By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
LIVONIA — The burning question that surrounded the Wellsville Lions marching forward towards the end of their regular season was a basic one, but one that isn’t really easy to provide an answer for in any given scenario – How do you follow-up an epic no-hit performance provided by Logan Dunbar, 24 hours later?
The Lions knew the next challenge in front of them was not going to be trivial by any means, as they continued their season-ending road trip into Livonia on Wednesday with the goal of providing a sweep to the host Bulldogs remaining in the back of their mind.
A game that could provide a ton of Sectional implications in the Class B2 Playoffs.
It was a fast start that the hosts in blue and orange were able to capitalize upon right from the start against Wellsville, but it was also one that the visitors would dish out a response for later on, taking the lead away from the Class B perennial power.
But in the end, when it came down to clutch hitting, Livonia had one more card up their sleeve.
In what would be their final at-bats of the evening, the Bulldogs would bring it all together after turning up a significant amount of heat against Wellsville, as they took their 5-3 lead away by scoring the game’s final four runs in the bottom of the sixth, holding it in tact until the end to wrap up the contest with a narrow 7-5 win in their back pocket.
“We had a bunch of kids that swung the bats really well tonight. We were up 5-3 going into the sixth, and they led off with a pair of singles in a row before it started to come out from underneath us,” Lions coach Tom Delahunt said. “The start was a little rocky to say the least, but we settled in before they started to catch back on again to close it out. You can’t give a team like Livonia extra outs to work with. We did that in both the first, and sixth innings.”
Wellsville (10-8) would find a way to overcome a slow start to their game in the opening frame, despite finding the board first themselves, as Livonia docked three of their runs during their first go’s at the plate to take the early two-run lead.
Across the next two innings, scoreless frames of offense and stellar stints of defense were recorded between both teams before the action picked back up again with the Lions at the plate, as they scored four go-ahead runs beginning with one run coming across in the top of the fourth to trim their deficit down to one.
In the next, a bigger inning of play – three more runs inside the fifth inning, allowing them to overtake Livonia in the driver’s seat.
That was until the end of the game.
The Bulldogs cashed in big time during the last inning of batting, as the team provided a four-run stanza to jump ahead of the Lions, and for good, as they managed to hold down the fort from that point forward.
Despite the loss, Wellsville saw four different hitters all eclipse a pair of hits each, with Cody Costello paving the way towards a 3-for-4 outing, including an RBI and two runs scored. Jere Havens (two RBI), Cooper Brockway (RBI) and Aidan Riley (run scored) all chipped in with two hits of their own to add into the mix for an offense that scored 10 total hits.
On the mound for the Lions, Ty Vogel took his start through the sixth inning before being relieved by Havens, who would finish the game off, as he struck out six and walked three in his start.
On Friday, the Lions will now look to capture their first winning season under Delahunt back on the road one last time, as they get set to battle the Cuba-Rushford Rebels in a 5 p.m. first pitch.
“We talked about it after the game, that we have a chance to finish the sason on a positive note before Sectionals arrives,” said Delahunt. “We want that extra momentum to head into that. We’re fifth in Class B2, and Livonia is fourth. There might be a chance that we could face them at some point again in the tournament. We would like to have that chance to settle the score once and for all, while discovering some mistakes that we made and correcting them.”
Wellsville 100 130 0 – 5 10 4
Livonia 300 004 X – 7 7 2
WLSV – Ty Vogel (6K, 3BB), Jere Havens (LP, 6) (2K, BB), and Alex Green.
LIV – Conner Benitez (WP) (CG, 5K, BB), and Alex Benitez.
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Bolivar-Richburg 15, Genesee Valley/Belfast 0 (F-5)
BELFAST — The rain began to settle in right as Bolivar-Richburg and Genesee Valley/Belfast took the field to do battle Wednesday night for the final time this year in Belfast.
For Senior Night, the host JagDogs and their seven Seniors – Trent “Pete Rose Dive” Scott, Matty “Ice” Weaver, Jesse “Wild Thing” Babbitt, Max “High Octane” Miller, Jake “Gold Glove” Buchholz, Justin Hill and Gavin Szalay all wanted to make it a night full of fun.
Despite visiting Bolivar-Richburg coming out of the gates fast to set up shop, the JagDogs Seniors made sure that, despite a game-shortened 15-0 defeat to the hands of the Wolverines, their final regular season home game was one to remember for the time spent together, despite the less-than-ideal conditions outside on the diamond.
“It was a good night tonight for us and our Seniors. We let the kids have the game tonight so they can have a little fun in the rain. The boys set it up, they did the lineups, they picked who was going where in the field. They did a great job working everyone into the game to make sure they got some time,” said GV/Belfast co-coach Derek Kenyon. “We had some good stints on defense tonight and some routine groundballs, and we had probably the hardest hit I’ve ever seen get swallowed up by Gold Glove out there on the mound. All in all, it was a great game to be a part of.”
