Off to an impressive start

LAKEWOOD – There’s a lot of places in the batting order that would be perfect for Fredonia standout Cody Smith.

“He could be our two hitter, he could be our six hitter or our seven hitter,” Hillbillies coach Vince Gullo said on Monday evening. “But Cody is our nine hitter, and that’s a great spot for him right now.”

His performance at Packard Field on Monday certainly seems to support that contention.

With the game knotted at one run apiece in the top of the fourth inning, Smith dropped a two-out blooper into center field off opposing pitcher Jake Pilling, scoring teammates Jude Gardner (2-for-4) and Cameron Voss, to break the game open and send the Hillbillies to a 5-1 victory over the host Southwestern Trojans.

The win, which was Fredonia’s fifth straight against Southwestern, improved the defending Section 6 Class B-2 champions’ record to an unblemished 6-0 overall and 1-0 in league.

Pilling took the loss for Southwestern, which fell to 2-4 and 0-1, allowing five runs on five hits and four walks over five innings pitched.

Smith would connect on one more single (a scorcher past Southwestern shortstop Kyle Radack) in the sixth inning, ending the contest with two hits in two at-bats and a walk.

Most important, however, were those two fourth-inning RBIs.

“Cody is getting a lot of pitches to see with Nick (Hart, Fredonia’s standout leadoff hitter) on deck, and he is making the most of his opportunities,” Gullo said. “That was a big, clutch base hit for us, a two-out single.”

Pilling, who labored somewhat over the first two innings, had almost escaped unharmed during the pivotal fourth frame, but a pair of unofficial “errors” extended the inning enough to allow Smith, and later Weston Ley, opportunities to hit – opportunities the pair made sure to make the most of.

Gardner opened the frame with a groundball single up the middle and then Voss reached first safely after dropping down a bunt. Though Pilling had fielded Voss’ intended sacrifice bunt cleanly, he had to double clutch the throw to second because neither his shortstop nor his second baseman had immediately moved over to cover the bag.

Pilling managed to get the next two batters, but couldn’t get the final out against Smith, who was able to move to second after his eventual game-winning hit following an errant throw past the cutoff man by Southwestern center fielder Nick Baglia. Then, after walking Hart, the Southwestern senior allowed another base hit, this time to Weston Ley (2-for-4, two RBIs), which scored both Smith and Hart and pushed the Hillbillies to the winning margin.

“We had two errors that were big,” Southwestern coach Darin Beckerink said. “I don’t know if they counted as errors, but the fact that we picked up the bunt and the fielder didn’t get (to second base) in time, that was an error that cost us. And, I hate to say it, the little bleeder they hit into center and us not hitting the cutoff coming into second base. That’s the four runs right there, that’s it.”

With Fredonia ace Trent Thompson on the mound, that was it.

Though Thompson, who was the lone area underclassman to be named to last year’s New York State Sportswriters Association all-state first team, struggled with his command early – he allowed four hits in the first two innings, including a leadoff double to Matt Martin and an RBI single to Baglia in the second inning – he buckled down from the third inning on, retiring 16 of the final 19 batters he faced.

“Trent had a good game,” Gullo said. “He struggled early locating his fastball, but once the third inning came around he started working the strike zone properly and his off-speed pitches were phenomenal. He’s a gamer, you know? His fastball wasn’t quite there, but he stuck with it and he kept them off balance.”

Thompson, who earned the complete game victory behind a four-hit, no-walk, seven-strikeout performance, has beaten Southwestern in each of his last four outings against the squad.

Fredonia will be looking to keep its perfect record in tact on Wednesday when it hosts Falconer. Southwestern, meanwhile, is right back in action today against host Allegany-Limestone.

Falconer 14, Dunkirk 7

FALCONER – For the first time since coach Chris Schrader took over the baseball helm, he defeated Dunkirk in Division 1 baseball Monday.

Falconer broke a 5-5 tie with a six-run fourth inning on the way to a 14-7 in the opener for both teams in the league.

Gibson Stuart slammed a two-run double, Jimmy Schwab had a two-run single, Brandon Fish ripped an RBI single and the other runs crossed on an error during the six-run outburst that put the Golden Falcons ahead for good.

