This was certainly a rebuilding season for the Fitch baseball team so a long run in the Division I state tournament was not expected.
That run was more of a jog as the Falcons bowed out of playoff competition after just two games. Fitch was defeated 7-3 by Howland on May 11 in the district round of the tournament ending any dreams of a miracle postseason effort. Fitch did win its opening round game over Chaney 23-0 one day earlier.
Against the Tigers, an old nemesis sent the Falcons freefalling. All season Fitch has been outdone by its opponent having one explosive inning. Fitch head coach Wally Ford admitted to that after the game wondering in jest why his team’s games could not be only six innings long. In the game at Howland it was the second inning that sent the Falcons packing. Howland haunted Fitch starting pitcher John Michael Valentine for seven runs on six hits in the second as 11 Tigers took turns at bat. The floodgates opened when the Falcons misplayed a Tigers bunt to open the frame then a pop up fell in between Fitch defenders to put another Howland hitter on base. A couple of clutch hits by Howland erased a Fitch lead then a few more hits had Ford’s kids reeling.
Fitch built that early advantage when Logan Kane cracked an RBI double scoring Ron DeAmicis in the top of the second inning. Anthony Paris hit a single to start a Fitch rally in the fourth and advanced on a double by Zack Miller. DeAmicis and Zarek Bell then had RBI hits to give the Falcons three runs.
Not only did DeAmicis have a good day at the plate, but it was his “great relief” pitching according to coach Ford that gave the Falcons an opportunity to try to come back and catch the Tigers. DeAmicis did not allow a run after entering the game out of the bullpen in the second inning.
The Falcons needed no relief in the opening tournament win against their West Side rivals. The 23-0 score looked a lot more like something that Fitch football head coach Phil Annarella cooked up than a baseball finally tally. Leading the abundance of offense was Jake Eynon who had two hits, two RBIs and four runs scored. Dan Spiker sparked the Falcons with two hits and three RBIs. Bell belted two hits with two ribbies and two runs.