Niagara Gazette — Chris Cribbs snuck under the tag at home plate and the Starpoint baseball team celebrated an 11-10 comeback win in eight innings over visiting ECIC II rival Hamburg on Wednesday at Thomas J. Sarkovics Field.
Cribbs drew a seemingly harmless walk with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and the bases clear. But junior shortstop Alex O'Donnell made the Bulldogs pay, drilling a triple to the right field fence and knocking in Cribbs in walk-off fashion. It was sweet revenge against the Bulldogs, who beat Starpoint 6-5 on April 15 by way of walk-off home run.
The Spartans trailed by as many as five, and were down 10-6 heading into their final at-bats.
Leadoff hitter Stan Speaker started the comeback with a single and promptly stole second. Cribbs reach on an error, putting runners on the corners for O'Donnell, who knocked both in with a double and ended up scoring on a pair of fielding errors. Senior Andrew Rankie followed with a double of his own, went to third on Brett Guay's groundout and scored on Jimmy Janeczo's RBI double.
"There have only been a couple walk-offs I've been a part of on the winning side," Starpoint coach Tim Racey said. "This is the kind of win where you want to keep the scorebook and look back and remember being there."
Cribbs got the start on the mound, but was hit hard in 3 1/3 innings. Junior lefty Andrew Merchison took the mound in relief, his first time on the hill at the varsity level. Merchison earned the win, striking out two of 16 batters faced, giving up only one hit and one earned run.
First time pitcher junior Andrew Merchison (lefty) came in with one outs in the fourth, faced 16 batters, struck out 2, walked two, 1 H, 1 ER
The Spartans (5-2 ECIC II) jump Hamburg (5-3) in for second place in the league with the win. Starpoint plays two more league games this week, hosting West Seneca East today and first-place Williamsville South (7-0) on Friday. Both games start at 4:45 p.m.
Lew-Port 8, North Tonawanda 2
Michael Mokhiber pitched a complete game four-hitter with two strikeouts for the Lancers (3-5 NFL). Mokhiber and Jordan Willard each had two hits at the plate while Matt Schiavi and Justin Nichols had two RBIs. Chris Mellott had two hits, including a double, for the Lumberjacks (1-7).
Grand Island 3, Kenmore West 2
KENMORE — Backpedaling at warp speed with two outs in the final inning, Grand Island centerfielder Mark McKenna leaped, fell over backwards and came up clutching Justice Sheehan’s bid for a game-tying 380-foot home run as the Vikings escaped in 87 minutes of baseball brilliance at Kenmore on Wednesday.
John Holody came off with the win, striking out just one in a six-hitter and throwing first-pitch strikes to 20 of 27 Blue Devils. Grand Island scored three in the fourth on a double steal and RBI hits by Chris Foote and Josh Ungaro. After a hard-earned error with two outs in the sixth, West’s Jeff Becker drilled a home run deep to right on the essentially fenceless field.
McKenna had two hits for Grand Island, Mike Coyne and Becker two each for the Blue Devils. Grand Island came away 7-1 in Niagara Frontier League play. West slipped to 4-4. – Doug Smith
Nia.-Wheatfield 8, Ken East 4
Doug Litwinski picked up the win on the mound for the Falcons (4-4 NFL). John Liberti, Matt Anderson and Matt Peters paced the team offensively, collecting two hits apiece. Luke Simmons had two hits and John Mirabella had two runs for the Bulldogs (1-7).
Lockport 6, Niagara Falls 4
Casey Domski hurled 5 1/3 innings for the Lions (7-1 NFL), allowing five hits, striking out two and walking five. At the plate, Domski went 2-for-2 and stole three bases. Matt Colosi took the loss on the hill for Niagara Falls (5-3 NFL). He had seven strikeouts.
North Tonawanda 7, Lew-Port 2
The Lady Jacks earned their first win of the season under the lights, defeating Lew-Port to hand the Lancers their seventh loss of the regular season. Both teams now have Niagara Frontier records of 1-7.
Starpoint 10, Lake Shore 1
Allison Brock pitched a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts for the Spartans (14-1, 7-1 ECIC II). Emily Whitman and Brianna Clark each had two hits and three RBIs. Whitman also scored two runs.
