Confidence is contagious and apparently it has caught on within the Wilson baseball team.

For the second consecutive day, the upstart Lakemen downed Starpoint in non-league action as junior first baseman Collin Okoniewski was 4-for-5 with three RBIs and senior Andy Jones pitched five solid innings in a 13-5 victory at Thomas J. Sarkovics Field Wednesday afternoon.

Wilson, which saw its season canceled a year ago due to an alleged hazing incident, is now 2-1 under new head coach Mark Kurtz.

“These two wins definitely bring up our confidence level,” Okoniewski said. “Mr. Kurtz has really focused on the basics and fundamentals of the game and those have shown through these last two games. This gives us something to build on.”

“This is a young team with not a lot of playing experience, but they’ve bought into the system,” Kurtz added. “They’ve gotten some good leadership from the captains and they’re really into it. You can see they’ve got a little confidence rolling right now.”

Count Spartans coach Tim Racey among those impressed with Wilson’s quick turnaround.

“You’ve got to give a ton of credit to that coaching staff,” he said pointing toward the Lakemen dugout. “They’ve got their kids playing fundamentally-sound baseball and they’re playing the game the right way. If I had to vote for a Coach of the Year this early in the season, (Kurtz) would be my pick.”

Wednesday, Kurtz saw his team get its bats rolling early and often in support of Jones. The Lakemen plated a pair of runs in the first on a two-run single from Okoniewski. They added two more in the second after an RBI ground out from Andy Carroll and an RBI single off the bat of Jones.

Nate Meier notched an RBI in third before the flood gates opened in the fourth. With Starpoint’s Paul Lane on in relief of starter Andy O’Donnell, Wilson sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame, scoring six runs. Jones and Okoniewski each had RBI singles during the flurry, which included five walks.

“We came out and right away we were swinging the bats well and we didn’t stop, which was nice to see,” Kurtz said. “We just kept building from the first inning on.”

Jones, a southpaw, allowed only four hits and struck out four for the Lakemen after getting roughed up in his first outing this season against North Tonawanda.

“He looked really good,” Kurtz said of Jones. “He mixed up his pitches well and he threw strikes, which was big. That’s the best I’ve seen him throw.”

The Spartans, who have struggled mightily thus far this spring, finally got on the board in the fourth as Garrett Britton picked up an RBI double. Wilson would respond, though, as it got RBI singles from Meier and Pat Diez to up the lead to 13-2 in the top of the fifth.

Starpoint scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but it wouldn’t be nearly enough to prevent it from dropping to 0-4 on the year.

“A lot of growth has to happen with this team,” Racey said. “We’ve got a mountain ahead of us as far as the talent we’re going to face, so we’ve got to get back to fundamentals and get this back on the right track. Still, the fact that we were able to plate a couple runs there at the end, shows that Spartans never quit.”

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