Pepe lifts Marauders to win over Frewsburg

FREWSBURG – Dunkirk (2-3, 1-1) broke open a scoreless tie with a five-run top of the sixth inning Wednesday, and Sam Pepe carried a one-hitter into the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Marauders earned an 8-4 win over CCAA West I baseball foe Frewsburg.

“Sam was the leader on the mound (Wednesday),” Dunkirk coach Frank Jagoda said. “It was a big confidence builder (for the team), because we didn’t think we played real well giving up 16 runs on Monday. We only had four hits (Wednesday), but we had some outstanding two-strike, clutch hitting.”

Zack Crandall got the Marauders started with an RBI single in the top of the sixth inning, which was followed by an RBI walk to Pepe. Then, Tyreek Ruiz drove in a pair of runs with a two-strike, two-out single, before Nate Skubis finished the Dunkirk scoring with a two-strike, two-out RBI single of his own.

“I thought we were pretty patient,” Jagoda, who picked up the 298th victory of his varsity coaching career, said. “But at the beginning of the game, I thought we took too many pitches. We had four called third strikes in the first four innings.”

On the day, Dunkirk was issued 13 walks to go with its four hits, two of which were picked up by Skubis.

As for Pepe, the Marauders’ senior leader on the mound, he finished the game allowing four runs on two hits while striking out seven and walking seven, five of which were issued to consecutive batters in the bottom of the seventh.

“His pitch count was high,” Jagoda said. “I wanted him to complete the game, but we couldn’t wait any longer (to take him out).”

Ruiz relieved Pepe and was able to end the Bears’ threat with a strikeout.

“We had very good pitching, excellent defense and timely hitting,” Jagoda added.

Dunkirk had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, as Jasiah Rivera and Gianni DeJesus worked back-to-back walks, before moving up on a ground ball off the bat of Ruiz. A Skubis fly ball to left was handled by Christian Proctor, who made a perfect throw to the plate to cut down Rivera, preserving the scoreless tie.

Cordel O’Brien broke up Pepe’s no-hit bid in the bottom of the fifth with a single while Tage Johnson added a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh for the Bears’ only other hit of the game.

Fredonia 7, Southwestern 2

JAMESTOWN – The Fredonia Hillbillies (6-2, 3-0) scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning to escape with a 7-2 victory over Southwestern on Wednesday in CCAA West I high school baseball.

The first six innings showcased two solid pitching performances as Fredonia’s Cam Voss and Southwestern freshman Niko Ponnes were sharp on the mound.

“Cam kept us in it,” Fredonia coach Vince Gullo said. “He was his old self (Wednesday). He was 100 percent strong and he kept us in it while we were struggling. Ponnes pitched a great game. He had us chasing his pitches. For a freshman, he did a fantastic job.”

Voss yielded four hits and three walks while fanning 10 in a complete-game effort. Ponnes went six strong innings with seven strikeouts and four walks.

The Trojans got on the board first as Ben Burk ripped an RBI single to score Nick Swanson.

Fredonia responded in the third inning as Voss had an RBI single of his own to tie the score, 1-all.

The visitors took a 2-1 advantage in the fifth, and Southwestern got the equalizer in the bottom of the sixth as Burk had another RBI single to plate Hunter Peterson.

In the top of the seventh inning, Fredonia charted six of their 12 hits. Matt Sheridan reached on an error and consecutive singles by Voss and Cody Smith loaded the bases. With one out. Mike Pucci belted a two-run single and Tyler DiRusso had an RBI single of his own. Weston Ley rounded out the scoring with a two-run base hit for the win.

“We made quite a few mental mistakes,” Gullo said. “It was nice the boys cleared their heads and pulled it together in the last inning. We have a lot to work on.”

Voss finished 4 for 4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored. Jared Burmaster, Ley and Smith each had two hits for the winners.

CCAA?West II

CLCS 5, Sherman 4

RIPLEY – The Chautauqua Lake Thunderbirds defeated CCAA West II foe Sherman, 5-4, behind a complete-game 10-strikeout performance by Braydyn Wappat.

Wappat scattered seven hits and walked five in going the distance for the Thunderbirds (2-1, 3-2). Wappat out-dueled Sherman starter, Jeremy Cole, who went four innings, struck out six and walked four. Ryan Robson pitched the final two innings for the Wildcats (0-2, 1-2), striking out two and allowing two hits.

Chautauqua Lake overcame an early 3-1 deficit after two innings, exploding for four runs in the third. Avery Webb led off the inning with a single and scored on Kyle Mayer’s triple to left-center. After a walk, Tyler Furlow ripped a two-run double. A groundout moved Furlow to third, before Cody Sargent brought him home with a sacrifice fly to right field to close out the scoring. Wappat then took over the rest of the way, allowing only one earned run over the last four innings.

In the top half of the seventh, the Wildcats mounted a rally with a walk to start the inning. A groundout moved the tying run to second and the next batter was intentionally walked to create a force-out situation. The strategy worked, as the next hitter hit a groundball to second baseman, Devin Pope, who tagged the runner going to second, before throwing to first to complete the game-ending double-play.

The Thunderbirds’ next game is today against Clymer. The game will be played at Ripley.

CCAA?East I

Gowanda 9, Randolph 2

RANDOLPH – The Randolph Cardinals (1-2, 0-1) dropped its first CCAA East 1 baseball game of the year Wednesday to visiting Gowanda, 9-2.

The Panthers were never in trouble thanks to Carter Benton’s complete-game performance on the mound which included seven strikeouts and no walks with two earned runs and 10 hits relinquished.

Mitch Maycock began the game for the Cardinals and gave up seven earned runs through a pair of innings with four walks and one strikeout.

Austin Mitchell finished the game in relief for Randolph and gave up five hits with two earned runs, three walks and five strikeouts.

Ryan Boutelle was the leader for Gowanda’s offense with three hits, including a double and two RBIs, while Cole Dailey managed a pair of hits with an RBI. Matt Kruszka ripped a double with a pair of RBIs in the win.

Nick Hettenbaugh was 2 for 4 at the plate for the Cardinals and Austin Mitchell was 3 for 4.