Zentz, Dunkirk Hand Trojans First Loss At Stuhlmiller Field

Dunkirk’s Zach Zentz was a standout on the mound in the Marauders' CCAA Division 1 baseball game Saturday against Southwestern. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

DUNKIRK — Asked to describe Zach Zentz, Frank Jagoda didn’t hesitate.

“He’s an honor student, ranks fifth or sixth in his class, he’s student council president and he goes to the board meetings as a student representative,” the Dunkirk baseball coach said Saturday afternoon. “He did everything today, too.”

No argument there.

The senior right-hander allowed just one run over the final six innings and belted a three-run double in the decisive fifth to send the Marauders to a 10-4 come-from-behind victory over previously unbeaten Southwestern in a Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 game at frigid Al Stuhlmiller Field.

The win improved Dunkirk’s record to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the division, while the Trojans fell to 6-1 and 3-1.

Southwestern’s Wilson Genareo delivers to the plate during Saturday’s Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 baseball game at Al Stuhlmiller Field. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

“We weathered the weather today,” Jagoda said. “We played seven full innings. We didn’t get to a point where we let down. We’re still hanging in there.”

Ironically, the Trojans, who knocked off the Marauders on Friday, jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first half inning and, in combination with the excellent pitching from eighth-grade starter Wilson Genareo, they led 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth.

“For the weather conditions and what we were dealing with, I thought he did a great job,” Southwestern coach Jared Brown said of Genareo.

But Dunkirk, which was held hitless through its first four at-bats, finally got to the right-hander in the bottom of the fifth.

Donnie Jackson led off with a single — he eventually scored on a passed ball — Gabe Valentine was hit by a pitch and, with one out, Dylan Bankoski was also hit by pitch. That prompted Brown to bring in freshman Oscar Harris, who got the second out on a popup, but then walked Paul Trippi to load the bases to bring Zentz to the plate.

With the hosts needing a big hit, Zentz delivered, lining a double to center field to clear the bases and give the hosts their first lead, 5-4. Zentz eventually scored on a wild pitch to complete the five-run rally.

“We have a really young team,” Brown said. “I’m trying to explain to them it’s going to be a grind and it’s going to be a seven-inning stretch. You’ve got to make the plays when the ball is hit to you. You can’t give them extra outs.”

For good measure, the Marauders added four insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to two walks, three errors and a bunt single, which was more than enough for Zentz, who finished with an eight-hitter and seven strikeouts. He threw 100 pitches.

“After a little rough start, he really proved that he belongs on the mound, he’s a team leader and he’s a two-year captain,” Jagoda said.

Brown was left impressed

“I thought he did a good job commanding his pitches,” Brown said of Zentz. “He had good pace, worked at a good pace, but, again, anytime you give teams like Dunkirk extra outs, one timely hit is all it takes.”

NOTES: Southwestern jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, thanks to five hits, but the visitors managed just three the rest of the way against Zentz. … Dunkirk finished with only three hits against three Trojans pitchers. … Jameson Walsh and Chase Kartesz (double) had two hits, and Genareo added a base hit and drove in two runs for Southwestern. … Valentine left the game in the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today