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Wolverines finish another perfect league season by trouncing Clymer, 17-0

May 19, 2016
Westfield Republican

(May 10) - A day after clinching its fourth straight league title, Westfield did not take its collective foot off the gas pedal, as the Wolverines trounced the Clymer Pirates, 17-0, in a CCAA West 2 baseball game that was stopped after six innings due to the mercy rule.

"I kind of challenged them and said, 'Let's win this last one, let's get number 46,'" Westfield head coach Doug Kaltenbach said, referring to his team's league winning streak. "That's kind of what we've been shooting at. It's our new motto."

The Wolverines left little doubt they would finish off the league portion of their schedule with another perfect 10-0 mark, as they scored eight runs on nine hits in their first at-bat.

Article Photos

Photo by Roger Coda
Westfield’s Simon Williams slides safely into home ahead of the tag from Clymer catcher Zavon Overton during a CCAA West 2 high school baseball game.

"It was a really good start," Kaltenbach said. "And I'll tell you, honestly, with the games we played (Monday) we were a little shaky and we have a serious flu bug going around the team right now. Four of my starters, six guys (total), weren't here. So I was really glad to see the guys come in and step up and do their jobs."

Jonathan Wilson, one of Westfield's players who has been saddled with the flu, got things going with a single, which was followed by a single by Brock Schuster and a two-run base hit by Max Bates. Fill-in player Brett Babcock singled home Westfield's fourth run of the game while Luke Kawski, doubled home a pair for a 6-0 lead. David Grayson and Bates rounded out Westfield's scoring with RBI singles for a commanding 8-0 lead.

"It was kind of deflating," Clymer coach Bob Newton said of Westfield's eight-run first inning. "I went into the dugout after the inning and told them that there are two things we can do, quit now or fight back. I said, 'What do you want to do?' and they said, 'Fight back.' They gave it their best shot, but like I said, Greg Schroeder's a very good pitcher and we just weren't seeing the ball well (Tuesday)."

Schroeder gave the Pirates fits at the plate, as the senior righty tossed a complete game. He allowed two hits - a one-out single by Gerrit Hinsdale in the third and a leadoff single by Sam Wiggers in the fourth - while striking out 11 and walking none.

"That's what we expect and need out of him," Kaltenbach said of Schroeder. "And going back to (Monday), when we played a doubleheader, we ran out of pitchers. We held Greg out for (Tuesday), but he's one of the most consistent pitchers around (Chautauqua County). And he, himself, isn't feeling good, so yeah, he did great. And we needed it."

Westfield added two runs in the home half of the third on an error and an RBI double off the bat of Quagliana.

"We have a really good defense, so once we get (a lead), we have a lot of confidence that we can just do it and carry it through," Kaltenbach said. "And that's a real nice spot to be in and it's important (to tack on runs)."

After Wiggers' leadoff single in the fourth, Schroeder retired the final nine Pirate batters he faced, including six of his 11 strikeouts.

"That's a good-hitting team they have," Newton said of Westfield. "(Greg) Schroeder's a good pitcher. He puts the ball over the plate, makes you put it in play and they field it behind him. They're very well coached and they have the feeder programs to build it back up. They're a good team."

Up 10-0, the Wolverines added more salt to the Pirates' wounds with a seven-run bottom of the sixth, which included a two RBI single by Kawski, an RBI single off the bat of Simon Williams, an RBI double by Schuster and a two-run home run by Bates.

"Even when I knew that we were going to have so many guys sick (Tuesday), I kind of felt OK about that," Kaltenbach said. "Because when you're putting a kid in there who hasn't played a lot, they're not used to it and they're stepping it up. It worked out good and I'm glad these guys played great."

All 17 runs, which came on 20 hits, were surrendered by Jordan Wade, who struck out two and walked three over six innings of work.

"He was taking one for the team," Newton said of Wade. "We've got Panama and Sherman this week and we're trying to save our better pitching for that. But he threw strikes as well as he could."

Missing from the game were senior Taylor Irwin, and juniors Eric Fermier, Chris Catalano, Mike Poletto and Rick Johnson, but you wouldn't have known it with how well players like Kawski, Babcock and Grayson, who himself was under the weather, played Tuesday afternoon.

"Luke, having two doubles, that was great for him," Kaltenbach said. "Grayson did a really nice job. He had a couple of good hits and I've got some nice freshmen, I really do. Babcock plays good, Schuster, my third baseman, is tough ... They played OK, they did good.

"It's great because these are the guys who are going to be playing here next year," Kaltenbach added. "We lose quite a few guys, so the young guys, it's good for them to get a chance to play. But they'll be able to see a lot better baseball here when we get into Sectionals. There's no question about that."

For the Wolverines, it was their fourth league title in a row and their ninth in 11 years, but the more impressive number may just be the 46 straight wins Westfield has racked up in its league the last four years.

"Our big thing is we have five seniors and we wanted to finish 46-1 (in league play during their careers)," Kaltenbach said. "They could only have won 47 and they won 46. They lost the first (league game), so I think that's pretty special for the seniors.

"And it's really big, to be honest, too, to be undefeated (in league play) to get the top seed in Sectionals," Kaltenbach added. "That's huge for us."

At the plate for Westfield, Bates, a junior, was a triple short of hitting for the cycle while finishing with five RBIs and two runs scored. Also for the Wolverines, Wilson (senior), Schuster (freshman, three runs) and Quagliana (senior, RBI, two runs) all had three hits while Kawski (sophomore, four RBIs, two runs) and Schroeder (senior, two runs) both had two hits in the win.

"That's why I think we've been successful," Kaltenbach noted of his roster, which is a mix of upper and lower classmen. "We've done it for years that way and I kind of told these guys, and I mean it, that it's an honor to play on this team. And that they'll have a spot, they'll grow into it, and the results speak for themselves. We bring young kids up, who should come up, and sometimes they sit and other times they play, but they understand that and they'll be better for it."

"Westfield and Brocton have been good teams in our league and we've kind of tried to get to that level," Newton said. "But when you don't have the feeder programs, it's tough to compete against those teams that do. Like I said, we're young now, but maybe in a few years the shoe will be on the other foot, so we're just going to keep plugging away and doing our best."



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