Fredonia Gets By Portville In Class B

FREDONIA — A year ago, Fredonia’s season came to an end with a 5-1 loss to Royalton-Hartland in the Section VI Class B2 final at Grand Island High School.

On Saturday, the Hillbillies will get an opportunity to redeem themselves.

Owen Rush and Ashton Putney combined on a two-hitter with seven strikeouts as No. 2 Fredonia beat No. 3 Portville 4-1 in a Section VI Class B semifinal Thursday evening at Fredonia High School.

Next up for the Hillbillies is a Saturday date with No. 1 Medina at 11 a.m. in Grand Island with the sectional title on the line. The Mustangs beat No. 4 Royalton-Hartland 3-1 in the other semifinal Wednesday.

“We’ve spent the entire year — the offseason and every day during this season — training, how we practice and with how we’ve set up the schedule … just to be ready to get back to that same spot,” Fredonia head coach Tim Cowan said.

“They’ve earned the chance to go back. We are excited for the opportunity to take another stab at it.”

Rush threw 4 2/3 innings, struck out five, walked four and picked off two runners while allowing the lone Portville run to earn the win. Putney threw 2 1/3 innings with two strikeouts and no walks to earn the save. Each allowed one hit.

“Owen came out, settled down quickly after the four-pitch walk to start it and really had good command of his stuff, allowing only one hit,” Coach Cowan said. “He got through the order twice which is what we wanted. Ashton only had to face the order once, which was a good thing for us.”

Portville took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Brady German reached on a one-out walk and stole second before Cole Keesler’s two-out RBI single to right-center field.

The Hillbillies took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Colin Luce reached on an error and ended up at second to lead off the inning. After a Nathan Sercu groundout pushed Luce to third, Colin Crowell hit a sacrifice fly to center field and ended up at second when the ball was dropped.

“The groundouts that advanced runners were not by accident,” Coach Cowan said. “Nate Sercu picked a good pitch away to ground to the right side to get Luce to third for our first run.”

AJ Kinney then singled Crowell to third before Luca Gullo ran for Crowell and scored on Andrew Cowan’s RBI groundout.

“Andrew Cowan had a chance (to drive in a run) in the second and wasn’t able to do so … two innings later had the ball up the middle to get the go-ahead run in,” Coach Cowan said. “Making adjustments like that was huge. We’ve spent a lot of time in our last few practices getting guys from second to third, getting them in from third in any way possible.”

In the Fredonia fifth, Rush hit a one-out double to left field and went to third on a balk before Matt Cowan walked and stole second. Luce then hit a two-run single up the middle to make it 4-1.

The Panthers stranded a runner at second in the sixth inning and Putney got the final out of the game on a strikeout when Andrew Cowan threw to first on a dropped third strike.

Aidan DeFazio threw a complete-game four-hitter with five strikeouts and four walks for Portville.

“Luke Petryszak gets a lot of publicity, but DeFazio was exceptional at changing speeds and throwing whatever pitch he wanted to keep us off balance until we finally broke through,” Coach Cowan said. “Mike Matz runs a terrific program at Portville. You knew it would take a high level of execution to get anything done today.”



GOWANDA — Carter Capozzi threw a complete-game four-hitter with seven strikeouts and no walks as No. 2 Gowanda beat No. 3 Clymer/Sherman/Panama 4-2 in a Section VI Class C semifinal.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Brayden Smith led off with a walk and went to second as Blake Herman reached on an error. After a double steal, Smith scored on Madden Lay’s groundout.

The Wolfpack tied the game in the top of the fifth inning. Andrew Spiesman led off with a double before Tanner Mihalko’s two-out RBI double to center field.

Gowanda quickly regained the lead in the bottom of the frame. Drew Kota and Ben VanNote walked before Smith’s sacrifice bunt pushed the runners up with two outs. After an intentional walk to Herman, Capozzi walked to force in the go-ahead run and Lay also walked to make it 3-1.

The Panthers made it 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Logan Ruff led off with a single and eventually scored on VanNote’s RBI single.

Clymer/Sherman/Panama did not go quietly in the seventh. Gavin Burchanowski and Spiesman reached on back-to-back errors to open the frame before Carson White hit an RBI single to center field to make it 4-2. With runners at the corners and one no outs, Capozzi induced a pop-up to second base for the first out. After a strikeout, Capozzi got a popout to Herman at short for the final out.

Gowanda will look to repeat as sectional champions at 2 p.m. Saturday at Diethrick Park in Jamestown against No. 5 Wilson. The Lakemen upset No. 1 Frewsburg 3-2 in Thursday’s other semifinal.



NORTH COLLINS — Senior Matt Warsaw threw a five-inning perfect game as No. 1 North Collins shut out No. 4 Ellicottville 11-0 in a Section VI Class D semifinal.

Warsaw threw 43 of 61 pitches for strikes and struck out nine as North Collins advanced to Saturday’s 11 a.m. championship game against No. 2 Franklinville at Diethrick Park in Jamestown. The Panthers beat No. 3 Brocton 6-3 in Thursday’s other semifinal.

North Collins, which won the 2023 Class D title before losing in the Far West Regional, led 1-0 after the first inning and 4-0 after three innings Thursday before a seven-run bottom of the fourth inning.

Zander Miller had a hit and two RBIs, while Derek Ebersole had a hit and an RBI. Carson Teijeira and Lucas Demmerly each added an RBI for North Collins, which benefited from six walks and three Ellicottville errors.

Ellicottville’s Cameron Mendell struck out two and just three of the 11 runs he allowed were earned.


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