One year ago, Friendship-Scio’s Joey Nickerson had a 3-RBI hit in the sixth to lift his team over Genesee Valley-Belfast.
While Joey graduated and is at Full Sail University in Florida, he passed the bat-ton to his brother, Tyler.
This time it was a game between Friendship-Scio and Andover-Whitesville.
In an all-out defensive battle, runs were going to come at a premium. Every time one team would find their way onto the board, the other countered with a response of their own immediately after.
With time running out to try and create separation, both squads were put to the test in the seventh and final inning. With Friendship/Scio holding a narrow one-run lead going in, it would soon be erased after a massive play by the visitors in blue and purple allowed them to tie the game at three.
All of a sudden, a walk-off would be the only way for the hosts to provide the final response. With the winning run standing on second, Friendship/Scio continued the game-long trend one last time.
They have Tyler Nickerson to thank for that.
At the swing of the bat, Nickerson delivered with a big punch for Friendship/Scio, as he poked a base hit straight into the outfield. A shot that ultimately garnered enough distance to allow Hunter Hill to come home for the go-ahead, game-winning score, emptying the dugout in the process to celebrate their first victory of the season on Wednesday in Scio by a 4-3 count.
Through the opening frame, Friendship/Scio (1-1) doubled up with a 2-1 lead over Andover/Whitesville to control. Both teams would exchange a pair of scoreless innings, including perhaps the best chance for the hosts to strike, providing a bases loaded opportunity. But a hit towards third base against the Andover/Whitesville defense saw all the runners being left on base.
The big exit off the field allowed Andover/Whitesville (0-1) to cash in on a momentum burst in their next at-bats. As a result, Landon Cook belted a big RBI straight through short and into left field with a runner on second. That run would score on the play to tie the game at two.
But like the first inning, Friendship/Scio answered back with a response of their own right after the game found its deadlock, as Ethan Davenport unlocked it with a crucial two-out single straight up the middle and into center field to take the 3-2 lead away from Andover/Whitesville.
The lead for the hosts in gold would remain after two more scoreless innings were traded between both foes, leading up to the epic conclusion in the seventh. Andover/Whitesville worked their way back from behind one final time to tie the game at three before the future of the battle laid solely on the shoulders of Friendship/Scio, who aimed to provide a game-winning spark.
After Hunter Hill reached base in scoring position, the game now hindered on what was Tyler Nickerson’s final at-bat. He made sure that the chance to win the game didn’t go unnoticed, as he smacked his game-winning drive into the outfield far enough to bring Hill home as the game-ending run to pull Friendship/Scio ahead with the game’s final move, en route towards their first win.
While the offenses were focused on getting their gears turning, the defense saw a pitching duel between Andover/Whitesville’s Layton Miller and Friendship/Scio’s Ethan Davenport come into full fruition, each keeping their respective opposition off-balanced from start to finish. Miller struck out nine and walked four for the visitors, while Davenport handed out 13 chairs and walked just two in his start that lasted into the seventh inning.
On the attack, Friendship/Scio outhit Andover/Whitesville by a 7-2 count, with Nick Sortore leading the way with a perfect 3-for-3 outing. Davenport added in two hits himself, driving in a pair while Hill recorded a double and scored the game-winning run in the seventh inning. On the other side for the visitors, CJ Estep had one of the team’s two lone hits.
Up next, Friendship/Scio will look to ride the momentum wave into Cuba-Rushford for a meeting with the Rebels at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, while Andover/Whitesville aims to rebound quickly back on the road tonight, visiting Hinsdale in a 5 p.m. first pitch.
Andover/Whitesville 100 100 1 – 3 2 2
Friendship/Scio 200 100 1 – 4 7 5
A/W – Layton Miller (9K, 4BB), Brody Carlin (5) (K, 2BB), CJ Estep (LP, 7) (K, BB) and Colton Calladine.
F/S – Ethan Davenport (13K, 2BB), Hunter Hill (WP, 7) (BB) and Landen Arnold.
Fillmore 17, Cuba-Rushford 5
FILLMORE — Right in the midst of their first term at the plate, the Eagles of Fillmore were absolutely relentless. On Wednesday, the Class D1 Champions kicked off their title defense with an opening frame that allowed them to set the tone immediately against visiting Cuba-Rushford, scoring a double-digit lead they never looked back from to complete a 17-5 win over the Rebels after five innings.
The Eagles (1-0) struck gold in the first inning with their opening at-bats against Cuba-Rushford, putting the gas pedal down on a 10-run frame. Their advantage was well-maintained all throughout the battle, despite a four-run second inning for each side immediately following, as they wrapped up with the game’s last three runs in the bottom of the fourth to force the 10-run rule into play.
Four different hitters for the hosts in green accumulated at least two hits at the plate, including Aiden Wagner, Luke Colombo and Damon Potter, as they all recorded a pair including a double. Nolan Krzeminski also had two hits, and scored three runs. On the mound, Colombo and Brent Zubikowski combined to hold Cuba-Rushford (1-1) to four hits, with Colombo grabbing the win with four strikeouts and three walks.
Zubikowski chimed in with four strikeouts and a walk of his own during his relief appearance.
The Rebels were paced by Jacob Smith’s tenure of relief, as he fanned three and walked one. At the plate, he was one of four different hitters to record a hit, joining Allen Fuller, Preston Bilotta and Dean Frank to ignite the offense.
Both teams will have quick turnarounds tonight in a pair of 5 p.m. first pitches, with Fillmore standing pat at home to welcome in Genesee Valley/Belfast, while Cuba-Rushford hits the road once again to visit Bolivar-Richburg.
Cuba-Rushford 0 41 0 0 – 5 4 3
Fillmore (10) 40 3 X – 17 12 2
C-R – Eli Sleggs (LP) (3BB), Allen Fuller (1) (2BB), Jacob Smith (2) (3K, BB), Braeden Wight (5) and Dean Frank.
FIL – Luke Colombo (WP) (4K, 3BB), Brent Zubikowski (3) (4K, BB) and Nolan Krzeminski.
CHRIS BROOKS PHOTO GALLERY: