Cougars steal way to 13-0 victory

SINCLAIRVILLE – The No. 2 Cassadaga Valley Cougars stole 12 bases and took advantage of eight errors on their way to a 13-0 victory over No. 15 Western New York Maritime Charter School in a Section 6 Class C prequarterfinal matchup Friday.

The Cougars were aggressive on the basepaths early and often, finishing 12 for 12 in stolen base attempts.

“After the first inning we settled in and got it going,” Cassadaga Valley coach Joe Mistretta said. “The kids started timing the pitcher a little bit better and once we get people on base, we are pretty aggressive. We steal every game, every chance, every opportunity we have. For a first playoff game, they did pretty good.”

The Cougars needed only eight hits to score 13 runs as errors by WNY Maritime repeatedly proved to be costly.

Cassadaga Valley was held to a single run in the first inning before blowing the game open with 11 runs over the next four innings.

After failing to take advantage of three errors in the first inning, Cassadaga Valley recovered for four runs in the second.

Tyson Gugino launched an RBI double while Kyle Ruge and Matt Heath each had RBI singles in the inning. The Cougars also stole five bases to set the tone on the bases.

Five more stolen bases combined with sloppy defense by WNY Maritime led to four more runs in the fourth to give Cassadaga Valley a commanding 9-0 lead.

The Cougars managed only one hit in the inning, but a walk, a hit batter and two errors helped them push across four runs.

Ruge reached on an error and Jaquan Watts walked before Heath drove a deep RBI double to left field.

Another infield error scored Heath and Matt Hallowell – who was hit by a pitch – to plate the Cougar’s fourth run of the inning.

Two more errors in the fifth helped Cassadaga Valley add three runs to take a 12-0 lead before tacking on the final run in the sixth.

Hallowell pitched great in the win, allowing only four hits, striking out 14 and walking none on his way to a complete game, shutout victory.

“Matt is a senior so he’s been through it before,” Mistretta said. “He is a control pitcher and his curveball was working (Friday). He left a couple pitches up, but being a senior he was in control of himself. (Having a senior on the mound) makes a big difference.”

Heath did it all for Cassadaga Valley’s offense and finished 3 for 4 with two doubles, four runs scored, two stolen bases and as many RBIs.

Ruge was 2 for 4 in the win with four stolen bases, two runs scored and an RBI.

Jaquan Watts also contributed in the win with two stolen bases, three walks and as many runs scored.

WNY Maritime’s Brett Gwens took the loss, but pitched well despite the errors. Gwens allowed only six hits over five innings while striking out three.

“I thought for a freshman he did a pretty good job,” Mistretta said. “He had a lot of our hitters handcuffed. He kept the ball down early in the game and got groundballs from us. For as young as he is he did a good job.”

Cassadaga Valley will host No. 7 Olmstead in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday. Olmstead defeated No. 10 Franklinville 14-7 on Friday.

No. 3 Chautauqua Lake 8,

No. 14 Silver Creek 7

RIPLEY – No. 14 Silver Creek gave No. 3 Chautauqua Lake a scare, but in the end, the Thunderbirds pulled out an 8-7 victory in a Section 6 Class C prequarterfinal game Friday.

Chautauqua Lake trailed 6-3 after two innings.

Winning pitcher, Tyler Meredith, relieved Braydyn Wappat in the second inning and allowed only two runs and three hits over the final 5 2/3 innings. Meredith walked only two while also striking out five.

Silver Creek starter Adam Klajbor went four innings before being relieved by Nick Iskra, who took the loss. Klajbor struck out six, walked eight and allowed only two hits. Iskra struck out four, walked five and allowed two hits.

The Black Knights started strong with a six-run second inning, which included an RBI double by Kraig Gilbert and RBI singles by Iskra and Chris Williams.

The Thunderbirds battled back to tie the score at 7-7 with an RBI bunt single by Wappat in the sixth inning, and won it in the bottom of the seventh as Kyle Mayer hit a two-out single, stole second, moved to third and scored on a passed ball.

Mayer led Chautauqua Lake with three hits and two RBIs.

The Thunderbirds host the winner of Barker-Portville Tuesday in the quarterfinals.