Dan Williamson was the winning pitcher and started off the fourth with a double. He wound up with three hits, including two doubles. Stuart and Schwab added two hits with Schwab finishing with three RBIs and Williamson joining Stuart with two RBIs.

Fish also had two hits and Mike Wilcox a triple for the Golden Falcons, who matched Dunkirk by scoring four runs in the first inning.

Zak Mata relieved Williamson in the sixth and gave up two runs for Falconer. However, in the seventh he pitched a scoreless inning

Drew Messina went five innings for Dunkirk and picked up the setback.

Ryan Ruiz stroked three hits, Messina and Sam Pepe RBI doubles and Alex Kubera a single in the loss.

Gowanda 12,

Allegany-Limestone 8

GOWANDA – After Allegany-Limestone tied the score, 5-all, the Gowanda Panthers (1-0, 4-0) erupted for seven runs to hold off the Gators (0-1, 1-4), 12-8, Monday in CCAA Division 1 high school baseball.

Joey Kruszka had a two-run double, Cole Daley added a one-run single and Matt Kruszka had a two-run single to highlight the seven-run inning.

Walker Cygan, Shane DeLeo, Matt Kruszka and Justin Grimm shared mound duties for the winners.

Joe Kruszka went 2 for 4 with a double and three runs while Matt Kruszka was 3 for 4 with 3 doubles.

“It can’t get any better than that,” Gowanda coach Tim Smith said of his team’s 4-0 start. “That doesn’t mean we are a great team. The best thing about it this win is we battled. The past couple years we might have folded when we watch a lead slip away. We battled and it was great to see them react. These guys have worked for it and to this point they deserve what they have. When we face some of these “better teams” we have to play a better game defensively and be better on the mound.”

Division 2

Catt. LV 11, Silver Creek 5

CATTARAUGUS – The Silver Creek Black Knights (0-1, 2-3) committed eight errors and had just three hits at the plate in an 11-5 defeat to Cattaraugus-Little Valley (1-0, 2-0) on Monday in CCAA Division 2 high school baseball.

The Black Knights scored all five runs in the second inning, highlighted by an Anthony Morales three-run triple.

Tony Strong and Nick Iskra had the only other hits for Silver Creek – both singles.

“We didn’t play very well and we hope to pick things up when we play Nichols (today),” Silver Creek coach Mike Janisch said.

Division 3

Pine Valley 5, Westfield 0

WESTFIELD – Tyler Swanson struck out eight and scattered five hits in a complete-game effort to lead the Pine Valley Panthers to a 5-0 shutout of Westfield on Monday in CCAA Division 3 high school baseball.

“He mixed a lot of pitches,” Westfield coach Doug Kaltenbach said. “We had terrible base running. We had bases loaded in the first and our guy got picked off second. We had two other guys get picked off too. We had our chances, but shot ourselves in the foot.”

The Panthers scored a run in the third inning as Lucas Trombley drove in Winfred Nelson. In the sixth inning, Thomas Raiport stole third base and scored on an error.

Trombley went 2 for 4 for the Panthers.

West Valley 8, Brocton 2

BROCTON – The West Valley Wildcats (1-0, 4-0) took advantage of struggles by the Brocton Bulldog (0-1, 0-3) battery en route to an 8-2 win Monday in the CCAA Division 4 baseball opener for both teams.

West Valley scored three runs in the top of the third off an error, a passed ball by Brocton catcher Dan Ferguson and a wild pitch by starter Scot Laurie. The Wildcats added two in the fourth before adding a trio of insurance runs in the seventh. Patrick Enser’s single brought in brother Marcus and accounted for the only run batted in all afternoon by West Valley while two more runs scored on a throwing error.

“We had some walks, passed balls, wild pitches and hit batters,” Brocton coach Terry Presto said.

Dylan Westphal started the game for West Valley and allowed one hit while striking out three batters before leaving after the second inning with an injury. Cole Stanbro came on in relief and earned the win after a five-inning outing in which he struck out nine batters, walked three and scattered a trio of hits.

