Goot Outduels Chapman, CVCS Knocks Off Cardinals

The Cassadaga Valley baseball team gathers around Coach Joe Mistretta after the Cougars’ 3-1 victory over Randolph in Friday’s Section VI Class C prequarterfinal. P-J photo by Jay Young

RANDOLPH — After a difficult journey through the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 West baseball season, Cassadaga Valley is beginning to see the rewards of playing difficult competition.

The 12th-seeded Cougars, led by starting pitcher Adam Goot, earned just their second win of the year on Friday with a 3-1 decision over No. 5 Randolph in Section VI Class C prequarterfinal action.

That win sets up a Tuesday matchup with No. 4 Falconer, which took both regular season contests against Cassadaga Valley.

“That was probably one of the biggest factors today,” Cassadaga Valley head coach Joe Mistretta said of his team’s tough schedule.

“We had to pitch our best pitcher today, because we didn’t know what to expect. He had some unfortunate things happen in the league, some errors behind him and things like that. Definitely the competition that we played showed today and made a little bit of a difference.”

Goot struck out 10 batters and issued just one walk in the complete-game victory, with Tommy Chapman doing his best to keep pace for the Cardinals with eight strikeouts and one walk on the hill.

“We’ve seen Goot throw before, so we knew this was going to be a game just like it was,” said Randolph coach Brent Brown. ” … We faced (Frewsburg’s Aaron) Hair and Goot, and those are the best pitchers we’ve seen this year. (Goot) threw well today, a couple of good curveballs, strikeouts and did a good job.”

Knowing that the day could end up as a pitching duel, Cassadaga Valley wasted no time in getting its offense going in the first inning. Goot ripped a single and the Cougars promptly loaded the bases following a Randolph error. Mack Mikula took advantage with a groundball single between first and second base that plated the first two runs of the afternoon.

In the bottom of the second, Randolph responded with a single by Mason Pagett. Following behind him in the order was Ashton Bushey, who reached first on a fielder’s choice as Pagett was tossed out at second. Bushey advanced to third on another fielder’s choice, scampering home on a passed ball for Randolph’s only run of the day.

Max Pingitore smacked a single in the fourth for the Cougars and Pagett added another single to center field in the bottom half, but Chapman and Goot would work out of those jams with no damage done.

“That’s one of his two best performances this year,” Mistretta said of Goot. “He got ahead a lot, threw a lot more strikes today and that is what he has to do to be successful. When he needed his breaking ball it was there. Getting ahead of the hitters and throwing strikes is huge for him. He did a great job today.”

Cassadaga Valley took advantage of another error in the fifth, as Nick Russo made his way to first and then stole second. Goot made that mistake count, ripping an RBI single down the left field line for the final run of the day.

The good news for Cassadaga Valley is that Goot should have the opportunity to get the start on Tuesday as the Cougars look to turn the tables on Falconer.

“They beat us twice during the season. One game was close and the other game they 10-runned us. Adam will pitch again because we don’t play until Tuesday,” said Mistretta. “He’ll have three complete days rest, so he will pitch again. If he is on, if he is throwing well, and we don’t make any errors — that is big for us not giving them extra outs — maybe we can make a game out of it.”