By MICHAEL MROZIAK
Niagara Gazette — NIAGARA FALLS — The Niagara Falls High School baseball squad went big and then won big at Sal Maglie Stadium early Monday evening, taking advantage of two six-run innings to rout West Seneca West, 15-5, in a Class-AA Pre-Quarterfinal playoff game.
"A lot of kids were clutch," said Niagara Falls head coach Joe Contento. "Ryan Daul came up with two outs, a base-clearing triple. It really helped us out."
Daul finished the game with that triple, a double and five runs batted in, but he was just one of many Wolverines who had big games at the plate. Jake Martineau and Joe D'Angelo had three hits each, which Mike Colosi and Dave Yarger both hit twice. Joe Colosi drove in two runs with just one triple.
Mike Colosi also delivered with his pitching, starting the game on the mound for Niagara Falls and giving up two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out four. He used a mix of fastballs and an impressive breaking ball that he revealed is his favorite pitch.
"I can throw it for strikes," said Colosi when asked about his curveball. "I've been using it quite a bit this year."
West Seneca West took the early lead, going 2-0 over the hosts after one and a half innings. Niagara Falls then erased the lead in the bottom of the second with three runs.
From then on, the Wolverines just kept piling on the runs.
Six of them came in the bottom of the third, on just six hits. After failing to clear loaded bases in the bottom of the fourth inning, Niagara Falls regained their scoring ways in the fifth, again bursting out for a half-dozen runs.
D'Angelo tripled to lead that inning off. As he rounded third, the throw to the plate was off target, and the Falls baserunner seemed to flirt with the notion of trying for home. D'Angelo held back at third, but then crossed home off Mike Colosi's double. After a passed ball allowed Colosi to move to third, Tyler Huntsman hit a ball that took an odd hop over the third baseman to the Wolverines' advantage. Joe Colosi then hit his standup triple. Later in the inning, Martineau scored from first base on Justin Beyer's double.
After Martineau took the mound in the sixth inning and shut down the Indians, Huntsman took the mound in the seventh inning. The Indians got three runs that inning but the Wolverines then settled down and closed out the game. Coach Contento wasn't too worried about the late rally.
"He's a gamer. He comes through in big situations so we had no problem with him pitching that game."
With the win, Niagara Falls earned a trip to the next round of the sectionals, Wednesday on the road against Orchard Park beginning at 5 p.m.A recap of Monday's big win, along with Coach Contento's thoughts on the upcoming game against Orchard Park, will be featured in Wednesday's print edition of the Niagara Gazette.