Baseball – Glancy Blasts Three Homers to Help RBC Survive Monmouth in Extras
TINTON FALLS - Red Bank Catholic coach Buddy Hausmann can't recall any team during his 11-year tenure as Caseys head coach that went the first 11 games of the season without hitting a home run and he was starting to worry it was getting in his players' heads.
During Wednesday's practice, he suggested his players embrace that they are not a lineup of home run hitters and to keep their approaches simple and geared toward taking good swings.
Whether or not Glancy took that advice to heart or completely ignored it, the end result was undeniable: the Caseys are no longer homerless and Glancy ended the drought in grand fashion.
The junior center fielder and leadoff hitter blasted three solo home runs on Thursday at Monmouth Regional and scored the winning run in the top of the eighth inning to help the Caseys - ranked No. 9 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 - overcome a late-inning rally by No. 10 Monmouth to pick up a 7-6 win in extra innings.
From Glancy's point of view, the hitting message at Thursday's practice did land with him and his teammates.
"The last few games, I haven't been taking great swings," Glancy said. "My swing was getting long and I wasn't making good contact, so I tried to get back to staying in the middle of the field and just hitting the ball hard."
Hausmann did not want to take the credit for his team's seven-run, 10-hit game, or for Glancy's career performance. He passed that on to his guest coach at Wednesday's practice - former Boston Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish, who dropped by practice to visit his old coach and his alma mater.
"He (Kalish) was working with a bunch of our guys and he spent some time with Glancy and I think that was a big help," Hausmann said. "I think it's good for the guys to just hear a different voice other than the coaches they have to listen to every day and when you have a guy like that who played in the big leagues, that's even better."
Glancy has some of the best tools in RBC's outfield since Kalish graduated in 2007 and his power stroke too center stage on Thursday. After grounding to shortstop in his first at-bat, Glancy crushed a 1-0 pitch from Monmouth left-hander Ricky Voss onto the football field beyond the left-field fence - a no-doubt blast that likely pushed 400 feet and likely cleared the mark. Glancy's first solo shot gave RBC a 1-0 lead in the top of the third.
"I've always liked hitting against lefties," Glancy said. "If there is a lefty on the mound, I always feel like I have a chance to do something. I think it's just the way the inside fastball usually moves back over the plate and that's what happened for me on the first one."
The Caseys added two more runs in the third on a two-run single by Nick Merlo and Glancy again stepped into the box against Voss in the top of the fourth. This time, he sat on an 0-1 pitch and lined it over the bleachers on the football field to stake RBC to a 4-1 lead.
With his second home run, Glancy joined a club of 14 Shore Conference players this season who have hit multiple home runs in one game, with two other players - Joe Sprake of Middletown South and Tom Ruscitti of Central Regional - joining the club with Glancy on Thursday.
With RBC up 5-2 through five innings, Glancy led off the top of the sixth against right-hander Seth Gonzalez and lifted a 0-1 pitch into the air to left and it carried over the bleachers again. Glancy trotted the bases as the first player the Shore to crack three home runs in a game this season.
"Hitting is mostly about confidence," said Glancy, who now has three doubles, two triples, three home runs and a .750 slugging percentage for the season. "If you are confident, you are usually going to do well because even when you don't get a hit or you strike out, you know you have the ability to do something the next time you get up to the plate."
Glancy's third bomb of the game gave RBC a seemingly comfortable four-run lead, but Monmouth would come alive in the final two innings after Hausmann lifted freshman right-hander Shane Panzini following five strong innings. No. 8 hitter Eli Rife woke up his dugout by slamming a two-run home run to the top of the bleachers in left with one down in the inning and Chris Anfuso followed with a single and raced to third after the ball got past Glancy - who had shifted over to right field.
Leadoff man Justin Scotto missed a game-tying two-run home run by about two feet, slamming a double off the left-field wall to plate Anfuso and plant the tying run at second base. After a ground out by second baseman Dante Ciaramella and a walk by third baseman Anthony Guarino, Voss delivered a game-tying double to the left-center gap.
