Tarp Skunks Win Home Opener
Four Pitchers Combine To Shut Out Muckdogs
Two hours before the Jamestown franchise in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League played its 2021 home opener, the local band, “For the People,” performed “Glory Days” during a tailgate party outside Diethrick Park.
As it turned out, it was rather prophetic.
With apologies to Bruce Springsteen, Thursday night turned out to be glorious indeed.
Four pitchers didn’t allow a run and the Tarp Skunks used small ball in the fifth inning to break the game open en route to a 9-0 victory before 1,532 delighted fans on a beautiful night on the city’s eastside.
“I wasn’t sure how we were going to win, but I did have a good feeling going into this that we were going to win,” Jamestown manager Jordan Basile said. “Usually it seems like it’s never easy — and I don’t want to say this was easy — but it was nice to be able to take a couple breaths and relax.”
Left-handers Ryan Bradarich (Nova Southeastern), Justin Guiliano (Canisius), Brandon Demma (Wagner) and Dane Padrnos (Palomar Community College) scattered six hits and struck out eight to help Jamestown improve to 5-1 on the season heading into tonight’s 7 o’clock home game against Elmira.
The Tarp Skunks will be tough to beat if they play like they did last night.
“These guys are all-in all the time,” Basile said. “They’re meshing like a special team. When I can sit back and I don’t have to say a whole lot and the team kind of runs itself, those are the kinds of players you want around you.”
While the quartet of left-handers did their job on the mound, Jamestown used three consecutive bunts and took advantage of three Batavia errors in the decisive fifth to put the game out of reach.
“We were going to keep bunting until they showed us they could field it, and our pitchers did a great job,” Basile said. “The guys came in and competed and ended up with a shutout.”
The Tarp Skunks jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings, courtesy of Luke Turner’s infield RBI single in the first inning and Anthony Badala (The Citadel) led off the second with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Justin Bailey (North Georgia) off Muckdogs’ starter and losing pitcher Dathon Mcgrath. As it turned out, that was more than enough for Bradarich, Guiliano, Demma and Padrnos.
Bradarich wiggled himself out of several early jams as he left two Muckdogs’ runners standed in each of the second, third and fourth innings. In the fifth — his final inning — he retired the side in order, aided by an outstanding diving stop by third baseman Danny Hosley (Norfolk State), who threw out the runner at first. Bradarich then struck out Abner Benitez looking to end the inning and his night.
“He’s a competitor,” Basile said of Bradarich. “When more and more guys get on base, the more he focuses. He started using his changeup and curveball a little more.”
When Padrnos recorded the final out in the top of the ninth, the Tarp Skunks sprinted from the dugout and celebrated the Jamestown franchise’s first home victory in roughly 1,000 days. As they left the field and for the clubhouse, the music playing on the public-address system — “Taking Care of Business — was more than appropriate.
“A lot of credit goes to (Tarp Skunks director of business & sales operations) Jacob Kindberg … and everybody else that’s involved … for putting this together,” Basile said. “He’s had a lot on his plate to get this organized. … The staff, the crowd that was here, the on-field events, it was a cool feeling. It gives you chills.”
As 80th anniversary parties go — the first game played at the ballpark on Falconer Street was on June 5, 1941, also against Batavia — this one couldn’t have gone any better for the home team.
NOTES: The pregame ceremonies included recognizing Jim Gallagher, the honorary bat boy, for the evening. Gallagher’s brother, Jack, was the bat boy on Jamestown’s 1941 entry in the PONY League. … Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel threw out the first pitch. … Hosley, the third baseman credited with that great fielding play last night, will be tonight’s starter against Elmira.