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Genesee Valley stuns Westfield, 11-8

June 9, 2016
By Jeremy Izzio - , Westfield Republican

JAMESTOWN - The Westfield Wolverines came into Saturday's Class D Far West Regional a confident team.

Overconfidence may have played a role early in Saturday's game as Westfield fell behind 10-3 after two and a half innings before clawing back within striking distance, but ultimately falling to the Genesee Valley Jaguars, 11-9, at Russell Diethrick Park.

"I believe overconfidence (could've affected us)," said Westfield coach Doug Kaltenbach. "I had to settle the team down the other day. I had heard some stuff and wrote the team a message on their phones a couple nights ago telling them we need to stop right now. Yeah I think (overconfidence) could've played a role early. It doesn't make it feel any better though."

Article Photos

Photo by Valory Isaacson
Genesee Valley’s Vinny Biancuzzo (31) beats the relay home as Westfield catcher Max Bates, left, awaits the throw during Saturday’s Class D?Far West Regional at Russell E. Diethrick Park.

The Jaguars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Westfield rallied back to reclaim the lead in the bottom half, 3-2, after an error plated a run followed by an RBI triple by Max Bates and an RBI single by Greg Schroeder.

Westfield's lead was short lived with the Jaguars answering in the top of the second with two runs off the bat of Cooper Weinman brought the score to 4-3 Genesee Valley.

The Wolverines were retired quickly in the bottom of the second, and with momentum firmly in hand, the Jaguars took it to Westfield in their half of the third inning.

Genesee Valley sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, scored six runs and chased Westfield's starting pitcher, Greg Schroeder, after just two innings of work.

The Jaguar bats were hot in the inning, but defensive lapses and metal errors by the Wolverines aided the scoring in what proved to be the decisive inning of the contest.

"There were just too many errors," Kaltenbach said of Schroeder lasting only two innings. "There were only three errors on the scoreboard, but the scorers were generous. I think there were more like six. Bobbled balls, bad rundowns and we made plays (Saturday) that we haven't made in years. I was surprised the pressure got to us like that because we have been in so many of these games. We just didn't look like Westfield (Saturday)."

Having their backs firmly against the wall, the Wolverines rallied.

Westfield began chipping away at the lead one inning at a time. Chris Catalano began the comeback with an RBI single in the third inning.

Jonathan Wilson took over on the mound for Westfield and a 1-2-3 fourth swung momentum back toward the Wolverines and a big bottom of the inning closed the gap to two runs, 10-8.

"(Wilson) has been the most valuable player of our league and he's our spark plug," Kaltenbach said. "He's the valedictorian of our school and I can't say enough about him. He's all heart. He was cramping up a lot but he kept pitching. He's tough and a great kid. I will definitely miss him."

Highlighting Westfield's fourth inning was Bates' two-RBI single which set the tone for RBI singles by Schroeder and Catalano.

With two outs in the inning, the Jaguars made a pitching change of their own and brought in Cooper Weinman, who recorded the final out of the inning after facing just one batter.

Westfield faced an 11-8 deficit entering the bottom of the sixth and were able to scratch across a run on an infield error.

Trevor North came to the plate with the tying run at second base but Weinman got him to fly out to the shortstop, ending the inning and closing the door on Westfield's comeback.

"We didn't play good," Kaltenbach said. "I'll give (Genesee Valley) credit though. They hit the heck out of the ball. We didn't play our game and they took it to us. We were down seven to eight runs and we came back. We were a hit away from taking the lead or tying it later in the game. I'm proud of them. We wanted to go to Binghamton, but give Genesee Valley credit. They hit us good."

Bates led the Wolverine offense with three RBIs, a triple, a double and a single.

Eric Fermier scored two runs, drove in a run and singled while Wilson had two doubles and scored two runs.

Wilson also pitched five innings of solid relief to allow his team to come back and ultimately be one hit away from tying the game in the sixth inning.

Weinman had three hits, scored two runs and drove in as many for the Jaguars who are moving on to the NYSPHSAA Class D State Final Four to be played on Saturday, June 11 at SUNY Broome Community College in Binghamton.



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