Albion ‘9’ rallies late to edge past Newfane in the opening round of the Class B1 sectionals

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 18 May 2018 at 7:59 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Austin Dugan slides into third base ahead of the throw to Newfane’s Tyler Oudette during the host Purple Eagles sectional win over the Panthers this afternoon.

Putting together a clutch late inning scoring burst, No. 6 seed Albion rallied to edge past visiting No. 11 Newfane this afternoon in the pre quarterfinals of the Section VI Class B1 baseball playoffs.

Trailing 7-5, Albion rallied into the lead for good by erupting for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Thomas Furmanski tied the contest with a two-run single and Isaiah Callicutt followed up with a double to drive in what proved to be the game winner for an 8-7 Albion lead.

A single by Michael DiCureia and a fielders choice play off the bat of Addison Christ then plated a pair of insurance runs and a 10-7 lead for the Purple Eagles. A walk and an error to open the inning set up the threat.

Albion’s Harrison Brown is tagged out at home by Newfane catcher Trevor Heschke.

Christ, who came on in relief of starter Liam Ward in the fifth inning, then locked up the victory for the Purple Eagles by retiring the Panthers in order in the top of the seventh on a pair of groundouts to Nate Fearby at third base sandwiched around a strikeout. In earning the win he allowed 3 hits and struck out 4 in two and two-thirds innings of work on the mound.

Newfane had grabbed the 7-5 lead by scoring five times in the fifth inning on two errors, a double by Cade Littman and a single by Matt Ditullio. The Panthers though left the bases loaded after also stranding a pair of runners in both the third and fourth frames.

The Panthers had jumped out to an early lead by scoring twice in the top of the first on an error and a single by Lukas Koller.

Albion though quickly knotted the score by tallying twice in the home half of the first on an RBI single by DiCureia and an error.

The Purple Eagles built the lead to 5-2 by scoring twice in the second on an RBI single by Harrison Brown and an error and once in the third on an RBI double by Christ.

Albion then left runners stranded at second and third in the fourth after a double by Brown and single by Austin Dugan, and also left a pair of runners stranded in the fifth.

Newfane took advantage of that drought by scoring five times in the fifth for what proved to be a brief 7-5 lead.

However, the last rally and the victory belonged to the Purple Eagles on key run producing hits in the home half of the sixth by Furmanski, Callicutt, and DiCureia.

Albion, which also downed Newfane twice during the Niagara-Orleans League season by scores of 13-2 and 14-3, has little time to celebrate the win as the Purple Eagles are scheduled to visit No. 3 Fredonia in the B1 quarterfinals at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Albion’s Addison Christ dives back to first as Newfane’s Cade Littman awaits the throw.