Niagara Gazette

Sports

May 10, 2010

Jacks take charge early, beat Falls

NIAGARA FALLS — Mental toughness has been the back breaker for the Lumberjacks in recent outings, head coach John Chiarmonte said.

Monday, however, the Jacks erased a 2-0 first inning deficit the very next half inning, storming to a 5-2 lead in a blink of an eye.

North Tonawanda catcher Mike Tuzzo opened up a five-run top half of the second, knocking in a pair of runs on a two-out, standup double to help lead the Jacks past the host Wolverines, 6-2, in a Niagara Frontier League clash Monday under the lights at Sal Maglie Stadium.

“We needed it because one game we play really good and the next we don’t play too well,” Chiarmonte said. “We needed that win for a little confidence.”

The Lumberjacks, now 5-4 in league play, showed plenty of confidence early on, as their bats were making contact with just about everything Falls starter Andrew Dewitt threw at them.

“They had nine hits in one inning all with two outs; scored all five runs with two outs,” Falls head coach Joe Contento said. “We just couldn’t get that third out.”

Dewitt had a smooth start to the contest, getting through an easy first inning, but his night was cut short after the second.

“When he got ahead of counts, he was putting it over the plate a little too much and that’s where they took advantage of him,” Contento said of his sophomore standout, who fell to 3-2 on the year.

The Wolverines (5-4) were outhit 13-4 on the night, and that was exactly what North Tonawanda needed, second basemen Tony Miano said.

“I think our problem is we get down on ourselves, but when we start getting hits, we get momentum back and start playing as a team,” Miano said. “We get key hits at key times. Hits are contagious. That’s the good thing about our team.”

Lumberjacks starting pitcher Tim Taylor went the distance, allowing just the pair of runs in the first inning.

Taylor walked the first two batters of the contest, setting up a two-run double for the Falls’ Cam Carney to open up the scoring. But from then on, Taylor would not look back.

“He pitched great,” Miano added. “He threw a lot of strikes and got ahead of the count and did his job perfectly.”

Miano was among the leaders at the plate, going 3-for-4, just a home run shy of the cycle. Andrew Farnham also posted a solid day at the plate, finishing 3-for-3 with three singles and a run.

The win for North Tonawanda results in a log jam behind NFL-leading Grand Island, as three teams are now tied for the second spot at 5-4.

Contento said it was a tough loss for his squad, who had the opportunity to take the lone hold of second place.

“It puts us right back in the pack,” he said. “We’re playing for a good seed in the playoffs right now. We have a lot of confidence. It’s just one loss. We’re just going to go right back it on Wednesday.”

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