Ruben Fernandez hit a two-run single in the bottom of the 7th inning to give Gershkoff Auburn Post 20 a thrilling 8-7 walk-off win over South Kingstown Post 39 in Game 1 of their doubleheader on Monday night.
Fernandez finished the day with a single, a double, a stolen base, and two RBI, while Nick Masse recorded a double, a home run, and three RBI.
Matt Winn started on the bump for Gershkoff and tossed six 1/3 innings, giving up six runs on five hits with one strikeout. Winn was outstanding for much of the contest, but he ran into some trouble in the seventh frame.
“He pitched a great game, so I thought it was his game to win or lose,” Gershkoff manager David Schiappa said. “I had him stay in, but he still pitched a great game. He pitched unbelievable. So, it’s good that we came up with the hits for him and we won.”
Jason Patalano closed the game for Gershkoff, pitching the final 2/3 innings. Patalano induced back-to-back pop outs to the only two batters he faced while stranding two runners in scoring position.
South Kingstown was led by Brendan Flaherty, who had two singles, a walk, and two RBI, Patrick Ruhle, two singles, two RBI, and Liam Flynn, two singles and a walk.
Mark Hutchinson was the starting pitcher for South Kingstown and he gave up four runs (two earned) while striking out five over 5 2/3 innings.
South Kingstown held a 2-0 lead after half an inning.
In the bottom of the first, Nate Poshkus, who walked, helped Gershkoff cut the lead in half at 2-1, when the left fielder scored from third during a passed ball.
Gershkoff evened the score at 2 in the fifth when Fernandez hit a double to left-center before stealing third base and coming home on an error.
Then, Masse gave Gershkoff a 4-2 lead in the sixth after the first baseman hammered the ball 375 feet, over the short porch in right field, for a 2-run home run.
“Right off the bat, we knew it was out,” Schiappa said.
However, in the top of the 7th, South Kingstown scored five runs and took a 7-4 edge.
Nevertheless, in the bottom of the inning, with two outs and runners on first and second, George Threats hit an RBI single past a diving third baseman and pulled Gershkoff within 7-5.
Next, Dylan Martins, who walked, scored from third during a passed ball, and got Gershkoff within 7-6.
Then, Masse knotted the score at 7 when he launched an RBI double to center field.
Lastly, with the bases loaded, Fernandez smacked a two-run single to left-center and gave Gershkoff the 8-7 win.
Gershkoff would split the doubleheader with South Kingstown, losing Game 2 by a final score of 10-3.
Gerhskoff currently sits at 1-3 on the young season, while South Kingstown is 3-1.
Gershkoff lost its opening series to Upper Deck Post 14 by scores of 1-0 and 6-5.
“We played Upper Deck the first two games, we lost by a run in both games,” Schiappa said. “Both games were pitchers’ duels. And this was almost a pitching duel, too. So, our pitching has been excellent, our hitting, we’re getting there.”
Some highlights from Game 1 included a nice running catch from center fielder Brandon Chin, a diving catch by Threats in right field, and a nifty snag and throw to first by the second baseman Mike Bogosian.
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