Patrick Enser was also the only Wildcat to record more than one hit in a 2 for 4 outing.

Laurie earned the loss for the Bulldogs after he walked five batters, struck out eight and allowed four hits in five innings of work. Macalum Buchanan tossed the final two innings and struck out three, walked two and allowed three hits.

“It was his first time on the mound and I think he did a pretty good job,” Presto said regarding Buchanan.

Jordan Patterson went 3 for 4 to lead Brocton at the plate while Nash Delcamp went 1 for 3 with an RBI.

Brocton travels to Ellicottville in search of win No. 1 Wednesday while West Valley hosts North Collins.

North Collins 12, Clymer 8

NORTH COLLINS – North Collins’ Jared Keppel was the winning pitcher and also earned the save as the Eagles (1-1) held off Clymer (0-1, 0-2), 12-8, Monday in CCAA Division 4 high school baseball.

Keppel, pitched the first six innings and left with a 12-4 lead. After Clymer chipped away at the lead and cut the deficit, 12-8, and put runners on first and second, Keppel re-entered the game as the pitcher and struck out the last two batters for the save.

With the score tied, 4-all after three innings, the Eagles scored four runs in the forth and four more runs in the fifth.

Brandon Zielinski led the charge with two RBI singles. Keppel helped his own cause with a two-out, three-run homer in the fourth inning. Keppel had two hits in the game and had five RBIs.

The Pirates’ Dan Lictus had two hits and five RBIs and Austin Kramer had two hits and as many RBIs.

“We just scrapped,” North Collins coach Paul Kellner said. “We stole a lot of bases. We put pressure on them. We were fortunate they kicked it around and we took advantage. We will take any win we can get.”

Pine Valley returns to action Wednesday at West Valley.

Ripley 23, Ellicottville 2

RIPLEY – The Ripley Eagles used 14 hits to dismantle Ellicottville, 23-2, Monday in CCAA Division 4 high school baseball.

The win gives Ripley its second win of the season which matches the win total of the team’s last two years combined.

“We are keeping our errors down and making contact,” Ripley coach Ken Rowe said. “In Class D, you have to put the ball in play. We are hitting the ball hard. It’s nice to get a couple convincing wins and get a positive attitude.”

Trevor Enterline led the offensive outburst as he was 4 for 4 with three RBIs and Logan Miller drove in four runs with his three hits. Cody Bird and Mike Lisek each had two hits with a double for the victors.

Enterline was the winning pitcher as he struck out seven and gave up just three hits in five innings.

ECIC Division 3

Lake Shore 4, Cheektowaga 3

ANGOLA – The Lake Shore Eagles (1-0, 2-2) rallied to score two runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Cheektowaga Warriors (0-1, 0-1), 4-3, Monday in ECIC Division 3 baseball action.

Dane Cala led off the frame with a triple off Cheektowaga starter John Malkowski and scored on a Christ Conley double. Matt Kardac singled off Warrior reliever Matt Stroud to score Conley and win the game.

“The inning before, we had bases loaded and didn’t score,” Lake Shore coach Bob Kowal said. “In all honesty, it’s having the right part of the order up at the right time of the game. Had Malkowski faced the bottom of the order it would have been a different story. Cala hit the ball all day and had nothing to show for it.”

Conley opened the contest’s scoring with a two-run homer in the bottom of the third while Cheektowaga answered back with two runs in the top of the fourth. With the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Jon Corber hit a single off Matt Brzozowiec to give the Warriors a 3-2 advantage.

“We had five errors,” Kowal said. “We were plain lucky to win. Cheektowaga was very good. They were impeccable. I kept waiting for them to crack and they didn’t.”

Brzozowiec earned the win after relieving starter Ryan Joslyn in the sixth. He walked one in two innings of work and added two hits at the plate. Joslyn struck out four in five innings of work.

Conley had two doubles and a home run in a winning effort for Lake Shore.

Malkowski was the hard-luck loser for the Warriors after six-plus innings in which he struck out four and walked two.

“If you face that Malkowski kid you’re going to struggle,” Kowal said.

Lake Shore hosts East Aurora Wednesday.