By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
AVOCA — Day one of a brand new season back outdoors on the baseball diamond was a successful one for the Avoca/Prattsburgh Titans on a chilly Tuesday afternoon. Despite an explosive start out of the gate by visiting Genesee Valley/Belfast, the response the Titans answered back with created a bigger detonation, scoring eight runs in the bottom half of the first inning to pull away towards a 15-2 win in five innings.
“It was always great to get games in the month of March,” said Titans coach Dennis Miles. “I thought GV/Belfast got right off the bus, and they came ready to play. They missed a couple of starters today, but they still put up a strong two-spot right in the first. Matt Cater had the home run, and Evan Turybury had a triple off the first pitch, along with two good catchers calling a good game for their pitchers. They put up a good showing this early to start their season.”
Genesee Valley/Belfast (0-1) started their season on a big footnote in the opening frame with two colossal hits — a lead-off triple on the first pitch thrown by Haden Abbott, to Evan Turybury. He would come in moments later on a Matt Cater two-run blast to deep left field to break the ice with the season’s first pair of runs.
“Evan ripped a triple and Matt crushed one over the fence. We started off nice, but we couldn’t find a way to sustain it afterwards,” said GV/Belfast coach Kevin Scott. “We had some starters out that are key for us, and that allowed them to hit the ball well. We had some early season mental mistakes, which are expected with some young guys and some limited outdoor practice time, but we will clean things up and get back on track.”
But a short time later, the Titans would put coal into the steam engine themselves for a response of their own on offense, going on to post their 15 runs in the next three innings. Eight of them would come in the bottom half of the opening frame to allow them to ultimately pull away from Genesee Valley/Belfast’s reach permanently to seal the victory for good.
“I was pretty happy that we bounced back after giving up the two quick runs,” Miles said. “We scored eight right after their hot start, and that helped us to keep swinging the bats really well to start our season off on the right foot. Haden settled in very well soon after, and the normal routine was to get ahead with fastballs. But we went in reverse by throwing breaking balls, and that slowed them down a little bit to help settle things down.”
Avoca/Prattsburgh collected 15 runs off 10 total hits at the dish, with Dan Stilson providing the biggest bat of the bunch for the Titans, scoring four RBIs off a pair of doubles. Sawyer Devoe added in a pair of doubles himself, driving in two in the process. Chris Abbott had an RBI-double and scored two runs, and catcher Macoy Putnam threw out a runner, had a RBI single and scored. In addition, Jamie Reagan, Collin Hammond, Blake McConnell (double, RBI) and Jamel Crowder (2 RBI’s) all had hits for the hosts.
The win on the hill was awarded to Abbott, who went the distance with a five-inning complete game, fanning eight and walking one. The Titans are back on their home field on Friday, hosting Keshequa in a 5 p.m. first pitch.
For Genesee Valley/Belfast, Thai Norasethaporn had the team’s final hit on an infield single to round off the offense. On the mound, Cater fanned five and walked four during his tenure that went into the second inning.
Next up, Genesee Valley/Belfast will look to regroup after Spring Break, hosting Bolivar-Richburg in Belfast on April 11 at 5 p.m.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 200 00 – 2 3 3
Avoca/Prattsburgh 852 0X – 15 10 1
GVB – Matt Cater (LP) (5K, 4BB), Thai Norasethaporn (2) (K, 3BB), Garrett Miller (4) (3K) and Norasethaporn, Evan Turybury (2).
A/P – Haden Abbott (WP) (CG, 8K, BB) and Macoy Putnam.
Campbell-Savona 3, Wellsville 2
WELLSVILLE — While the Wellsville Lions were looking to get their season started on the right foot on Tuesday, the Panthers of Campbell-Savona had other plans in store for their road trip off to the east. Led by a complete sweep of all three singles matches, the Panthers played the role of spoiling Wellsville’s season opener on their home court, using it to put towards a 3-2 edge to exit town on a victorious note.
Wellsville (0-1) garnered both team wins with a sweep of both doubles matches, as the second doubles team of Joel Janssen and Jeremiah Pensyl gave them the first triumphant performance with a 6-0, 6-2 win. Following up later in the night was the first doubles squad of Shane Davidson and Jayden Acker, as the two Lions overcame a first-set defeat to create a massive bounce back win with a second-set tiebreak and a 10-0 pro-set win in the deciding set to capture the match.
Campbell-Savona scored all three of their wins in the singles matches, two via straight-set sweeps over Hua Qui Zhang at first singles, and Gavan Dickerson at second singles. Adam Iantorno fell in a 6-1, 6-3 defeat to the hands of Sage Brinkerhoff at third singles to round off the overall victory for the Panthers.
The Lions are back on the court after Spring Break, hosting Genesee Valley/Belfast in a 5 p.m. first serve on April 11.
1. Sam Kephart (C-S) def. Hua Qui Zhang (WLSV), 6-0, 6-0.
2. Trentyn Grant (C-S) def. Gavan Dickerson (WLSV), 6-0, 6-0.
3. Sage Brinkerhoff (C-S) def. Adam Iantorno (WLSV), 6-1, 6-3.
1. Shane Davidson/Jayden Acker (WLSV) def. Ethan Bonicave/Ethan Ignatz (C-S), 2-6, 7-5, 10-0.
2. Joel Janssen/Jeremiah Pensyl (WLSV) def. Catherine Hellrigel/Anthony Smith (C-S), 6-0, 6-2.
Photo gallery (tennis by Chris Brooks, baseball by Steve Harrison):