The Wolverines (18-1) scored the bulk of their runs off a mixture of special teams and four quality hits to get their offense going in the first two innings, where they would score a pair of five-run frames to ultimately set the tone for the evening.
Wyatt Karnuth would grab the victory on the mound behind eight strikeouts and three walks for the visitors in black and red, adding a double on offense along the way. In addition, Caden Allen (double) and Reiss Gaines (triple) each drove in three runs, while Trey Buchholz had a triple.
For the JagDogs (8-10), they garnered just two hits, with Weaver and Elden “The Magnet” Aquila both earning singles.
The regular season will conclude for both teams in the upcoming days, with Bolivar-Richburg ending theirs tonight with a 5:30 p.m. road trip to Campbell-Savona, while Genesee Valley/Belfast hits the road one last time themselves on Friday to take on Hinsdale in a 5 p.m. first pitch.
Bolivar-Richburg 550 32 – 15 4 2
Genesee Valley/Belfast 000 00 – 0 2 3
B-R – Wyatt Karnuth (WP) (CG, 8K, 3BB), and Aydin Sisson.
GVB – Jesse “Wild Thing” Babbitt (LP) (5BB), Jake “Gold Glove” Buchholz (2) (K, 4BB), Trent “Pete Rose Dive” Scott (3) (K), Matty “Ice” Weaver (4) (2BB), Max “High Octane” Miller (5) (K, 2BB), and Justin Hill, Babbitt (2), Thai “Stormtrooper” Norasethaporn (4).
Cuba-Rushford 11, Andover/Whitesville 9
ANDOVER — Over the hill from the softball game in Whitesville and back in Andover, the Andover/Whitesville baseball squad was looking to end their regular season on a bright note after going the extra distance with Alfred-Almond just a single day removed.
In town this time were the Cuba-Rushford Rebels – a team also looking for momentum themselves to take back home with them in time before their regular season home finale on Friday.
Through three solid innings of work on both sides, the hosts in purple and blue were able to grab a lead they wanted to work against the Rebels, jumping ahead by as much as five going down the homestretch.
But in the back half of the game, a complete flip of the script. It would suddenly shift into gear a back-and-forth duel.
Both Cuba-Rushford and Andover/Whitesville went the extra mile delivering runs against one another up until the seventh inning when one of them had the final word. That being the Rebels, as they capitalized on everything they encountered during their final tenure of offense, scratching across six unanswered runs to go ahead of the hosts and towards victory by an 11-9 count on Wednesday.
“I was happy with how the guys were able to battle. We are still learning how to win games,” said Andover/Whitesville co-coach Jake Bannerman. “All of the little things add up, and they can really make a difference. How we prepare to play, taking care of our arms between games, all those types of things are important if you want to become a successful program. Until we have guys buy into that idea, we will struggle finding ways to win.”
Right away, the Rebels (8-10) could not have dug out a better start than with a solo home run off the bat of Noah Siegel during their first at-bats of the night. But the response Andover/Whitesville would provide shortly after in their first at-bats was even greater, as they broke the ice themselves with six unanswered runs, four coming in the opening session to take a 4-1 lead.
After extending their lead to five a pair of innings later, Andover/Whitesville (3-14) would then engage in a back-and-forth trade with Cuba-Rushford down the homestretch until no more runs were left to be garnered. In the top of the fourth, Benson McCumiskey helped trim some of that deficit down for the visitors in gray and blue, as he blasted a solo homer himself.
Down 6-3, the Rebels would get no closer to Andover/Whitesville than a pair of runs. But when the seventh inning came around, they saved their best offense for last, as they went on to score six game-changing runs in their final tenure at the plate to tie, and ultimately go-ahead of the hosts for good to complete the come-from-behind triumph.
The Rebels scored 11 runs off 11 total hits, with Siegel leading the way with a pair, including his home run in the first inning. On the mound, the win was given to Jon White in relief, as he fanned two and walked two before coming in for Austin Pinney, who delivered six more strikeouts and four walks of his own.
On the other side for Andover/Whitesville, Brody Carlin struck out six in his start through the sixth inning. At the plate, Luke Erdmann and CJ Estep each paved a nine-hit game on offense with a pair of knocks each. Justin Waters would also add in two hits of his own, including a two-run single and another RBI single.
The Rebels will wrap up their home regular season slate on Friday, as they prepare to welcome in Wellsville for a 5 p.m. visit. As for Andover/Whitesville, they now await Sectional seeding from within the Class D field, as they wrap up with a record of 3-14 overall.
