Mustangs to host Rams for Class B2 title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 25 June 2021 at 8:22 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina will host rival Roy-Hart for the Section VI Class B2 title on Saturday. Here Medina’s Aiden Paul dives back to second base during the Mustangs regular season game against Roy-Hart at Gasport. Rams second baseman Ethan Kuzma awaits the throw as shortstop Thomas Russo III backs up the play.

Two very familiar foes will meet for the Section VI Class B2 baseball championship Saturday  as top seeded Medina will host No. 3 Roy-Hart at 2 p.m. at Vets Park.

This marks the third straight season that the Mustangs and Rams have met in a sectional championship game. Medina downed Roy-Hart 15-4 for the overall Section VI Class B title in 2019 after the Rams had bested the Mustangs 4-2 for the Class B2 title in 2018.

Medina scored a pair of regular season wins over Roy-Hart by margin of 9-0 and 9-1 in route to  a 12-0 Niagara-Orleans League title campaign. The league losses were the only ones for Roy-Hart which finished in the runner-up spot at 10-2.

The Mustangs advanced to the sectional finals by defeating No. 8 seed Southwestern 10-0 in the quarterfinals and No. 5 Akron 7-3 in the semis while the Rams bested No. 6 Maritime 14-4 in the quarterfinals and No. 7 Cleveland Hill 12-2 in the semis.

Both teams have received plenty of run producing power throughout their lineups during the season.

For Medina, Zack Fike, who is hitting .466, has driven in a team high 29 runs while AJ Seefeldt (.296 ave.) has 20 RBI, Corey Saj (.298) 16 RBI, Brian Fry (.451 ave.) 14 RBI, Alex Doval (.356 ave.) 13 RBI, Aiden Paul (.261 ave.) 11 RBI, Xander Payne (.349 ave.) 9 RBI, Austin Mosher (.237 ave.) 9 RBI and Joe Cecchini (.275 ave.) 8 RBI.  Fike and Cecchini have each hit two home runs and Fry one.

For Roy-Hart, Brayden Hy, who is hitting .431, has a team leading 22 RBI while Noah Stern (.387 ave.) has 20, Thomas Russo III (.377 ave.) 12 RBI, Ryan Mettler (.400 ave.) 12 RBI, Jake Gould (.260 ave.) 9 RBI, Zach Duewigger (.208 ave.) 9 RBI, John Conley (.304 ave.) 8 RBI) and Hunter Babel (.294 ave.) 8 RBI.

On the mound for Medina, Fike has registered 67 strikeouts, Payne 49 and Paul 37. For Roy-Hart, Russo has notched 78 strikeouts and Mettler 34.

Medina’s starting ‘9’ includes five seniors – Fry (shortstop), Seefeldt (second base), Mosher (catcher), Saj (centerfield) and Doval (right field); three juniors – Fike (pitcher/first base), Cecchini (third base) and Payne (pitcher/outfield) and one sophomore – Paul (pitcher/first base/outfield).

The Mustangs roster also includes the outfield trio of seniors Jack Rutkowski and Jacob Velesko and junior Hayden Woodroe.

Roy-Hart starts four freshman (Hy, Gould, Dawson Draper and Ethan Kuzma) and one sophomore (Russo) on a squad which also has three seniors (Stern,  Babel and Duewigger) and four juniors (Conley, Mettler, Jay Heideman and Gavyn Boyle who is currently out with an injury).

Medina brings a 15-1 overall record into the title contest while Roy-Hart is 13-3.