Recalling Albion’s first Section VI and N-O League baseball championship seasons

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 May 2020 at 9:57 am

Contributed Photo – Coach Ken Snyder

Albion has compiled a very rich and successful history on the baseball diamond since moving from Section V to Section VI and the Niagara-Orleans League during the 1961-62 school year.

Over the past nearly 60 year long period the Purple Eagles have captured no less than 10 Section VI and 21 N-O diamond titles.

Albion’s first Section VI championship came in 1977 as Coach Ken Snyder’s Purple Eagles blanked Fredonia 4-0 in the Class B title contest played at Hyde Park Stadium in Niagara Falls.

The battery of pitcher Paul Chappius and catcher Mark Keeler sparked Albion to the milestone win.

On the mound Chappius hurled a four hitter with four strikeouts.

At the plate, Keeler banged out a key bases loaded, three-run double in the third inning. A double by Reed Patterson followed by a walk and a fielders choice play loaded the bases to set up the opportunity.

Wayne Johnson doubled home an insurance run for the Purple Eagles in the seventh driving in Wade Patterson who led off the frame with a double.

Albion had advanced to the B final by downing Gowanda 4-2 in the quarterfinals and Salamanca 9-2 in the semis.

Three runs in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run error and a fielders choice play provided the margin of victory over Gowanda. A four run second inning, highlighted by a three-run double by Reed Patterson, gave Albion the lead for good over Salamanca.

However, Albion’s postseason run was ended in the Section VI Class BB-B Supersectional game where Dunkirk blanked the Purple Eagles 2-0. The Supersectionals were held for several years prior to the state of the state playoffs in the early 1980’s.

The Purple Eagles have also claimed a Section VI title in 1980, 1983, 1991, 1999, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Just a decade before in 1967 Albion captured its first N-O diamond title going 12-2 to claim the crown by two games over runner-up Akron.

The Purple Eagles locked up the title with the combination of a 6-5 victory over Roy-Hart and rival Medina’s 4-0 win over runner-up Akron in the second from the last game of the N-O campaign.

Albion then capped off the title campaign with wild 11-8 win over Medina. The Purple Eagles jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, fell behind 8-7 and then used a four run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning to claim the win.

Interestingly over half of Albion’s N-O titles have come in three year bursts including 1998-99-2000, 2002-03-04, 2008-09-10 and 2012-13-14.