Mustangs down Wildcats to claim Section VI Class B crown and a state tourney berth

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 May 2022 at 4:52 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina second baseman Tyler Kroening makes a throw to compete a double play. Sliding in to second is Depew’s Nicholas Kornyski. The play came during the Mustangs sectional title win over the Wildcats at Niagara University this afternoon.

A pair of two run scoring innings combined with a strong pitching performance sparked Medina to a 4-1 victory over Depew at Niagara University this afternoon earning the Mustangs the Section VI Class B championship and a berth in the upcoming state tournament.

Aidan Paul picked up the win on the mound for the Mustangs pitching six scoreless innings allowing just 2 hits and striking out 6. One of those strikeouts was clutch to end the fourth inning as the Wildcats left a runner stranded at third base in what was then a tight 2-0 contest.

“Aidan had an allergy attack before the game but we got that settled down and he went out and worked hard out there,” said Medina Coach Jon Sherman.

Aidan Paul delivers a pitch for the Mustangs.

“I was grinding  out there. It was hot,” said Paul who allowed only four base runners over the first six innings. “I couldn’t have done it with out my defense and the offense. Everyone contributed.”

The Mustangs got the only two runs they needed as it turned out in the second inning.

Julian Woodworth tripled with one out and came home on a sacrifice fly by Brody Fry. Two walks and a single by Tyler Kroening then loaded the bases and Xander Payne was hit by a pitch forcing in the second run.

The runs also gave Paul a big boost on the mound. “They were big,” he said. “You get ahead like that then you can settle down and relax a bit.”

Medina did leave the bases loaded in the second and left a pair of runners stranded in both the fourth and fifth frames before picking up a pair of big insurance runs in the sixth.

Payne doubled in the first run and then, after a double by Joe Cecchini, Zack Fike singled in the final run.

Paul also had a big day at the plate banging out 3 hits as Woodworth had 2.

Defensively, the Mustangs turned a double play in the fifth inning from Fry at third to Kroening at second to Fike at first.

“It wasn’t our best game,” said Sherman “but we had some kids come through.”

The Mustangs advanced to the state qualifier by nipping Niagara-Orleans League rival Roy-Hart 1-0 on Saturday for a third straight Class B2 title. The Wildcats trimmed Lew-Port 1-0 in the Class B1 final.

Improving to 21-3, Medina will now face the as yet to be determined Section V champion in the Far West Regional next Saturday afternoon at Monroe Community College.

It will be Medina’s second straight trip to the state playoffs. The Mustangs advanced to the state semis in 2019. There were no state playoffs in 2020 or 2021 because of Covid 19 restrictions.

Big plays of defense helped lock up the Mustangs win. Here Joe Cecchini, left, makes a throw from his shortstop position and Zack Fike fields a grounder at first base.

Julian Woodworth banged out two hits including a key triple to spark Medina’s early two run second inning which put the Mustangs on top to stay.