‘Never give up’ mindset pays dividends for Utica Post


Not even being down to their final two outs trailing by one run was about to faze Utica Post.

“Just win it, we have to win,” center fielder Vincenzo Castronovo said to himself in the dugout as the inning was progressing.

After a Brandon Treen single and stolen base, Josh Raymer bunted him over to third with one out as the tying run, setting the stage for Rob Conley.

“I was just looking for a fastball to hit,” Conley said.  “Something to drive and get that run in.  Anything would have worked.”

Conley wound up drilling a triple into the right center field gap, easily scoring Treen, while putting Utica Post in prime position to win it.

“That was one of the best moments of my life right there,” Conley said.  “It was crazy and it felt great.”

There was still more work to be done, but Chris Godlewski finished the job hitting a towering fly ball that landed over the head of Oriskany right fielder Brandon Reid.

“We knew Chris was (going to win it),” Castronovo said.  “He just had to put the ball in play and that’s exactly what he did.”

The 5-4 victory capped a thrilling comeback that saw Utica Post overcome late 3-1 and 4-3 deficits.

“We never give up,” Castronovo said.  “When one person is having an off day, another person steps up.  That’s just how we go.”

It’s that mentality that Utica Post believes will propel them to the top of District V.

“I think we can go all the way,” Conley said.  “If we keep playing like we’re playing, hitting the ball, pitching, doing our jobs, no one is going to beat us.”

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