Mustangs are building an impressive resume of postseason diamond title success

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 May 2024 at 1:14 pm

File Photo – Mark Greene delivers a pitch for Medina during the Mustangs first Section VI championship game win, a 7-3 victory over Grover Cleveland in 1989.

On the baseball diamond Medina has been compiling an impressive record of late having captured Section VI championships in 4 of the last 5 seasons upping the Mustangs total number of Section VI baseball title years to 6.

No. 4 in the current run came last Saturday as Medina edged Fredonia 4-3 for the Class B title earning the Mustangs a trip to the state tournament. Medina will now face Section V champion Wellsville in the Far West Regional at 10 a.m. Saturday at Grand Island High School.

However, it took the Mustangs quite a bit longer to claim their first Section VI diamond title.

Moving over from Section V, Medina played its first baseball season in Section VI in 1956 but it would be 33 years before the Mustangs finally captured that elusive first Section VI title in 1989 with a 7-3 win over Grover Cleveland in the Class B2 final.

Mason Moore drove in 3 runs with a home run and a single and Mark Greene hurled a 6 hitter with 7 strikeouts and also banged out a pair of doubles to lead the way for the Mustangs which then dropped a 13-8 decision to B1 champion Dunkirk in the state qualifier game.

Ironically, Medina edged Fredonia in the Class B2 semifinals by the same 4-3 margin that the Mustangs won this past Saturday’s title contest.

It would be 14 more years before Medina captured its second Section VI championship in 2003 with a wild 11-9 win in 10 innings over Allegany-Limestone in the Class B title game.

Jake Rosenbeck singled in what proved to be the game winning run in the top of the 10th inning and Tom Schoenle pitched 5 strong innings of relief including getting out of jams in the 8th, 9th and 10th innings.

That win vaulted Medina into the state playoffs for the first time and the Mustangs capitalized on the opportunity by blanking Sodus 4-0 in the Far West Regional at Batavia’s Dwyer Stadium.

Joe Rosenbeck hurled a sparkling 1 hitter with 9 strikeouts for the Mustangs which scored three times in the fourth inning on a pair of fielders choice plays and an RBI single by Matt Heiligenthaler.

Medina pitcher Joe Rosenbeck gets congratulations from his catcher Paul Osborne after hurling the Mustangs to their first Far West Regional victory, a 4-0 win over Sodus at Dwyer Stadium in 2003.

That win advanced Medina to the state Class B semifinals in Binghamton where the Mustangs dropped a 9-1 decision to Carle Place from Long Island.

Another 16 years would pass before the Mustangs would begin their current run of sectional championships in 2019.

That spring an underclassmen dominated Mustangs squad first captured the Section VI Class B1 title with a 10-6 win over rival Albion and then overall Section VI Class B title and a trip to the state playoffs with a 15-4 win over rival Roy-Hart.

Brian Fry provided the big bat in the win over Albion with a double and triple and a total of 6 RBI and Trevor Luthart turned in a sparkling 2 hit, 9 strikeout 5 inning relief pithing effort.

A huge 10 run first inning then sparked Medina past Roy-Hart as winning pitcher Chris Goyette had a three-run double and an RBI double and Matt Saj a two-run single.

Keeping the momentum, Medina downed LeRoy 10-2 in the Far West Regional played at Lockport to advance to the Final Four.

AJ Seefeldt had 3 hits and 4 RBI for the Mustangs as Fry, Goyette and Luthart each chipped in with a pair of hits. Goyette, Seefeldt and Zach Fike also teamed up to turn a key inning ending double play with the bases loaded.

However, Schuylerville ended Medina’s bid for top state honors by downing the Mustangs 6-3 in the state semifinals.

With virtually the entire team coming back in 2020 the Mustangs looked primed to make another strong run at top sectional and state honors only to have the Covid 19 Pandemic shut down schools and wipe out the season.

Limited competition resumed in 2021 and Medina Captured the Section VI Class B2 title with a 7-0 win over Roy-Hart but there were no state playoffs.

Fike pitched Medina out of a first inning bases loaded jam and the Mustangs took control with a big 5 run second inning highlighted by a three-run triple by Seefeldt.

The 2022 Section VI Class B2 title contest was a repeat of the 2021 matchup but this time the score was much closer as Medina nipped Roy-Hart 1-0 in a classic pitchers dual.

Fike pitched a 1 hitter with 5 strikeouts for Medina while Roy-Hart hurler Thomas Russo III scattered 4 hits and struck out 7. Medina scored the game’s lone run in the first inning as Xander Payne singled and came home on an error.

The Mustangs then captured the overall Section VI Class B title and a berth in the state playoffs by downing B1 champion Depew 4-1 as Aidan Paul pitched 6 innings of scoreless ball allowing 2 hits and striking out 6. At the plate, Julian Woodworth, Payne and Joe Cecchini all had extra base hits.

However, Medina’s bid to return to the Final Four was dashed as Section V champion Palmyra-Macedon downed the Mustangs 11-1 in the Far West Regional played at Monroe Community College.

The Mustangs will be looking to regain their winning touch in the Regional against Wellsville on Saturday.