Mustangs down rival Purple Eagles to capture Section VI Class B1 diamond championship

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 May 2019 at 10:18 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina players and coaches celebrate capturing the Section VI Class B1 championship this evening with a 10-6 win over rival Albion at Niagara Falls High School.

Ending a 16 year drought, Medina bested rival Albion 10-6 in the Section VI Class B1 baseball championship game this evening at Niagara Falls High School.

Brian Fry provided the power at the plate with a double and triple driving in a total of six runs and Trevor Luthart turned in a sparkling five inning two hit, nine strikeout relief pitching effort to spark the Mustangs to their first sectional championship since 2003.

“We’ve set this as a goal for a couple of years and the kids have worked very hard, both in season and in the off season, to achieve it,” said Medina Coach Jon Sherman.

Trevor Luthart picked up the win in relief for Medina allowing only one run over the final five innings.

However, it was Albion which grabbed the early advantage as Thomas Furmanski blasted a grand slam home run over the left field fence in the second inning to give the Purple Eagles a 5-1 lead. An error, a double by Vincent Zona and an intentional walk loaded the bases to set up the threat.

Medina answered with a run in the home half of the frame on a bases loaded walk before taking the lead for good at 6-5 with a four run scoring burst in the third inning. Three walks loaded the bases to set up the threat.

A big three-run triple by Fry, which tied the game at 5-5, keyed the uprising as Nate Sherman followed up with a clutch RBI double for the go ahead tally.

“Good teams have got to battle through adversity and we were able to battle back after a kind of a sloppy start,” said Sherman.

It remained a tight 6-5 game heading into the bottom of the sixth inning as Luthart set Albion down in order in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. He struck out the side in both the third and sixth frames, notched two strikeouts in the fourth and got two outs himself in the fifth on grounders back to the mound.

“He’s a little sore but he really battled. It was a gutsy performance,” said Sherman of Luthart’s strong effort on the mound.

The Mustangs finally broke the contest open with four runs in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI sacrifice fly by Matt Saj and a big three-run double by Fry.  Three walks loaded the bases to set up the threat.

Albion finally ended its scoring drought with a run in the top of the seventh as Liam Ward lead off with a double and came home on a single by Furmanski.  However, Luthart quickly locked up the Mustangs win by retiring the next three batters in a row on a fly out, a strikeout and an infield out.

Improving to 19-2, Medina will next face B2 champion Roy-Hart for the overall section VI Class B title and a berth in the state playoffs at 3 p.m. Saturday at Canisius College. Roy-Hart downed Gowanda 5-1 at Depew for the B2 title.

Medina’s Nate Sherman rounds third base heading for home in the sixth inning. The Albion third baseman is Tyler Gibson.

Albion’s Thomas Furmanski (5) gets congratulations from his teammates after hitting a second inning grand slam home run.