Classic baseball game between Fillmore and Cuba-Rushford; C-R, Fillmore softball and baseball action (photos)


By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor,

CUBA — The Rebels of Cuba-Rushford were looking to give Fillmore another run for their money after their last meeting came right at the very beginning of the season. A battle that the Eagles assumed control of from start to finish to get their Class D1 title defense started on the biggest of footnotes.

But for the Rebels, it helped serve as an early wake-up call. Since the team’s 1-2 start to their season, they have rattled off victories in each of the last five games heading into Tuesday night’s epic clash with the Eagles in order to keep their winning ways alive.

But in order for each team to find the resolution they desire to achieve, they would have to continue working for however long it takes. In this case, for the first time this season, it would have to come in extra innings after a late Rebels run in the fifth forced a 3-3 tie for most of the night’s remaining moments.

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As the action began to shift into the ninth inning, a hero emerged. The very same hero that helped provide a massive and monstrous outing in the bottom of the eighth to keep Cuba-Rushford at a complete standstill.

That being Mitch Ward.

In on relief on a phenomenal performance from Damon Potter, Ward laid down the lumber on a hard-hit, perfectly-placed two-run double straight up the gut to break what was a 3-3 tie. After the Eagles forced the Rebels to their last at-bats of the game, Ward was able to get them off the field just as quick however, with the biggest of 1-2-3s on defense to help secure a huge 5-3 win — their sixth in the last seven games.

“This was a really great game by both squads. It was a great turnaround for us from the last time we played them right at the beginning of the year,” said Rebels coach Pat Wight. “I am beyond proud of our effort tonight. A couple of things go our way and we would have walked out with the win. Credit to Fillmore though, they are well-coached and they’re always a ton of fun to go and compete against.”

The action kicked into gear on a fast note for the Rebels (6-3) in the first three innings of play, scoring a quick run in the bottom of the first inning before adding a second later on behind special teams play around the bases, capitalizing on an attempted double play by the Fillmore defense that turned errant, allowing a run to score from third to extend their lead.

Both Damon Potter and Eli Sleggs would continue to deal for their respective clubs across a scoreless third inning, but Fillmore (6-1) would find a way to knock on the door in the top of the fourth with a Nolan Krzeminski knock straight up the middle and into center starting it off. Krzeminski would then use his legs to provide a steal on third before coming straight home after a throw to the bag went into left field, far enough for him to race home and score the game-tying run.

The Eagles kept cooking at the plate, and because of it, they were able to overtake Cuba-Rushford in the lead for the first time behind a huge Brent Zubikowski fielder’s choice, scoring Mitch Ward.

But just as soon as the visitors in green took the lead, the Rebels fought back and tied the game back up once again after a four-pitch walk to Braeden Wight and a single from Finn Ricketts allowed them to work their way around the bags and into prime scoring position. After a wild pitch goes to the backstop, Wight scrambled and rode his high horse in from third to score, deadlocking the contest for the foreseeable future ahead.

Both teams would trade numerous opportunities to try and break the deadlock clean off across the next three scoreless innings, including a stand for the Eagles where they caught a Rebels baserunner in between second and first on an absolute line drive that was snared by Aiden Wagner at third, allowing the third baseman to fire across the field to first to record the 5-3 inning-ending double play to close out the sixth.

From within the scoreless eighth inning, both teams loaded up the bags on one another, with Fillmore getting the first crack with one out. A chance to bring in the go-ahead run was stymied after an attempted bunt went straight into the air in front of Dean Frank at home plate, allowing him to secure the second out before Jacob Smith tallied a massive strikeout against Brayden Hennard a short time later to leave all the bases jammed to escort the Rebels off the field.

In turn, Cuba-Rushford would then load up the bases themselves in the bottom half of the inning. But after a resilient finish from Mitch Ward in relief, he would bounce back after falling behind 3-1 against Smith, issuing a pitch that results in a ground ball being fielded cleanly by Wagner at third to leave it all loaded on the field.

The defensive spark would transition into a game-changing eruption at the plate for the Eagles in the ninth inning, as Ward helped them take the lead on an absolute rip into center field. With two runners already in prime scoring position, both Nolan Krzeminski and Zach Sisson circled around the bases and scored to earn a 5-3 lead.

Now facing the final curtain for the night, the Rebels would ultimately see it fall down to close out the battle, as Ward’s tide-turning double allowed him to take care of business on the mound to pick up the win, shelling out one last 1-2-3 to help put a halt on Cuba-Rushford’s five-game win streak.

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Krzeminski and Ward led the Fillmore bats with two hits each out of eight total by the team. On the mound, Potter finished out a strong relief appearance with four strikeouts and five walks. On the other side, the Rebels were paced by Sam Grover, who had two of the team’s six hits, driving in a run in the process. Eli Sleggs fanned five and walked three over the course of his start that elongated into the seventh inning.

