Cullen O’Shea didn’t have ideal command of his pitches early on. His team trailed by three runs and was in danger of falling even further behind. Then, to make matters worse, the righthander was dealing with back spasms.
So, how did his Saturday afternoon go?
Oh, just grand!
O’Shea crushed a grand slam in the sixth inning, leading Poughkeepsie baseball team to a 7-3 comeback win over Rhinebeck High School.
With the score tied at 3, Erik Ramos, Jesus Fabian-Peralta and Jake McCormack worked their way on to load the bases. O’Shea, patient at the plate, drilled an outside pitch over the fence in right-centerfield.
“We started five sophomores and they all contributed,” Pioneers coach Mark Bianco said. “We’re a very young team, but they’ve got a lot of fight in them. They faced adversity and came out with a ‘W.’ I’m very proud of them.”
Poughkeepsie rallied from down 3-0 early. Demier Harrison’s two-run triple pulled them within a run in the fourth inning, and Ramos’ RBI single tied it at 3 in the sixth.
Fabian-Peralta went 2 for 3, McCormick was 2 for 4 and Steven Disla went 2 for 4 with a double for the Pioneers (1-2).
O’Shea eventually settled in on the mound and worked through the back pain. He allowed four hits and two walks and struck out seven in a complete game. Using guile — along with a sharp curveball and a deceptive knuckleball — he weaved out of jams and held the Hawks in check.
Ryan Euell went 2 for 3 with a double and a run for Rhinebeck (1-1).
Stephen Haynes: email@example.com, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4