‘We were still in it’

The Dunkirk Marauders (1-2, 4-4) committed seven errors and gathered just three hits in a 5-2 loss to the Olean Huskies (3-1, 3-4) Thursday in CCAA Division 1 baseball action.

Both teams combined for just one earned run, tallied off a Drew Messina double that scored starting pitcher Kevin Burns in the bottom of the third.

“Even though we gave up four unearned runs during the game, we were still in it,” Dunkirk coach Frank Jagoda said. “I can name numerous opportunities we had to win the game despite our shortcomings in the field. I think the mental errors cost us just as well. We had guys on base. We had a guy on second base, a guy on third and we couldn’t bring them in. We had guys on first and third with two outs and my No. 4 hitter up and we get picked off. You can have one or the other, but you can’t have both.”

Olean scored first in the top of the third inning as Colby Cummings reached base with a single off Burns and stole second. He eventually scored off two wild pitches.

Dunkirk answered back with a pair in the bottom frame as Juliam Fred was hit by a pitch and moved to second off a Edwin Gomez sacrifice bunt. Fred scored on a groundball error that allowed Burns to reach first base and score on the Messina double.

The Huskies returned fire with two in the top of the fifth as Brock Blobski reached on a single while Matt Smith did the same on an error. An error allowed Brad Painter to reach first and Blobski to score. A Luke Hennessy base hit allowed Painter to cross home plate.

Olean could have plated another run or two if it wasn’t for a stellar catch by Ryan Ruiz to rob Olean’s Ben McGraw.

“Ruiz made one of the best catches you’ll ever want to see in a high school game,” Jagoda said. “A Willie Mays catch, an outstanding play out of my centerfielder.”

The Huskies added one run each in the sixth and the seventh. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Smith reached on an error and scored via a McGraw hit. Evan Ryan had a single in the seventh, stole second and eventually came in on a Cummings fielder’s choice.

Both pitchers went the distance. McGraw earned the win after he struck out five Marauders, walked three and allowed an earned run on three hits. Burns earned the loss despite an eight-strikeout effort in which he walked three and allowed seven hits.

“I thought both pitchers pitched outstanding,” Jagoda said. “I thought we had some real quality at-bats against McGraw. I thought we battled the entire game and we certainly could have won today. I give Burns a lot of credit today. He threw a great game against a great team.”

Dunkirk won’t have to wait long to get revenge. The two teams will meet again today in Olean.

“Our kids got a taste of Olean,” Jagoda said. “I think they can beat them. I think they have a lot of aspirations to be a really good team. We’re going into (today’s) game with a lot of confidence.”

Gowanda 3,?Southwestern 0

GOWANDA – Gowanda freshman pitcher Joe Kruszka found himself in a pitcher’s duel with Southwestern sophomore Jesse Bryerton.

In the end, it was Kruszka and the Panthers (4-2, 7-2) who prevailed with a 3-0 victory over the Trojans (0-5, 2-6) on Thursday in CCAA Division 1 high school baseball.

Both pitchers went the distance. Kruszka struck out seven and did not allow a walk while yielding three hits. Bryerton did not strike out anyone and walked just three while giving up seven hits.

“No walks was huge,” Gowanda coach Tim Smith said of Kruszka. “We talked about the scouting report going into the game with all their hitters and he followed it to a T. He was out there throwing strikes making them hit his pitches. He had a confident defense behind him.

“Joey got the best of (Bryerton) today,” Smith continued. “Bryerton knew what he was doing. We scratched out a few more base hits than they did.”

The Panthers scored a run in each of the first three innings. With the bases loaded, Ryan Boutelle grounded into a double play to plate Jon McCarthy for a 1-0 lead.

In the second inning, Carter Benton belted an RBI single to score Chase Williams for a 2-0 lead.

Gowanda’s third run came when Cole Dailey grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Boutelle.

“It was just a quality high school baseball game,” Smith said.

Gowanda hosts Fredonia tonight under the lights at 7:30 p.m.