BELLEVILLE - The Belleville Senior American Legion team showed some comeback attitude this season, but sometimes the lead was just too much for them.
That was the case on Friday afternoon in the summer season finale.
On this day the comeback fell short with a 7-5 loss to Bloomfield at Belleville High School.
The Senior Bucs had a shot at a tie in the bottom of the seventh inning. With two outs and Belleville’s J.D. Rossi at second base and Steve Basantes on first, Gerard Gilfone got good wood on a pitch and the ball went flying into centerfield but the Bloomfield outfielder was there to haul it in and end the game.
"We battled back and had the tying run on base," said Belleville manager Joe Sorce. "Gerry (Gilfone) gave it a good run. If it had gone over the outfielder's head it would have been a different game."
Belleville finished with a 5-13-1 record, but their overall young team showed that they will likely make some strides next spring in the Super Essex Conference season. The Senior Bucs received good play for young players like Basantes and Anthony Rivera, among others.
Starting next April, Sorce and Belleville hope to have a nice mix of those young players and experienced players like Gilfone and Joe Anello.
Bloomfield took a 7-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning, but Belleville was not done.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Gilfone started a rally with a base hit. After Anthony Lantigua flied out to right field, Belleville’s Josh Caba sliced a pitch down the right field line that scored the courtesy runner for Gilfone and cut the Bloomfield lead to 7-4.
After Senior Bucs first baseman Joe Anello sacrificed Caba to third base, Belleville’s Jonathan Carabello came off the bench to stroke a single into left field that scored Caba from third base to slice the Bloomfield lead to 7-5. Carabello though was cut down at second base trying to steal.
After Gilfone continued to shutdown Bloomfield in relief, the Senior Bucs did not give up in their side of the seventh inning by getting the tying runs on base.
But it was not to be for the Senior Bucs.
Belleville's Keith Everett started the game on the mound and did not have his best stuff in the first four innings as Bloomfield took a 5-1 lead.
But Belleville showed their comeback attitude in the bottom of the fourth inning with a pair of runs from incoming freshman Basantes and Gilfone to slice the Bloomfield lead to two, 5-3.
In relief Gilfone really only gave up one bad pitch, that was to Matt Chiaravalloti who slugged a home run over the right and centerfield wall at Belleville. The incoming Belleville senior hurler also gave up one run in the top of the sixth inning.
One of the players that might have a big season next spring is Vinny Agosta. Agosta was 1-for-2 in contest against Bloomfield.
"He had a nice summer," said Sorce about Agosta. "We didn't expect him to play a lot this summer, but he was on the field 90 percent of the time. He got a lot better and he's in the mix for the outfield in the spring."