Niagara Gazette

July 23, 2013

Power split doubleheader with Nitros Monday

By MICHAEL MROZIAK
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — With the New York Collegiate Baseball League playoffs out of the question, the Niagara Power are playing out their final days of the 2013 season hoping to go out on some high notes.

The Power got mixed results in Monday's doubleheader against the Wellsville Nitros, winning the first game 1-0, then dropping the second game by a 5-3 decision.

The victory in the first game was highlighted by Niagara pitcher Joshua Schulman allowing only four hits while going the distance in the scheduled seven-inning matchup.

"Joshua, he goes out and competes every time he has a chance to take the mound," said Power head coach Josh Rebandt. "I thought he did a great job keeping us in the game. That's all we can ask for at this point of the year is guys to still go out and compete."

Schulman's win was Niagara's second consecutive shutout win following Zach Uher's two-hit gem Sunday night in Hornell.

It looked early as if Niagara might complete a sweep, opening the second game by taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Perry Rigby's single scored Hunter Lewis, though the Power had the opportunity to further build the lead but left three men on base.

The Nitros countered in the second inning when Tyler Lau's base hit scored Alec Bahnick, tying the game at 1-1.

The Power got two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. After loading the bases on three straight walks, Ben Pickard brought home a run not by hitting the ball, but rather by the ball hitting him and awarding him first base. Lewis followed up with an RBI single that scored Caleb Jordan.

Again, though, the Power left men on base and soon it would prove costly.

After starting pitcher Joshua Clarke was replaced in the sixth inning by Sam Whim, the Nitros rallied to take the lead. Whim surrendered three hits in the inning that allowed four runs to score, putting Wellsville ahead, 5-3.

Niagara put two men on base but left them there in the sixth inning. Then in the seventh and final inning, Scott Gillespie singled to get aboard but Rigby then hit into a double play. Tyler Simmons' grounder to second then slammed the door shut on a Niagara comeback.

Whim (0-3) took the loss for Niagara.

The Power (13-25) conclude their season Tuesday with a doubleheader against two opponents. Both games are rescheduled from previous weather-related postponements, including last Friday's damaging thunderstorm. Niagara's first opponent Tuesday is the Hornell Dodgers, beginning at 3 p.m. The Power will then conclude their season at 7 p.m. when they host the Geneva Twins.

Although the Power have nothing at stake, they could still affect how playoff-bound teams are seeded. Hornell, for example, needs a victory at Sal Maglie Stadium Tuesday to catapult into second place. 

Rebandt just wants to see his team go out on their terms, with a pair of wins.

"That would be a great way to cap it off," he said. "We've won two of our past three and if we can finish out winning four of our past five, I think that would be a real testimony that we don't cash in or quit. It shows the guys are still competing."

NOTES: Both games ended under two hours, with the second game requiring just 1:56 to complete… an apparent computer virus or hacking attack compromised the team's press box computer, rendering it unable to post the results online to the league's official web service, Pointstreak.com… How does a baseball roster that features a Christian faith-based element bond in its final week together? They go out for ice cream. Members of the Power were out Monday night at De-Dee's Dairy, where the team could relax and chat together on the eve of its season-ending doubleheader.