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Madison had heard all about Telecommunications. The Yellow Jackets’ pitching and their potent lineup. They read about it online and in the newspapers, how Telecomm was the team to beat in Brooklyn. They listened to the chatter from a distance, seething.
“It got everyone hyped up,” junior right−hander Edward Lenahan said. “It motivated me on the mound.”
By Thursday evening, the Knights didn’t have to hear about it anymore, not after their come−from−behind, 3−2 home victory over Telecomm, a win that boosted Madison atop Brooklyn A East while knocking their adversaries into second place in Brooklyn A West.
Lenahan was brilliant, tossing a complete−game three hitter, throwing just 78 pitches in the process. He allowed two runs – both unearned – struck out six, retired the final six batters he faced and 13 of the last 14. He only walked one.
“I can’t say enough about Eddie,” junior catcher Chris Mann said. “One of the best performances I’ve ever seen.”
Said Lenahan: “I had plenty of energy. I was planning on going the whole game. I felt great.”
He was supported by an opportunistic offense that managed six hits, but reached on 10 walks issued by Telecomm pitchers Noel Placencia and Daniel Perri. They had three hits, two of them by junior outfielder John Yuksekol, which scored a pair of runs including the game−winner, that went a combined 40 feet. The third run, which tied the game at two in the bottom half of the fourth inning, scored on a walk drawn by senior first baseman Michael Taverna.
“We played small ball,” said junior third baseman Matt Maher, who had two hits, including an opposite−field single that set up the game−winning rally. “We put the ball in play and good things happened.”
The Knights have begun to show toughness. When freshman shortstop Joseph Cali let a routine groundball go through his legs, leading to Telecomm’s two−run rally, nobody pointed fingers. Lenahan grew stronger. And in the fourth, helped by Placencia’s wildness, Madison got even.
“This is a resilient group I think,” Caiazza said.
The coach was pleased even before the final result was decided. He knew beating Telecomm would be a tall order, considering the experience his rival had and his club’s inexperience. At one point in the sixth inning, he turned to a parent and said, “win or lose, we won today because we went eye to eye with them.”
He didn’t want to heap too much praise on his improving club. It is extremely young. Anything, the coach said, can happen.
“We’re on a high,” he said. “We could easily not play well in our next game. … Our kids now derive a lot of confidence from this game. The other thing is it brings a lot of pressure. I told them now you’re the hunted, not the hunter.”
Caiazza’s players didn’t seem to mind, mobbing one another when Guerrero emerged from a collision with Galeano representing the winning run, the kind of win last year’s team specialized in.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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