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Briarcliff Baseball's Offense Overpowers Fox Lane

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Tuesday’s matchup between Briarcliff and Fox Lane showcased two of the strongest baseball programs in the county in Class B and AA, respectively. Their offenses, in particular, are typically the subject of awe.

But Briarcliff’s Spencer Kulman largely shut down the Foxes’ bats and the Bears earned a 10-4 victory. The Bears’ offense has become something of a security blanket for the pitchers and the situation was no different on Tuesday.

“I know I have an offense. I wasn’t worried about that,” Kulman said. “I was looking to come here and at least limit their runs. I knew I was going to give up a couple, but I just wanted to limit them to a few and did a pretty good job of that.”

Fox Lane pitcher T.J. Hallock struggled with his command on the mound. Two hit batters in the second inning led to two Briarcliff base runners, and two wild pitches drove in those runs.

Coach Matt Hillis said the pitching woes continue to plague his team.

“We’re going four or five innings in a row,” he said, “we’ve got leadoff hitters on via a hit by pitcher, and those are killers. They score all the time,” Hillis said. “Things like that will go ahead and deflate you when those runs do score and you hope that the bats can come back. We showed a little bit of life, but still, it’s all coming down to pitching right now. Lack of command, not working ahead of hitters. We’re in a rut there, that’s for sure.”

Fox Lane scored three runs late in the game, but the deficit proved too large to overcome. Briarcliff third baseman John Fussell said his team needed to capitalize on the wild pitches and opportunities to advance on the base paths in light of the Foxes’ ability to score.

“As you saw at the end, they put some runs back on the board so it’s definitely good to get those insurance runs in, those extra runs just for comfort,” Fussell said.

Briarcliff’s victory over Class AA power Fox Lane showed that the Bears can hang with most, if not all, of the teams in Section 1. Fussell knew the Foxes’ offense could be just as potent.

“We knew coming it wasn’t going to be a blowout, 11-0, 10-0 game,” Fussell said. “We knew coming in it was going to be a game and we did what we needed to do.”

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