High School Baseball:
Friday, May 29, 1998
By Art Redd
It was another game of comebacks, but this should have been expected in a South Jersey Group 4 championship game. Cherry Hill East would jump out to a 7-3 lead after 3 innings just to see Cherokee come within one run in the bottom of the 6th inning. The Cougars would finally hold off Cherokee's rallies to capture the title. They would break open the game in the top of the seventh on Arnold Zappasodi's grand slam, and go on to a 16-7 victory to close the game.
The Cougars' bench was right into the game from the first warmup pitch by Cherokee. They would be behind their teammates on every ball or strike called. With that much support behind them, leadoff batter John Braut would get on base and eventually score the game's first run. Braut wasn't done with scoring runs. His 2-run homerun in second inning capped a 4 run rally to go ahead 6-0. After seeing their opponents pulling away, the Chiefs would begin to mount their comeback. They would score one run in the bottom of the second inning and then 2 more runs in the third. Ho Won Lee would hit a solo homerun in the inning.
Cherokee would bat around in the 6th inning and pull within one run. The Chiefs were right back in this championship game and gave their fans something to cheer about. But hold on here. The first batter in the top of the seventh inning had something to say. Chris Canosa would hit a fast ball over the left field fence to take a 9-7 lead and give East a little breathing room. After Canosa gave his team a two run edge, the next two batters would fly out to the outfielders. East would continue to score with two outs. Four batters later, the bases would be loaded for designated hitter Arnold Zappasodi. He didn't miss his opportunity and cleared the bases with a homerun. East would score eight runs in the inning and take home the title. Kyle Smith would be the winning pitcher.
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