Regional is next diamond test for Mustangs

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 May 2024 at 9:36 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Preston Woodworth and his Mustang teammates will face Wellsville in the Far West Regional on Saturday at Grand Island.

A berth in the state semifinals is on the line as Section VI champion Medina will take on Section V champion Wellsville in the Class B Far West Regional at 10 a.m. Saturday at Grand Island High School.

Medina, which brings a 19-1 record into the Regional, advanced by edging Fredonia 4-3 for the Section VI Class B title.

Wellsville, which is 21-1, nipped Notre Dame 1-0 to claim the Section V Class B title.

Both teams bring a deep pitching staff into the state playoffs.

Wellsville has seven pitchers who have earned wins this season led by senior Cooper Brockway and junior Gavin Haggerty who are both 5-0 and junior Ty Vogel who is 4-1.

Medina has five pitchers who have starts on the mound including senior Julian Woodworth (36 strikeouts), juniors Brody Fry (49Ks) and Lukas Grimes (15 Ks) along with freshmen Preston Woodworth (38 Ks) and Aidan Papaj (37 Ks).

Brockway also leads the Lions at the plate with a .438 batting average. Vogel, Karson Grover, Matt Ritter, Trent Green, Aiden Cowburn and Alex Green have all hit over .350.

Papaj, Brandon Christiaansen, Carter Woodworth and Julian Woodworth are all hitting over .300 for Medina while Fry, Ryleigh Culver and Richard Keppler are all hitting over .275. The Mustangs run production has also been very balanced as Papaj has 18 RBIs, Culver 16, Carter Woodworth and Fry 14, Keppler 13, Preston Woodworth 12 and Christiaansen 11.

The teams have met once before in postseason play many years ago when Medina was in Section V. Medina edged Wellsville 3-2 in the 1953 Section V Class A semifinals at Batavia.

Medina is making its third appearance in the Far West Regional in 5 seasons. The Mustangs downed LeRoy 10-2 in 2019 and lost to Palmyra-Macedon 11-1 in 2022.

The victor on Saturday advances to the state Class B semifinals in Binghamton on June 7.