CSAT Baseball Collects First NFL Victory
This was a lot a more than just student verses teacher.
This was a confidence booster for the Eagles when it was needed most.
Leo Perdomo scored twice-including the game-winning run as CSAT stunned Kenmore East 3-0 in Niagara Frontier League baseball action that was played at “Sparky” Adams Field on Thursday afternoon.
Perdomo’s game-winning run came in the sixth inning when Jose Jimenez lined a single that scored Perdomo from second base.
“After all these games we’ve been losing we came together. We were clicking, because that’s what we were missing lately. So it feels good,” Perdomo said, as the Eagles improved to 1-4 in the league. “We had enough. It got to the point where you know, come on, let’s everybody get together. And this is what happens when you play together.”
This is CSAT’s first season in the NFL after playing in the Niagara-Orleans League for the last 11 seasons.
Coming off of a 13 win season and a deep playoff run the Eagles knew they had the ability to succeed in the NFL. But they needed the confidence booster of that first win to remind them that they can compete and succeed.
For CSAT coach Doug Whitehead, who is a Ken-East Class of 2003 graduate, there was a rush of emotions. Not only was Whitehead able to walk off the varsity field he called home during his high school days, it came against his former coach, Les Simon.
But for Whitehead, who also cut his coaching teeth as part of Simon’s staff, the best part was seeing his boys’ hard work get rewarded with the win.
“It feels good, but I’m more proud of my guys,” he said. “We’ve been hitting the ball well we just haven’t had the pitching that we needed in the beginning. Hopefully we can start making it roll a little bit after this win. It was a hard played game by both teams. It was fun.”
For Coach Simon, whose Bulldogs now fall to 4-2 in the league, there were a mix of emotions. He was happy to see one of his former players succeed, but at the same time there was disappointment in the fact that he felt they let a winnable game slip through their fingers.
Starting pitcher Mario Ruggerio put forth a good outing and the defense was solid-especially in the fifth inning. Austin Kowalski chased down a ball hit to deep left. Relayed it to Ben Shotwell who gunned the ball home where Tyler Horn tagged the runner at the plate, keeping the game tied at 0-0. Simon pulled no punches when he said on this day their bats let them down.
“Full credit to CSAT. Congratulations to Doug Whitehead on his first varsity win in the NFL. I’m happy for him,” said Simon. “An extremely disappointing loss because we showed up here tied for first place, again, full credit to their pitching but we didn’t hit. We left guys on base. Many guys had opportunities to get a clutch hit and we did not get any timely hitting at all. That’s the bottom line. We played good defense, Mario pitched a great game. We did not hit at all in the clutch and that’s the reason why we lost.”
JP Henry struck out six in his five innings of work to pick up the win. While Jose Jimenez closed out the game with two strong innings of relief to earn the save.
Perdomo added an insurance run on the seventh thanks to some heads up base running. Perdomo drilled the ball to center field, where it appeared that Bulldog center fielder Isiah Reyes had made a spectacular diving grab, but the umpire ruled it a hit. Perdomo ended up on second. He took third on a wild pitch then scored on an errant throw by Horn to third base that sailed over the head of Ryan Williams.
“I can’t believe it right now. This is unbelievable,” Perdomo said with a big grin. “Come on, it’s good.”