, the runner on third managed to score, making it an 8-6 game.
The Sting went down 1-2-3 in the top of seventh, setting the scene for bottom: two run lead, three outs to get. Eis went back to the mound, and immediately gave up a double to Fisher on a 2-0 pitch. That was the final pitch Eis threw, as freshman Jackson Feit entered the game to try and close it out. He struck out his first hitter, with Fisher stealing third during the at-bat. The next batter grounded out to Hershman who had moved to shortstop. The run scored, but the Sting were just one out away from victory. The number nine hitter singled up the middle, adding some more drama to this already simultaneously stressful, but brilliant ballgame.
The lead-off hitter stepped up to the plate as the winning run, but much to the chagrin of the Heschel fans, and to the jubilation of the Sting fans, he hit a comebacker to Feit, securing the win.
The Sting were able to overcome yet another deficit, and the Heat let this one slip away. The game contained excitement from start to finish and the fans were given a treat all throughout.