Niagara Nationals win Battle of the Falls Tournament
The Niagara Nationals, whose lineup is anchored by a contingent of Medina and Albion area players, capped off an outstanding tournament season by capturing their fifth title taking home the championship trophy at the Battle at the Falls Tournament this past weekend edging the Southern Tier Thunder 5-3 in the finals.
The Nationals cruised through pool play going 3-0 outscoring their opponents 37-6 by defeating Gaffer Baseball 7-1, Baldwinsville Swarm 13-1 and CNY Major League All-Stars 17-4.
The Nationals received strong pitching performances from Chris Goyette, Liam Ward and Brian Fry in pool play.
On Sunday, the Nationals rolled through the first two playoff games in large part to exceptional pitching performances by AJ Seefeldt and Joe Dell’Oso, both of whom went the distance on the hill shutting down their respective opponents, Gaffer Baseball 7-2 and Bucks County Legends 9-2.
The final game pitted the top two teams in the tournament against one another as the Nationals faced the Southern Tier Thunder from Binghamton, N.Y.
The Nationals jumped out to quick 2-0 lead in the first inning but he Thunder answered right back with one run of their own.
The teams then battled back and forth for the next two innings as the pitchers were mowing through the hitters.
In the fourth inning the Nationals were able to open up a little breathing room by tacking on a couple of runs behind keys hits by Dominic Cassata, Luthart and a bases clearing double by Goyette.
Luthart was able to shut down the Thunder through four innings but in the fifth the Thunder rallied and the Nationals brought in Goyette who was able to shut down the rally by only surrendering one run.
In the sixth and final inning with the Nationals holding onto a 5-3 lead, second baseman Nate Sherman recorded the first two outs with some slick glove work and pitcher Goyette recorded the final out with a strikeout.
In addition to the Falls tournament title, the Nationals have also won the Boys of Summer Kickoff, the Darien Lake, The New Era Cap Classic and the Cougar Classic tournaments this season.
The Nationals final game of the season is scheduled for 6:15 Wednesday night at the Anjo fields in Lckport for the Boys of Summer League championship.