Grand Island 4, Ken West 3
Alley Cutting went the distance, giving up just five hits while striking out six in picking up the win for the Vikings (7-2 NFL). Courtney Collignon went 2 for 3 at the plate, including a sixth-inning single to start a GI rally. Ashley Colan, Annie Corrao and Ciara Alcorn each had hits to continue the Vikings' comeback. Charlotte Miller gave up just one run in five innings pitched for the Blue Devils (7-2).
Nia.-Wheatfield 9, Ken East 7
Bri Krawczyk went 2 for 3 with a triple and two RBIs, Morgan Kuhn went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and Aly Gonyea went 3 for 5 for the Falcons (5-3 NFL). The Bulldogs fell to 2-6 in league play.
Niagara Catholic 16, Nardin 15
Tylerlynn Langer picked up the win on the mound for the Patriots (6-2, 2-1 MMA). Frankie Costanzo led the team at the plate, going 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Maria Sciarrino and Marina Campbell each went 2 for 2 with a RBI. Marissa Ruffolo and Jessica Chandler each added two RBIs.
• Kali Yeats and Taylor Trunzo each had two hits and an RBI to lead Nia.-Wheatfield past Ken East, 9-6. Callista Zayatz picked up her fouth win on the mound.
Nia.-Wheatfield 10, North Tonawanda 4
Laura Messer and Natalie Goedertz each had three goals and one assists to lead the Falcons (6-4 NYB). Christine Thomas added two goals and one assist in support and Madelyn Gansworth and Emma Falter rounded out the team's scoring with a goal apiece.
Lockport 10, Niagara Falls 6
Maddi Chille and Jazzman Pfaffenberger each had a pair of goals for the Wolverines, who fell to 0-5 in the league.
• Caitlyn Bos and Kaylyn Phillips each had two goals to lead Niagara Falls to an 8-3 win over Lockport. Freshman goalie Jacquelyn Petrishin had 10 saves in goal.
North Tonawanda 3, Lew-Port 2
Andrew and John LeMar each picked up singles victories for the Lumberjacks (8-1 NFL). Nick Nolan and Joe Piotrowski picked up a doubles win in support. Yash Mahaeshwari and the team of Ben Staynor and Jake Warren won matches for the Lancers (6-3).
Grand Island 3, Ken West 2
Nick Atallah and Radomi Pupovac scored the only two points for Ken West (3-6) with their wins in first and third singles. Eric Riederer won in second singles for Grand Island (7-2), and both Vikings' doubles teams (Collin McMahon/McLain Erhard and Anthony Huff/Jacob Dixon) won their matches.
Nia.-Wheatfield 4, Ken East 1
Jason Bolea and Austin Hayes won in first and second singles for the Falcons (6-3), while Frank Wozniak scored the only point for the Bulldogs (2-7) with his win in third singles. Joe Corrio and Jacob Collins won in straight sets in first doubles and Jack Mulcahy and Chris Galvano took second doubles in three sets.
Hamburg 4, Starpoint 1
Derek Garranova picked up the lone point in third singles for the Spartans, who fell to 0-7 in ECIC II action. Hamburg improved to 3-4.
Lockport 4, Niagara Falls 1
Jeremy Cogovan and J.J. Napoli won second and third singles, respectively, for the Lions (4-5 NFL). Spencer Ventresca won first singles for the Wolverines (1-8).
Niagara Catholic 3, St. Francis 2
The pairing of Justin O'Connor and Jake Socha earned the winning point in a tightly-contested third doubles, taking the match by a score of 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. Will Whisker and Brian Felstead earned wins in first and second singles for NC (3-4 MMA).
Niagara Catholic 3, Holy Angels 2
DeAnna Kajfasz and Madeline Sweeney had victores in first and second singles, respectively, to lead the Patriots (3-3 MMA). Jeana Franjoine and Samantha Martineau had a first doubles win in support.
Wilson 4, Newfane 1.5
Isaiah Barrett, Nathan Johnson and Dominic Curcione each had a singles victory to lead Wilson (4-3 N-O). Renee Leggett and Kallie Olear picked up a doubles win in support.