Fillmore will return to action on Thursday back over the road, heading for the Jungle in Belmont to face host Genesee Valley/Belfast in a 5 p.m. first pitch, while Cuba-Rushford takes a couple days off to regroup, as they prepare for tournament action in Bolivar beginning Friday night with a 5 p.m. opening round battle against Addison.

Fillmore 000 030 002 – 5 8 2

Cuba-Rushford 101 010 000 – 3 6 2

FIL – Brent Zubikowski (K, 3BB), Damon Potter (2) (4K, 5BB), Mitch Ward (WP, 8) (K, 2BB) and Nolan Krzeminski.

C-R – Eli Sleggs (5K, 3BB), Jacob Smith (LP, 7) (3K, 2BB) and Dean Frank.

More stories after this Chris Brooks photo gallery from baseball and softball:

Bolivar-Richburg 11, Genesee Valley/Belfast 0 (F-5)

BOLIVAR — 24 hours removed from a no-hit performance against visiting Hinsdale, the Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg reconvened on their home field once more on Tuesday to do it all over again, this time against Genesee Valley/Belfast, as the pitching tandem of Landon Barkley and Trey Buchholz combined to record a victorious 11-0 no-hitter.

The Wolverines (7-3) posted their first run of the battle right in their opening at-bats, using an early baserunning advantage to the fullest to break the ice. After both teams traded scoreless barbs in the second inning, the tires began to kick into gear across the next two innings for the hosts, as they posted a pair of five-run frames.

The latter of the two stanzas saw Reiss Gaines open up the floodgates with a deep ball to the outfield, rolling far enough to go down as a two-run inside-the-park home run. Gaines finished his afternoon as Bolivar-Richburg’s leading hitter, going 2-for-2 with his home run, a double, three total RBI and two runs scored. Aydin Sisson and Trey Buchholz each had two hits, while Landon Barkley belted an RBI double.

On the hill, Barkley was awarded the victory across his start that spanned into the fifth inning, as he handed out six chairs and walked one. Buchholz added two more strikeouts of his own in relief to close out the game.

For Genesee Valley/Belfast (3-6), Garrett Miller fanned three and walked three during his relief appearance. The team will head back home to host Fillmore in a 5 p.m. first pitch on Thursday in Belmont.

Bolivar-Richburg will host their annual tournament, as they get set for opening round battle beginning at 7 p.m. against Otto-Eldred. Prior to, Addison and Cuba-Rushford will kick off the twinbill with their 5 p.m. opening round contest.

Genesee Valley/Belfast 000 00 – 0 0 3

Bolivar-Richburg 105 5X – 11 7 2

GVB – Max Wedge (LP) (K, 3BB), Garrett Miller (3) (3K, 3BB) and Evan Turybury.

B-R – Landon Barkley (WP) (6K, BB), Trey Buchholz (5) (2K) and Aydin Sisson.

Hinsdale 3, Friendship/Scio 1

FRIENDSHIP — Just five hits were between both Hinsdale and Friendship in the midst of an epic defensive battle that unfolded in Friendship, Tuesday evening. Through it, garnering an early hop to the step was the most ideal situation to have on offense.

Luckily for the visiting Bobcats of Hinsdale, a spark during their opening round of at-bats was enough to keep their fire aflame against host Friendship/Scio, as they posted two of their three runs within the first three innings of play to gain an upper hand that was threatened, but never relinquished, as they squeezed their way towards victory by a 3-1 count.

Peyton Keller was the first to have a hand in fueling Hinsdale’s (2-5) start out of the gate, as he blasted a big RBI double — one of the team’s two crucial hits, to break the ice. More damage was added later on in the top of the third, as the Bobcats scratched across another big run to extend their advantage over Friendship/Scio.

After three shutout innings tossed by Landen Wyant, Friendship/Scio (2-6) was able to make their way onto the board in the bottom of the fourth, cutting their deficit in half with an RBI-triple from the bat of Ethan Davenport. But the scoring would conclude a half-inning later with a massive piece of insurance from the Bobcats, as they extended their lead back out to a pair where it would remain for good to earn the victorious edge.

Wyant went all seven innings for Hinsdale on the rubber, twirling a three-hit victory behind seven strikeouts and six walks. On the other side, Davenport was outstanding during his outing for the hosts in gold and black, handing out 15 chairs to go with a pair of walks in five innings pitched.

Coming up, Hinsdale will head back home to host Archbishop Walsh in a 5 p.m. first pitch on Thursday, while Friendship/Scio hits the road for Andover to partake in a 6 p.m. contest against Andover/Whitesville.

Hinsdale 101 010 0 – 3 2 1

Friendship/Scio 000 100 0 – 1 3 3

HIN – Landen Wyant (WP) (CG, 7K, 6BB) and Peyton Keller.

F/S – Ethan Davenport (LP) (15K, 2BB), Cooper Greenman (6) (2K, BB) and Landon Arnold.


Cuba-Rushford 8, Fillmore 3

CUBA — After enduring a tough loss over the road at Letchworth the night before, the Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford were on the hunt for an opportunity to turn the ship back into the right direction once more on Tuesday back home.

