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BEDFORD, NY — Fox Lane’s offense lived up to its billing in Tuesday's season opener. The Foxes produced eight runs and mashed 10 hits, including six doubles at their newly refurbished home field.
Ketcham, though, proved that not only could it keep up, but it has the potential to be an offensive juggernaut in its own right.
“They’re a very good team,” Ketcham’s Billy Paskowski said, acknowledging with a sly smile that his unit was well aware of Fox Lane’s reputation. “We just wanted to bat better today.”
The senior outfielder helped accomplish that goal as he reached base four times, knocked in a run and scored one as well. It was just one of the many offensive highlights for the Indians as they outslugged Fox Lane, 13-8, in a rematch of the 2011 Class AA section title game (also won by Ketcham) and a battle between two top-five teams in MSG Varsity’s Hudson Valley baseball rankings.
No. 5 Ketcham (1-1) scored in all but one inning, breaking the game open with nine runs in the fourth and fifth innings as it sent 17 total batters to the plate.
“It gets everyone pumped,” Paskowski said of the offensive balance.
Eight of nine starters reached base, while seven had a RBI against five Fox Lane hurlers.
“Everybody just wants to get up there and get another at-bat," Paskowski added. "When one person hits well, you have the confidence to do that [too]."
Chris Haines and Gabe Felix each drove in a team-high 3 RBI. Seth Lamando had a pair of RBI doubles.
On the mound, Lamando lasted five innings and struck out nine in his second start of the year. The senior was sharp early, mixing in a blustering fastball low in the zone with a knee-buckling curve. After retiring the first six batters of the game, Lamando stranded runners in the third and fourth. The Foxes (0-1) finally broke through an inning later before the Coastal Carolina-bound senior gave way to the bullpen.
It wasn’t Lamando's best outing, but the Indians didn’t exactly need their ace to be razor sharp.
“I can’t really explain what my team did for me today," said Lamando, who threw in front of four major league scouts, armed with radar guns. “It’s amazing to have a team behind you hit the ball the way we did”
The Foxes -- ranked second in the latest power rankings --scored four times in fifth and batted around in the sixth plating another four runs, but the rally fell short. Ketcham’s Blake Coalla delivered a huge strikeout to end the sixth with the tying run on deck.
Jackson Kushner went a perfect 4 for 4 with two doubles, two RBI and scored two runs out of the eighth spot in the batting order. Richard Slenker had a two-hit, two-RBI performance and Dion Austrie knocked in a pair in the loss.
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