After Scotto trotted home, Guarino tried to race home with the go-ahead run, but he Caseys executed a relay from left-center field, with third baseman Jack Scrivanic firing the ball to catcher Chris Sparber, who applied the tag on Guarino to end the sixth inning with the score tied, 6-6.
Red Bank Catholic came up empty in the top of the seventh, which ended with a back-handed snare by Guarino at third base followed by a throw across the diamond to first base.
The first two men reached in for Monmouth in the bottom of the seventh and the Falcons had second and third with one out after a successful sacrifice bunt by Charlie Kelly. Alex Gonzales - who moved to shortstop with started Vincent Bianchi on the mound trying to close out the game - fielded a ground ball by Rife and got courtesy runner Matt Kopp in a rundown between third and home. The ball nearly got away at home plate, but Scrivanic made the tag on Kopp to get the second out of the inning.
After a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, Scrivanic then fielded a grounder by Scotto and tagged third for the final out of the inning.
Glancy again led off an inning, this time facing Ciaramella in the eighth. Ciaramella jumped ahead 0-2 but Glancy worked the count full and took a pitch to his back to reach first base leading off the inning.
"Dante is a good pitcher and I knew he was going to come after me with good stuff," Glancy said. "In that situation, I'm not trying to hit the ball over the fence. I'm just looking to battle and get on base to start a big inning for us."
Alex Gonzales dropped a sacrifice bunt to push the runner to second and an intentional walk to Bianchi set runners up at first and second for Ryan O'Hara. O'Hara lofted a long fly ball to left-center that Rife could not haul in, allowing Glancy to trot in from second base with the go-ahead run.
Bianchi ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth, surrendering a double to Guarino and walking Voss with one out before handing to ball to sophomore right-hander John Nimeth. Nimeth recorded the second out of the inning on his first pitch and got the final out on a fly out to left by Liam Kile.
"We knew we had Bianchi available if we needed him," Hausmann said of his junior starting shortstop, closer and St. John's commit. "We've tried to take it easy with his innings early in the season because he plays shortstop and hits third and we need him there. Today wasn't his best day and it wasn't the easiest spot for him to come in. He was ready coming into the game, but the situation came up pretty quickly and we had to throw him in there.
"Fortunately, we had Nimeth available and he did a good job. He had a rough time at this field last year and that was something that was on our minds, but he handled himself well. He has matured a lot in the last year and he's a lot more comfortable out there."
Merlo caught the final out on the fair side of the left-field line and dropped the ball while transferring the ball from his glove to his bare hand. The drop prompted an argument from the Monmouth coaches and players, but the umpires maintained the catch was made and the ball came out on the transfer.
"We started getting a little too confident, which can be a problem for us at times," Glancy said. "Jon Michael Rotondo did a good job making sure we stayed loud in there. He's our captain and since he's been hurt, he has been a leader in the dugout keeping guys in the game."
"These games are fun," Hausmann said. "It's not always fun when they are rallying, but these are the kinds of games you want to see your team play in and win. Hopefully, this helps us when the postseason rolls around."
No. 9 Red Bank Catholic 7, No. 10 Monmouth 6 (8 Innings)
|RBC (8-4, 7-3)||0||3||1||1||1||0||0||1||7||10||1|
|Monmouth (8-5, 6-4)||0||0||1||0||1||4||0||0||6||11||3|
|Red Bank Catholic||IP||H||R||ER||BB||SO||PC|
|Vincent Bianchi (W, 2-0)||2||4||1||1||2||0||33|
|John Nimeth (S, 1)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||7|
|Dante Ciaramella (L, 2-2)||2||0||1||0||2||1||31|
|Red Bank Catholic||Stats|
|David Glancy||3-4, 3 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI|
|Vincent Bianchi||3-4, 2B, R, SB|
|Dan Ianelli||2-5, 2B|
|Nick Merlo||1-4, R, 2 RBI|
|Ryan O’Hara||1-4, R|
|Ricky Voss||2-2, 2B, 3 BB, 3 RBI|
|Anthony Guarino||2-3, 2B, BB, HBP|
|Justin Scotto||2-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI|
|Eli Rife||1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI|
|Chris Anfuso||1-2, 2 HBP, 2 R|