New Hartford – Will Gall couldn’t have picked a better time to hit his first home run. With 2 outs in the top of the 3rd inning of Saturday’s NY State Section 2 North Elimination Game, Gall, a left handed hitter, drove an 0-2 fastball towering over the left field fence to give the New Hartford 11/12 Year Old All-Stars a 1-0 lead over Plattsburgh.
Gall’s blast would eventually be the game winner, as New Hartford pitcher Roman Kimball tossed 5 – 2/3 innings of 3 hit, shutout baseball to propel New Hartford past Plattsburgh by a score of 2-0.
Gall, a Yankees fan who loves math class and is an avid hockey hockey player when he’s not on the ball field, described his 3rd inning blast as “overwhelming” when he spoke of his game winning accomplishment after the game. “I really didn’t know it was a homer until I rounded first and looked up and saw the umpire twirling his finger around, then I saw everyone jumping around so I knew it was a home run, overwhelming is really the only word I can use to describe how I felt when I finally crossed home plate and all my teammates were there waiting for me” a very composed Gall told Mid York Sports Report.
The way Roman Kimball was firing the ball on the mound today, 1 run was all it was going to take. The confident right hander had command of virtually every pitch in his arsenal, which includes a knuckleball. “I was confident in all my stuff today, I had good command and I knew if we could score a couple of runs, we could get the job done” Kimball said.
It was a good thing Kimball had his good stuff today, because Plattsburgh pitcher Zach Rainville was almost as effective, limiting New Hartford to just 4 hits all afternoon, while striking out 7.
Jeff Kimball, Roman’s dad and head coach of New Hartford, couldn’t have agreed more. “He (Roman) had very good command today and I kept calling for pitches inside and he kept hitting that spot the whole day, he did a great job out there”.
Kimball, who allowed no runs, on 3 hits, while striking out 10 and walking just 1, also got some excellent defense from infielders Rocco Macera and Jack Darby at 3rd and 2nd respectively today, as each of those players stopped rocket shots that were destined to leave the infield for extra base hits.
Will Gall made what would be the most pivotal play of the day on defense, however. With New Hartford up 2-0, Plattsburgh had runners at first and 2nd with one out in the bottom of the 5th inning. Brandon Diman placed a perfect bunt down the third base line, with both Plattsburgh runners going on contact. New Hartford’s Kyle Philipkoski fielded the bunt and threw to first, but the Diman beat it out. Plattsburgh pinch runner Andrew Vennattan rounded third in stride and headed for home, but New Hartford first baseman Will Gall instinctively fired to home and catcher John Karwowski applied the tag on Vennattan for the out, effectively ending the Plattsburgh threat.
Kimball took over from there, not allowing another Plattsburgh batter out of the batter’s box the rest of the way and New Hartford hung on for the 2-0 victory. Tyler Potocki pitched the final out of the game for New Hartford and has been tagged as the starter in the next series.
New Hartford will now begin a best of 3 series against Rotterdam, on Monday night in Rotterdam, with the winner getting a berth to the New York State Finals, a week from Tuesdaym in Bronx, NY. New Hartford will have a home game against Rotterdam next Wednesday, win or lose on Monday.
Congratulations New Hartford and best of luck in the Section 2 Championship Series! See you Wednesday!