Metea Valley changed its approach at the plate and that paid big dividends as the Mustangs came away with a 13-3 marathon victory over Bartlett in Upstate Eight Valley action on Wednesday afternoon.
Metea (19-12-1, 14-8-1) was trailing 3-2 entering the sixth inning when the Mustangs exploded for seven runs in the inning. Catcher Matt Fitzgerald sprung the inning open with a two RBI double.
"The umpire was really squeezing the pitchers,’’ Fitzgerald said. "I knew I would get a curve ball and I got it and didn’t miss it."
To that point in the game, Bartlett (12-16, 10-14) starting pitcher Doug Van Dyke had been in control working ahead in counts and allowing only two runs while walking nobody. That all changed in the sixth inning when Metea became more aggressive at the plate.
With one out, the Mustangs reeled off four straight hits including Fitzgerald’s. In all, the Mustangs had six hits and three walks in the inning as they successfully chased VanDyke from the game.
"We were passive early and VanDyke is a good pitcher who was working ahead of us in the count,’’ Metea coach Craig Tomczak said. "We changed our approach. That hit by Fitz was a huge hit. It could’ve turned out differently if he had grounded into a double play or something.’’
Jacob Peterson had four RBI and went 3-for-5 for the game for the Mustangs. Fitgerald went 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
Bartlett jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Myles Zilinsky and Jake Barrutia came around to score after both reached base on hits. After that Metea starter Sam Janus settled down to go 4 1/3 innings while allowing three runs.
"We needed to pick our pitcher up and we didn’t do that,’’ Bartlett coach Chris Pemberton said. "The game ended up going at a snail’s pace and when the horse got out of the barn, we couldn’t put a stop to it.’’