Back on track

After falling 11-4 to rival Fredonia on Tuesday, the Dunkirk Marauders were looking to quickly erase the memories of the loss.

Unfortunately for the Southwestern Trojans, they were the team slated to come to town Wednesday as Dunkirk posted eight runs in the first inning en route to a 16-5 thumping of its CCAA Division 1 counterpart.

“It was big for us to come right out after a disappointing loss and set the tone,” Dunkirk coach Frank Jagoda said. “We were able to bear down and have some very good at-bats early. We saw the fastball, we hit the fastball and most importantly, we hit it where they weren’t.”

In the bottom of the first, Dunkirk’s Kevin Burns reached base on a walk, which was followed up by an Alex Kubera single. Nate Skubis walked as well to load the bases for designated hitter, Alex Crossan, who stung a ball down the third base line which allowed Burns and Kubera to cross home plate. Next up was Sam Pepe, who helped his own cause in a big way. The Dunkirk hurler was just inches away from a home run as the ball hit the top of the left field fence and fell back into play. As Pepe legged out a triple, Skubis and Crossan headed home to give the Marauders a 4-0 advantage.

Dunkirk continued to pour in the runs when Juliam Fred knocked in Pepe. Ed Gomez singled which was followed up by a Ryan Ruiz single that drove in Fred. The final two runs of the first inning came when Kubera singled up the middle to make it 8-0.

“The big play was the Pepe hit off the wall,” Jagoda said. “But we had a total team effort at the plate from all 11 players. We had some solid at bats from Alex Crowell, and Ryan Ruiz hit the ball well. It was nice to get some at-bats for those players who don’t see a lot of chances usually.”

The Marauders added three more runs in the third to make it 11-0.

The Trojans were able to answer back with their first run of the game in the top of the fifth.

Other than the one run, Pepe had a solid performance as he pitched the first five and a third innings for the Marauders.

“He kept the ball down and didn’t allow any hard hits,” Jagoda said. “He threw a lot more strikes than he did in his other outing against Olean, so it was nice to see him make some improvement. I also like the way Tyreek Ruiz pitched in relief. He threw strikes and it was nice to see him come through in a difficult situation for an eighth grader.”

Dunkirk added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it 13-1.

In the top of the sixth, Southwestern put together its best offensive effort as the Trojans scored four runs. The highlight of the inning was a two-run double from Kyle Radack.

The Marauders made the most of their final at-bats as Ryan Ruiz scored his fourth run of the game while Gomez and Fred each scored their third runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it 16-5.

Next up for Dunkirk is a meeting with Falconer at home Friday.

“We are looking forward to the Falconer matchup,” Jagoda said. “Hopefully we are a lot better than the first time we played them and it gives us a chance to go 3-1 on the week, which was our goal at the beginning of the week.”