By David Coury
ONEONTA — Matt Anderson struck out nine in four innings of relief to lead Stamford to a 13-10 victory over Downsville in the Delaware League baseball championship game Thursday at Field 6 in Neahwa Park.
The Eagles’ Colyn Bonadies chased Stamford starter Erik Ehrhart in the bottom of the fourth with a towering fly ball that sent Stamford centerfielder Sean Vroman to the warning track, near the 378-foot sign. By the time Vroman got the ball back in, Bonadies was standing on third with an RBI triple that knotted the score at 9.
His triple marked the fourth consecutive hit for Delaware Mountain Division champion Downsville (7-5). The Eagles’ No. 9 hitter, Nick Shaw, opened the inning with a single. Liam Fogarty followed with a double, setting up Justin Baxter for a two-run single.
Anderson (8-2) took over on the mound after Bonadies’ triple. His only walk came to his first batter as Anderson struck out the next three to end the inning. Anderson then scattered three hits over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. He struck out Fogarty for the last out of a 1-2-3 seventh.
“Matt’s been a stud all year,” Indians coach Mike Faulkner said of Anderson, who started a non-leaguer Monday against South Kortright and struck out 11. “I didn’t want to use him today, but (Downsville is) a good team and they hit the ball well today.”
Upper Delaware Division champion Stamford (12-2), which won its first crossover title since 2002, snapped the tie with a three-run sixth.
Stamford leadoff hitter Wade Tompkins started the inning with a walk. Anderson followed with a high fly ball that barely made it to the outfield. Eagles second baseman Anthony Shields — who had just entered to replace the injured Dylan Fisk — camped under it, but the wind shifted and the ball fell just out of his reach.
Downsville reliever Brad Dreher then hit Greg Mattice with a pitch to load the bases. Ehrhart’s sacrifice fly to center broke the tie, and Greg Keating later hit a two-run single to cap the scoring.
Tompkins walked four times and scored three runs.
“He did what a good leadoff hitter does,” Faulkner said. “He got on base and the middle of our order did its job and drove him in.”
Third baseman Mattice did quite a bit of the driving.
Mattice finished 4-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs. He also scored two runs and was hit by a pitch.
Keating contributed two hits, two RBIs and a run.
“Our two, three and four hitters have been doing this all year. It’s not just one guy.” Faulkner said.
Anderson, Mattice and Ehrhart combined to drive in six of the team’s nine RBIs and scored a total of five runs.
Bonadies paced the Eagles with a 2-for-3 performance that included a double, a triple, an RBI and three runs. Fogarty (two doubles), Baxter and Fisk also had two hits apiece.
Both teams play Tuesday in the opening round of the Section Four Class D Tournament. Downsville drew the No. 9 seed and will play at eighth-seeded Windham. Fourth-seeded Stamford, which is riding an eight-game winning streak and is undefeated at home, hosts 12th-seeded Davenport.