T’Birds Earn Berth In Sec. 6 Semifinals For First Time
RIPLEY- For the first time in school history, the Chautauqua Lake baseball team (13-5) is headed to the Section 6 semifinals.
After spotting No. 6 Portville a 4-0 lead after two innings, the No. 3 Thunderbirds scored in every inning thereafter to come from behind for a 10-9 victory in a Class C showdown.
Panther starter Justus Elliot went the distance, striking out six and walking three.
He also led the Portville offense with two doubles and two RBIs. Sean Harris also had a big day with two hits, including a double, and three RBIs.
The Panthers jumped on Chautauqua Lake starter Kyle Mayer for four runs in the second inning.
Braydyn Wappat relieved Mayer to start the third, but had control problems, walking four in 1innings of work. Portville used those walks and a few timely hits in the fourth to score five runs and take a 9-5 lead.
Winning pitcher Tyler Meredith relieved Wappat in the fourth, pitching the last 3 innings with five strikeouts.
The Thunderbirds scored three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to tie the score. The winning run was scored in the home half of the sixth when Devin Pope singled, moved to second on a base-on-balls, and scored on Cody Sargent’s two-out, line-drive to left field that was dropped on a diving play.
Meredith then set the Panthers down in the seventh with a strikeout and two fly balls.
Pope finished the game with two hits and an RBI, while Avery Webb added two hits and two runs scored.
WOLVERINES EDGE MG
WESTFIELD – The No. 1 Westfield Wolverines scored key runs late to knock off No. 9 Maple Grove, 5-1.
It was a pitcher’s duel as Westfield’s Nolan Hunt tossed a two-hitter with nine strikeouts and two walks. His counterpart, Colin Stack, struck out 11, walked six and gave up eight hits.
In the fifth inning, Westfield’s Brandon Johnson had a leadoff triple, and Jon Wilson walked before Tanner Dahl knocked both in with a single. Robbie Burgess followed with a double to score Dahl.
In the sixth, Westfield scored two more runs as Trevor North had a leadoff double and moved to third on an error. Burgess then had a double to drive in two runs.
“Johnson and Burgess showed they were seniors,” Westfield coach Doug Kaltenbach said. “They took leadership when they needed to and just did it. We have six sophomores and a freshman starting, and we need the senior leadership from those two.”
Burgess had three hits with three RBIs and two doubles while Johnson and Dahl each had two hits for the winners.
SINCLAIRVILLE – No. 2 Cassadaga Valley found itself on the losing side early on, but roared back in style, rolling to a 16-3 victory over No. 10 Olmsted.
Olmsted jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first off starter Jake Watts. Watts was replaced by Matt Hollowell, who went the rest of the way to earn the win, striking out five, surrendering one walk, three hits and a run.
Cassadaga Valley came right back in the bottom of the inning, scoring four runs in the to take the lead and adding seven runs in the fifth to take control.
Kyle Ruge slammed a home run, three singles and and three RBIs, Matt Heath added two doubles, Chris Ellis connected for three hits with a double and Shane Parsons two hits for the winners.
Kyle McDuffie had two doubles for Olmsted.
Cassadaga Valley will now battle Chautauqua Lake in the semifinals.
MIDDLEPORT – On the strength of Eric Priester’s pitching, No. 5 Southwestern emerged with a place in the semifinals at No. 1 Gowanda at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Priester was flirting with a no-hitter until the fifth inning and wound up with a three-hitter, eight strikeouts and no walks as the Trojans (16-6) blanked No. 4 Royalton-Hartland, 4-0.
In recording his first shutout of the season, Priester didn’t allow a hit until Battatiste led off the fifth inning with a single.
Southwestern scored a run in the second inning and three more in third. Corey Bryerton drove in three of the four runs highlighted by a two-run double in the third.
Nick Swanson picked up a pair of hits for the Trojans.
ELLICOTTVILLE – Superb pitching by Tom Easton led No. 3 Ellicottville to a victory over No. 6 West Valley.
Easton worked six innings, struck out 11 and allowed three hits, two walks and a run as Ellicottville turned back West Valley, 12-5.
Alex Fisher and Robert Sawicki pitched the final inning for the winners and gave up four runs. Two of the runs came on Chad Boldt’s double.
Pete Hutchinson drove in three runs with two hits, including a double, Sawicki chased home a pair with a double and a single, and Cody Mowery added two hits and an RBI for the winners. Dylan Paprocki provided two RBIs on a sacrifice fly and sacrifice bunt.
Ellicottville now plays at No. 2 North Collins in the semifinals. North Collins defeated Sherman, 7-4, in quarterfinal action Tuesday.