Cuba-Rushford 100 220 6 – 11 11 2
Andover/Whitesville 402 102 0 – 9 9 2
C-R – Austin Pinney (6K, 4BB), Jon White (WP, 6) (2K, 2BB), and Logan Lewis.
A/W – Brody Carlin (6K), Cormac Brown (LP, 7) (6BB), Landon Cook (7), and Colton Calladine.
Andover/Whitesville 9, Genesee Valley/Belfast 6
WHITESVILLE — A quick hop to the step was ignited by the Lady JagDogs of Genesee Valley/Belfast coming right out of the gate on Wednesday, starting quickly with an early lead to control against host Andover/Whitesville in the beginning stages.
But right after the hosts worked their way onto the board to cut their deficit in half, the bats would come alive. Down 2-1, Andover/Whitesville pushed their chips to the center of the table in the home half of the third inning, as they took the lead away from Genesee Valley/Belfast with a six-run stand that gave them the room they needed to escape away towards a 9-6 win on Senior Night in Whitesville.
“The girls pulled off a nice win tonight on Senior Night to end our regular season,” Andover/Whitesville co-coach Al Barber said. “Makaila (Brewster) got into a jam in the first, and again in the second but she was able to work out of both of them to continue cruising right along. After we took the lead, we were able to close the door on GV/Belfast gently to keep this win.”
After Genesee Valley/Belfast established a narrow 2-1 lead in the first two innings of play, Andover/Whitesville (7-8) went to work with their bats. With Olivia Waters scoring on a Makaila Brewster RBI single back in the second to jumpstart it all, the team would record a six-run third inning to overtake the Lady JagDogs in the driver’s seat.
The biggest hit of the bunch came off the bat of Kennedy Bledsoe, who had a big night herself on the frontlines, going 3-for-4 with a two-run single – a hit that came after Gabbi Hall and Gabby Terhune went back-to-back with RBI singles of their own to help put towards a completion of what was an impeccable inning of attack.
The hosts would go on to branch their lead out by as much as six with their final two runs coming in the bottom of the sixth, but Genesee Valley/Belfast (7-11) would turn up the heat in their final at-bats of the evening, posting three more runs to trim their deficit to three after Jenna Hall recorded a big one-out RBI double to lead the last second comeback effort.
But it would prove to be too much to overcome in the end, as Andover/Whitesville went on to record the next two outs consecutively to end the game.
The win was awarded to Brewster in the circle, as she gathered two strikeouts and four walks in her tossed four-hitter. As for her opposing dealer, Ashley Burrows fanned two and walked one across her three inning start for the Lady JagDogs.
On offense for the visitors, Hannah Southwick-Powers collected two of the team’s four hits.
The regular season is now over for both teams, as they now await seeding inside the Class D Playoff picture, which could happen as soon as today, as Andover/Whitesville wraps up at 7-8 overall, while Genesee Valley/Belfast concludes at 7-11 overall.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 120 000 3 – 6 4 0
Andover/Whitesville 016 002 X – 9 11 1
GVB – Ashley Burrows (LP) (2K, BB), Hannah Southwick-Powers (4) (2K), and Harley Proctor.
A/W – Makaila Brewster (WP) (2K, 4BB), Zoey Lee (7) (BB), and Gabbi Hall.
Friendship/Scio 17, Cuba-Rushford 0 (F-5)
CUBA — The Friendship/Scio offense ignited right away in the first two innings of play, establishing a lead against Cuba-Rushford that would progressively grow bigger over time, as they dropped their biggest frame of attack down the homestretch to solidify a strong end to their regular season in a 17-0 win over the Lady Rebels in five innings of Wednesday.
Like in many of the games this year for Friendship/Scio (13-4), Nevaeh Ross has provided a dual threat on both sides. It was no different once more as the sophomore held Cuba-Rushford down from within the circle while using the defensive momentum to score a massive 4-for-5 night at the plate, blasting a three-run triple to the outfield in the team’s eight-run fourth inning to put the hammer down for good.
Ross would finish with four total RBI and four runs scored of her own to pair with another dynamic performance from the rubber, as she struck out nine and walked one in her one-hit performance for the visitors. She was also one of four different hitters that would record at least a pair of hits to power the offense.
Furthering that cause was her younger sister, Morghyn Ross, who went 3-for-4 herself at the plate, adding a damaging RBI triple back in the four-run second inning to help set the table for the rest of the offense’s success.
Kiara Grover and Katherine Lamberson each added in two hits of their own, while Grace Drumm and Nora Thompson each drove in a pair of runs.
Cuba-Rushford (5-11) would garner their lone hit off a lead-off single from the bat of Riley Kelley in the home half of the second. On the mound, Sydney Howard struck out four and walked three in her complete game effort.
