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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, June 3, 2010
Bulldogs’ early exit comes as a big surprise
By Jordan J. Michael
BERNE After a highly productive season, the Bulldogs’ baseball team anticipated a chance at the Class CC title. Instead, Berne-Knox-Westerlo lost in the first round.
BKW earned the fourth seed in Class CC and hosted Chatham last Thursday. The Panthers stunned the Bulldogs with five runs in the second inning on the way to a 7-to-6 victory.
The championship hopes for BKW were stomped out early and Head Coach Jeff Teats still seemed rattled on Tuesday.
“It’s a real downer because we expected more,” said Teats. “It felt like we could go all the way. These kids had a winning attitude all season long.”
The second inning was a self-inflicted disaster for the Bulldogs. Chatham’s two hits in the frame were spearheaded by a string of errors by the BKW defense. Senior Paolo Audino was making quality pitches, but the players behind him weren’t closing the deal.
“We played poorly and it only takes one bad inning,” Teats said. “Routine plays weren’t being made. I think we were playing tight.”
Teats has been around long enough to know that errors snowball. “All of a sudden, you’re down by a considerable amount,” he said. “A five-run lead in sectionals is usually enough to win.”
Trailing 5 to 0, the Bulldogs did its best to battle back and chip away at the score. The Chatham lead dwindled to 6 to 5 in the sixth inning until the Panthers added a run to make it 7 to 5. Audino started the seventh with a double and that led to a score, but that was it.
“I give my players a lot of credit for clawing back into the game,” said Teats. “We had a great chance to tie it in the final inning.”
BKW would have faced Western Athletic Conference rival Schoharie in the next round, a team the Bulldogs split two games with during the regular season. “We weren’t looking past Chatham,” Teats said.
It was a dramatic and painful end for the Bulldogs, especially for seniors Audino, Korey Mann, Mike Galgay, and Josh Rebeor. Teats told The Enterprise that most of his players sat in the dugout for a considerable amount of time after the game, staring into space.
“No one really said anything,” Teats said. “I told them that we’d talk about it in a week or so.”
Despite the despair of an early exit in the playoffs, the team radically improved from a year ago.
“We really attacked deficiency this year and that’s the important thing,” said Teats. “I had a super group of kids and they always fought.”
However, the team is left with an itch it can’t scratch.
“We’re left wondering why the season ended so early,” said Teats, “after we put so much hard work into it.”