Although they engaged with the Lady Eagles of Fillmore in a quiet defensive opening frame of play, the fire was soon turned up a notch in the second.

The Lady Rebels had found their rhythm.

The tone was set in the bottom of the second inning for the Lady Rebels, as they used a deep lead-off double from Laney Murphy to set up what would be a five-run frame to take the lead ultimately for good, as they managed to ward off a late Fillmore rally from behind in the last inning of play to secure an 8-3 bounce back win for their sixth win in their first nine games.

Both teams provided a chance to try and break the ice early on in the first, placing runners in scoring position. But neither side was able to scavenge a key timely hit to free up all the bags in the infield, leaving the game scoreless.

In the second inning, however, the Lady Rebels (6-3) were able to finally find a way to crack through the Fillmore defense with a powerful five-run second inning, jump started by a lead-off double by Murphy.

The hit would then create an avalanche of runs that saw the hosts pull out in front with the lead, beginning with a Mireya Rutkowski single into left field. With their backs against the wall and with two out, the Lady Rebels dished out further punctuation with an RBI single from Aubrey Williams, and later, a two-run single from Taylor Searle to extend their lead.

Cuba-Rushford would go on to add three more runs across the fifth and sixth innings before the Lady Eagles ended the shutout with their three only runs in the top half of the seventh inning, as the Lady Rebels were able to shut down shop to secure the win.

Jordyn Radomski was the winning ace inside the circle for the hosts in gray and blue, fanning eight and walking five across her six inning tenure.

At the plate, Radomski was the leading hitter, going 2-for-3 with a double and three runs scored. Riley Keller scored two hits and drove in a pair, while Searle accounted for her RBI on her big second inning hit

Both teams are back on the field Thursday night in 5 p.m. battles, with Cuba-Rushford making the trip to Portville for tournament action beginning on Friday, while Fillmore hits the road for a visit to Genesee Valley/Belfast in the Jungle in Belmont.

Fillmore 000 000 3 – 3 3 1

Cuba-Rushford 050 021 X – 8 8 1

FIL – Mercedes Wolcott (LP) (2K, 2BB), Mylee Miller (3) (K, 2BB) and Jenna Austin, Oakley Frazier (3).

C-R – Jordyn Radomski (WP) (8K, 5BB), Sydney Howard (7) and Riley Keller.

Bolivar-Richburg 19, Genesee Valley/Belfast 2 (F-5)

RICHBURG — There were no signs of slowing the Bolivar-Richburg offense down on Tuesday. A day removed after a tough fight with Campbell-Savona, the Lady Wolverines put their foot back down on the gas pedal against visiting Genesee Valley/Belfast, as they scored at least three runs across all four innings of offense to jolt towards a 19-2 win in five innings to remain undefeated with their seventh straight win.

Bolivar-Richburg (7-0) wasted no time striking quickly, as they jumped right out to a 3-0 lead behind the first of three doubles posted by McKinlee Harris in the lead-off position, giving the Lady Wolverines one of many sparks on offense to fire up their engines.

Later on in the second, the Lady Wolverines added on with another three-run frame in the second, paced by the first of two home runs off the bat of Malayna Ayers. The 6-0 lead was branched out permanently across the next two innings of play, posting a seven-run third behind an influx of hits, including three doubles from Harris, Madigan Harris and Cassidy Stives.

Before the Lady Wolverines finished off the scoring with the last six runs of the game, Genesee Valley/Belfast (3-4) found their way onto the board with their lone two runs coming in the top of the fourth, one on an RBI single off the bat of Raygen Haggstrom. But the damage was done, as the hosts in black and red pulled away out of reach with one final big inning of offense to put towards what was their seventh straight win to open the season.

The Lady Wolverines had five different batters all record at least a pair of hits at the plate, led by McKinlee Harris and her three doubles, driving in two runs and scoring three herself to ignite the offense’s fuse. With her two home runs, Ayers pitched in with four RBI of her own and scored three more runs. Rylee Whiting posted three hits, driving in three more runs while Haley Mascho and Madigan Harris both finished with two hits.

In the circle, the win belonged to Whiting, who went into the fifth inning during her start, as she fanned three and walked three to pick up the win.

On the other side, Genesee Valley/Belfast was led by Haggstrom and Jenna Hill, as each hitter recorded two hits. On the mound, Ashley Burrows went the distance behind two strikeouts and five walks.

Both teams are back on the field Thursday night in a pair of 5 p.m. first pitches, as Bolivar-Richburg goes for eight straight wins on the road with a visit to Whitesville, taking on Andover/Whitesville, while Genesee Valley/Belfast heads back home to welcome in Fillmore at Genesee Valley.

Genesee Valley/Belfast 000 20 – 2 6 1

Bolivar-Richburg 337 6X – 19 16 1

GVB – Ashley Burrows (LP) (CG, 2K, 5BB) and Jenna Hill.

B-R – Rylee Whiting (WP) (3K, 3BB), Haley Mascho (5) (2K, BB) and Madigan Harris.

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