The regular season has now ended for both teams, as they now await Sectional seeding, which could begin as soon as today, with Friendship/Scio finishing at 14-3 overall, while Cuba-Rushford concludes at 5-11.
Friendship/Scio 240 83 – 17 11 0
Cuba-Rushford 000 00 – 0 1 7
F/S – Nevaeh Ross (WP) (CG, 9K, BB), and Morghyn Ross.
C-R – Sydney Howard (LP) (CG, 4K, 3BB), and Riley Keller.
Wolverines sweep season-ending tri-match against C-R, GV/Belfast
BOLIVAR — The regular season on the links officially came to a close for five more golf squads in Allegany County.
That included three teams that all met at the Bolivar Golf Club for one final tri-match, where the host Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg were able to squeeze out victories over Cuba-Rushford (36-16) and Genesee Valley/Belfast (31-24) to close the book on a winning season on Wednesday on Senior Night.
Gauge Robinson continued his brilliant end to his Senior career for Bolivar-Richburg (5-3). After qualifying for Individual Sectionals this weekend, he would go on to earn the final medalist honor of the season by firing the match-low round of 56 to help fuel his team towards triumph.
Adding help for the Wolverines was Maddox Day, who was not far behind on the scorecard with his round of 57. Fellow Senior, Ryan Greeson concluded his career with a round of 62, while Roman Johnston and Dustin Murray rounded off the card with a 63 and 74, respectively.
Genesee Valley/Belfast (5-8) saw both Will Guilford and Dakota Hemphill take charge at the top of their scorecard, as they finished their seasons with team-low round of 58 each. Chris Weaver provided a 64, while Deric Grantier and Addy Herring followed behind with a 71 and 72.
As for the Rebels of Cuba-Rushford (1-10), Sebastian Saulter led the way with his team-low round of 58. Cliff Karn had a 72, and Ethan Fries had a 79.
The regular season has now officially closed up, but not for Robinson, as he now travels to the Individual Sectional Tournament beginning on Saturday. Next week, Bolivar-Richburg, who will be the No. 7 seed, will travel for Team Sectionals to take on Caledonia-Mumford.
Fillmore 38, Hinsdale 16
RUSHFORD — The last two teams would take the center stage at Allegheny Hills in Rushford to help wrap up the regular season festivities on the links, Wednesday afternoon.
The final victory was recorded by the host Eagles of Fillmore, who would go on to finish their 2022 regular season campaign undefeated behind a medaling round from Anderson Wiltsey, as they floored it towards victory by a 38-16 count over visiting Hinsdale.
Wiltsey finished as the match’s top golfer for the Eagles (9-0), as the Allegany County League Champions saw him fire a match-low round of 49 to help set up a balanced scorecard. Following was Isaac Sylvester, who pitched in with a round of 51. Reid Cockle had a 54, while Will Roeske and Haley Hall finished with a 55 and 64, respectively.
Hinsdale (3-7) was led by a team-low round of 59 from Caden Miller.
The regular season has come to an end, as the Individual Sectional Tournament gets set to take center stage this weekend before Team Sectionals begin the following week with Fillmore, the No. 3 seeds, hosting No. 6 Wheatland-Chili right back at Allegheny Hills.
Avoca/Prattsburgh 4, Bolivar-Richburg 1
BOLIVAR — The Avoca/Prattsburgh Titans brought their a-game down to Bolivar-Richburg on Wednesday, as they struck gold with a sweep of all three singles matches to go with a first doubles triumph to set the tone on what was a 4-1 victory over the host Wolverines.
In perhaps the most exciting battle of the night at third singles, Avoca/Prattsburgh’s Connor Stewart and Bolivar-Richburg’s Ben Kisel fought tooth and nail in back-and-forth fashion the entire way in a match that saw Stewart squeeze his way through towards victory by a 10-8 count to help set up the sweep of all the singles matches.
The lone win for the Wolverines (6-7) came at second doubles, when the team of Dylan Crawford and Kayley Putnam-Bacon collected the win via forfeit.
The regular season for Bolivar-Richburg is now over, as they prepare for Team Sectionals with a record of 6-7 overall.
1. Ryan Stanford (A/P) def. Jacopo Canepa (B-R), 10-4.
2. Elias Putnam (A/P) def. Anthony Densmore (B-R), 10-3.
3. Connor Stewart (A/P) def. Ben Kisel (B-R), 10-8.
1. Gavin Mills/Bryce Schuck (A/P) def. Gwen Coats/Andrew Crawford (B-R), 10-4.
2. Dylan Crawford/Kayley Putnam-Bacon (B-R) by for.