Mustangs edge Purple Eagles in 9 innings

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 April 2022 at 7:59 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina catcher Xander Payne tags out Albion’s Amari Jones in a third inning rundown play during the Mustangs win over the Purple Eagles this afternoon at Vets Park.

Pushing across a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, Medina nipped rival Albion 3-2 at Vets Park this afternoon to stay in the thick of a tight three-way Niagara-Orleans League title chase.

Zack Fike was hit by a pitch with two out and the bases loaded to force in the winning run in the home half of the ninth as Medina improves to 4-1 in N-O action.

In the day’s other two N-O games, front-running Roy-Hart improved to 4-0 by blanking Newfane 13-0 in five innings and Akron boosted its record to 5-1 by shutting out Barker by an identical score of 13-0.

Richard Keppler led off the ninth for Medina with a single, his third hit of the game. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hayden Woodroe and to third on a wild pitch. An intentional walk and a hit batter then loaded the bases with two out setting the stage for Fike’s getting hit by a pitch to force in the winning run.

Albion had jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI triple by Tyler Gibson and an RBI sacrifice fly by Caleb Fox. A leadoff double by Amari Jones, the first of his three hits, ignited the uprising.

Medina though battled back to knot the contest by scoring once in the second on a single by Keppler and once in the fourth on a leadoff home run by Aidan Paul.

The Purple Eagles got the bases loaded in the fifth on singles by Chris Sacco and Jones and an intentional walk but the Mustangs got out of the jam on a clutch inning ending strikeout by Paul who pitched the first eight innings.

Albion later left two runners stranded in both the eighth and ninth innings. A single by Jacob Hughson and an intentional walk put two aboard in the eighth but again Paul registered a clutch inning ending strikeout. Then in the ninth, a single by Cade Wolcott and an intentional walk put two runners aboard but the Mustangs got out of the jam on an infield ground out to shortstop Joe Cecchini.

Medina did threaten with two out in the eighth after a double by Cecchini but Gibson, who came on in relief of Jones in the eighth, registered a clutch inning ending strikeout.

Defensively both teams turned a double play. Medina’s DP came in the third from Brody Fry at third to Tyler Kroening at second to Fike at first. Albion’s came in the fifth from Gibson at shortstop to Fox at first.

The loss drops Albion to 1-3 in N-O action.

The two teams will meet again at Albion at 4:45 p.m. Monday.

Albion’s Dallas Ecker gets a force out on Medina’s Brody Fry at third base.

Roy-Hart 13, Newfane 0
John Conley banged out 3 hits, Jake Gould and Jay Heideman 2 and Ryan Mettler, Brayden Hy, Thomas Russo and Dawson Draper 1 each to power Roy-Hart to the five inning win.

Heideman’s hits included two doubles as Gould, Russo an Draper also each had a two bagger.

On the mound, Russo pitched the first four innings allowing 1 hit and striking out 9. Hy hurled the final frame giving up no hits and striking out 1.

Newfane is now 1-4.

Akron 13, Barker 0
Dawson Stone and Drew Romesser combined for 6 of Akron’s 14 hits and Jack Klodzinski registered 7 strikeouts in 4 innings of work on the mound.