May 7, 2014 —
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — With its profusion of flowers and the onset of balmy weather at long last, May holds a special place in our hearts. Mothers Day and Memorial Day loom large as do the impending graduations that signal those momentous rites of passage. May also holds the distinction of being the most active month of the high school sports calendar, rife with its incomparable mélange of baseball, softball, golf, track and field, and tennis.
The penultimate month to the school year also features championship events that loom on the horizon. In baseball and softball, the goal of every team out of the gate is to make sectionals. With a commanding 14-0 win over Fallsburg, Sullivan West’s baseball team 6-6 (6-4 OCIAA) punched its ticket to this year’s gala behind a stellar pitching outing by senior Owen Andrews, who fanned 10 Comets and allowed just three hits. Andrews provided four RBI to abet the cause, and battery mate Gavin Owen added three RBI. In the prior week the Westies took two of three from Burke, propelled in part by a trio of home runs from Patrick Pierce. Tri-Valley’s boys golf team continued its winning ways as it added victories over Sullivan West and Fallsburg to the prior week’s compelling victory over Eldred. To date the Bears are undefeated in Division IV and are poised to claim at least a tie for the division title held for the past 10 years by Sullivan West. In track and field at the Steinhoff Cup Invitational staged at Ellenville on May 2, Sullivan West’s Mitch Paciga continued his epic spring with first-place finishes in the 110 hurdles (15.9), the 400 hurdles (60.4) and a momentous personal best leap of 6-4 in the high jump. That height meets the state standard, making Paciga’s appearance in this year’s state meet likely. The meet featured Ellenville, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Tri-Valley, Sullivan West and Eldred. Other local winners included: 1600: Ian Kurzrock, T-V (4:56.9); distance medley relay: T-V (11:57.2); pole vault: Aidan Woolsey, T-V (11-0). Girls: 400 relay T-V (55.4); 1600 relay SW (4:38.2); high jump: Katlynn Greffrath, T-V (4-10); pole vault: Kayla Maas, Eldred (7-0). Tri-Valley’s boys finished second in the meet to Ellenville. Sullivan West was third. T-V’s girls were second to Rhinebeck. Sullivan West hosted Tri-Valley for a crucial division meet on May 6. In softball, Fallsburg 6-3 (5-0 OCIAA) has already clinched a Class B playoff berth and may soon clinch the Division IV title. Tri-Valley 7-4 (1-2 OCIAA) staged a ribbon cutting of its new softball field, which has been two years in the making. The gorgeous field, located on-campus at the Iatauro Sports Complex, will be the new home of the Lady Bears whose recent wins include victories over Chapel Field and Livingston Manor. For more on the story of the ribbon cutting and the history of the construction, read “Field Of Dreams” on www.sportsinsightsny.com  where you will also find the story replete with details about the Ellenville track meet, titled “Devil of a Meet.” For albums of photos, visit www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com .