PaliHi Alumni Beat Varsity in Baseball

Fielding one of its strongest teams in years and spurred on by the presence of former head coach Russ Howard, the ex-Dolphins beat the varsity team, 5-4, Saturday afternoon in Palisades High’s annual baseball alumni game at George Robert Field. The alumni led 5-2 going into the last inning, but the varsity made it interesting when Steve Nuremberg sacrificed Monte Hickok to third and Bryan Leishman singled to score Hickok with the third run. Manny Perez continued the rally with an RBI triple to right field that pulled the varsity to within a run, but with runners at second and third with two outs, ex-PaliHi catcher Nick Amos (Class of 2002) made a diving play at third base to end the varsity’s final threat. “The weather was beautiful and it was great for the guys to get out and play a real game, even if it was just for fun,” Pali co-coach Tom Seyler said. “And I learned a lot. Some guys lost their jobs and some other guys earned spots for our season opener. Quite a few guys showed what they can do.” Andrew Strassner was impressive for the varsity, with two RBI and two runs scored. Ace pitcher Geoff Schwartz started for the varsity and Turhan Folse finished while Tim Bearer (Class of `76) pitched two scoreless innings for the alumni. Spenser Kirksey, who played a pivotal role in leading the Dolphins to the City Invitational title at Dodger Stadium last June, went two-for-two with three RBI for the alumni and Walter Cale (Class of `02) made several dazzling plays at short stop and hit an RBI double to right center field. “Just like old times,” Seyler said, laughing. “Walter roped it into the gap on an outside pitch, right where he likes it. That’s what he used to do for us. He has that sweet, effortless swing.” Seyler and co-coach Kelly Loftus wished to thank Sharon and Dennis White, ex-PaliHi frosh/soph coach Bob Ryan of the American Legion and field maintenance guru Jerry Thomas for their help in organizing the fundraiser. Pali opens the season Friday at Newbury Park.