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2015 highlights: Westfield baseball, CL golfer Latimer make state finals

January 8, 2016
By Craig Harvey and Gib Snyder III (editorial@westfieldrepublican.com) , Westfield Republican

Here's a look back at a couple of the Westfield area's most memorable sports stories from 2015.

Westfield baseball team makes state final for first time

For the first time in school history, the Westfield Wolverines baseball team advanced to the NYSPHSAA championships in Binghamton, thanks in large part to dominant pitching from Nolan Hunt.

Article Photos

File photos
Left: Chautauqua Lake’s Cody Latimer is pictured. Latimer competed at the NYSPHSAA golf championships in June. Right: The Westfield varsity baseball team is pictured after it won the NYSPHSAA Class D Far West Regional. The Wolverines advanced to the NYSPHSAA Class D final, where they fell to Smithtown Christian.

After dropping the previous four Section 6 championship games, the Wolverines finally got the monkey off their back with a 5-0 victory in the Class D title game against North Collins. It was the first Sectional title for Westfield coach Doug Kaltenbach in his 28 years of coaching.

"I have thought about it a lot," he said of winning the title game. "I have downplayed it my whole life. This is our ninth time here. I couldn't have done it with a better group of guys. It makes the other ones even sweeter. It's a continuation of success. It's not like we were one and out. It puts it all together now. We needed this as a school and as a team."

Hunt was the winning pitcher as he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning. Through six innings, Hunt needed just 61 pitches and faced one batter over the minimum. In all, he struck out 12, including seven in a row.

Joey Quagliana paced the offense, as he went 2 for 2 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored to lead the offense. Max Bates went 2 for 3 with an RBI and Eric Fermier went 2 for 3 with a double to advance to the Far West Regionals.

There, Hunt was just as impressive. The now-Canisius student-athlete pitched five innings of no-hit ball and struck out 13 as the Wolverines handled Section 5's Webster Christian, 10-1.

Westfield's offense crushed the ball all day long as it had 13 hits in the game, including three doubles and a triple.

Jonathan Wilson tripled, Hunt had three hits with two doubles and an RBI, Bates had two hits, as did Eric Fermier.

With the win, the Wolverines made the ever-elusive bus trip to Binghamton for the Class D Finals.

In the semifinal game, Hunt once again led Westfield to victory - this time with his arm and his bat.

Westfield defeated Oriskany, 3-0. Hunt threw a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts one walk and two hit batters.

But his biggest contribution came in the third inning at the plate. With Jonathan Wilson on first base and Chris Catalano on second base with two outs, Oriskany made a pitching change, and the plan backfired as Hunt cracked a two-run double to deep center field to score both base runners and give Westfield a 2-0 lead.

That was all the offense Westfield needed to advance to the state championship game. There, they fell to returning state champion, Smithtown Christian, 8-4.

The Knights' power was on display early and often. Their top four hitters finished 10 for 16 with seven runs scored and combined for four RBIs.

"We have a great team and we just ran out of gas the last game," Kaltenbach concluded. "I'm not taking anything away from them. Every time they touched the ball, it went somewhere where we weren't. I need a day or two and we need to take some time to digest what we have done and sit back and enjoy it. We haven't had time to breath. This is the proudest I have ever been of a group of guys. When we sit back and look at this, we finished second in the state and that's something to be damn proud of."

Latimer competes

at state golf finals

Chautauqua Lake's Cody Latimer had the opportunity to compete at the NYSPHSAA golf championships this past June.

He took third place at River Oakes Golf Club to qualify for the championship.

Latimer, a senior, shot a 37 on the front nine and a 36 on the back nine for a total of 73. After making the cut, he then went on to shoot a 37 on the back nine for a total of 110.

"I wasn't expecting much, I just wanted to go out there and do well," Latimer said reflecting on the day. "The first 18 I was hitting my driver not very well. Whenever I had a birdie I would come back with a bogey. I had no ups and no downs really. I was one under on the last nine (of the first round)."

Aiding Latimer's excellent round of 36 on the back nine of his opening round was a 20-foot birdie put on 15, which was only marred by a double bogey on 18.

The senior felt right at home on Grand Island's lengthy course, thanks to his towering drive and hot putter.

"He drives the ball very well in fact he can average 300, which is very long for high school," said Chautauqua Lake/Westfield coach Steve Johnston.

On the first day of the state championships, Latimer stood at 13th place with six other golfers at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course on the campus of the University of Cornell.

Latimer shot a 6-over-par 77.

On the second day, Latimer improved as he finished sixth.

After shooting a 77 on the first day, the senior charted a 74 Monday for a two-day total of 151.

To go along with his All-State Award, Latimer also received the NYSPHSAA Section 6 Sportsmanship Award.

Latimer's 151 was five strokes off the winner, James Nicholas of Section 1 Scarsdale. Nicholas shot a 75 on the first day and a 71 on the second day for a 146.

"He had a makeable par on the par 3 on the next hole and he just missed that one," Chautauqua Lake coach Steve Johnston said. "Every golfer out there has a hole or a couple of shots they would like to have back, those just happened to be his.

"Usually, when you make states for the first time, you are just happy to make it," Johnston added. "In this case, this finishes off his high school career on a really high note."

 
 
 

 

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