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Fox Catches Lightning, Miller in Briarcliff Win

Brad Fox’s first varsity start as a catcher Monday was a memorable one for the Briarcliff senior.

Fox got his first varsity hit in his first at bat of the game to spark Briarcliff to a 9-1 victory over Spackenkill in the Class B state regional semifinal at Pace University in Pleasantville.

Fox was pressed into service behind the plate because the Bears’ regular starting catcher Colin Orr was suspended for a game after being ejected in the Section 1 Class B Final last Saturday. Fox smacked a three-run double in the first inning, his first hit and runs batted in of the season, to give Briarcliff a 4-0 lead. The three runs would turn out to be the eventual winning runs with Spackenkill scoring once late in the game.

“It was my first start as a varsity player, first as a catcher,” said Fox, who seemed calm after his dynamic debut. “Josh and I played a lot together and we work with the pitchers in practice. I’ve known him since we were kids. It was just about keeping my confidence and remembering the small things, like blocking low pitches. It’s really great to able to contribute to this as a senior.”

Fox had been hampered by an ankle injury he sustained while playing ice hockey for the Bears. He was nearly perfect behind the plate as lefty Josh Miller rolled through the Spartans lineup, allowing just three hits over seven innings.

“He was really good back there during warm-ups and I know he’s smart and tough,” Miller said. “I threw breaking balls to set guys up and got into a rhythm. Brad got every ball in the dirt, he made every play. And his hit gave us a lead we needed early.”

Brian Huegel leadoff hitter stroked four hits to drive the Bears offense, which wasn’t really needed with Miller and Fox handling opposing batters.

“Brad’s hit was big because we had bases loaded and it gave us a nice lead,” Hugel said. “I think we hit the ball well, hit it hard and had big hits. That’s all you have to do when you get great pitching.”

And when your reserve catcher catches lightning in a once-in-a-varsity lifetime opportunity.

“We’ll try to keep it going,” Fox said “These runs don’t happen all the time.”

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