Thunderbirds advance to semis for first time in school history

RIPLEY – For the first time in school history, the No. 3 Chautauqua Lake Thunderbirds (8-4, 13-5) are headed to the Section 6 Class C semifinals following a 10-9 victory over No. 6 Portville in the quarterfinals.

After spotting the visiting Panthers a 4-0 lead after two innings, the Thunderbirds scored in every inning thereafter for the victory.

Portville starter Justus Elliot went the distance, striking out six and walking only three. He also led the Portville offense with two doubles and two RBIs. Sean Harris also had a big day for Portville with two hits, including a double and three RBIs.

The Panthers jumped on Chautauqua Lake starter Kyle Mayer for four runs in the second inning. Braydyn Wappat then relieved Mayer to start the third, but had control problems, walking four in an inning and a 1/3 of work, according to Chautauqua Lake coach Mike Cummings.

Portville used those walks and a few timely hits in the fourth inning to score five runs, and to take a 9-5 lead. Winning pitcher, Tyler Meredith, relieved Wappat in the fourth, pitching the last 3-2/3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.

With Meredith holding down the Panthers’ offense, the Thunderbird offense refused to quit, scoring three runs in the fourth and one run in the fifth to tie the score.

The winning run was scored in the home half of the sixth as Devin Pope singled, moved to second on a walk and scored on Cody Sargent’s two-out hit. Meredith then set the Panthers down 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Pope finished the game with two hits and an RBI while Avery Webb added two hits and two runs scored.

Chautauqua Lake now travels to Cassadaga Valley on Thursday.

Westfield 5, Maple Grove 1

WESTFIELD – The No. 1 Westfield Wolverines scored key runs late to knock off the No. 9 Maple Grove Red Dragons, 5-1, in a Section 6 Class C quarterfinal high school baseball game.

It was a pitcher’s duel as Westfield’s Nolan Hunt went the distance with nine strikeouts, two walks and just two hits. His counterpart, Colin Stack, struck out 11, walked six and gave up eight hits.

In the fifth inning, Westfield’s Brandon Johnson had a leadoff triple, and Jon Wilson walked before Tanner Dahl knocked both in with a single, Robbie Burgess followed with a double to score Dahl.

In the sixth, Westfield scored two more as Trevor North had a leadoff double and moved to third on an error. Burgess then had a double to drive in two runs.

“Johnson and Burgess showed they were seniors,” Westfield coach Doug Kaltenbach said. “They took leadership when they needed to and just did it. We have six sophomores and a freshman starting, and we need the senior leadership from those two.”

Burgess had three hits with three RBIs and two doubles while Johnson and Dahl each had two hits for the winners.