Roy-Hart captures first Section VI baseball championship with win over rival Medina

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 25 May 2018 at 12:14 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Roy-Hart pitcher Jacob Bruning, right, celebrates in the arms of third baseman Ben Schwab as the Rams completed a sectional championship victory over rival Medina Thursday evening at Gowanda. A happy Charlie Brigham moves in to join the celebration.

Making an early lead stand up Roy-Hart captured its first Section VI baseball championship by edging past Niagara-Orleans League rival Medina 4-2 in the Class B2 title contest at Gowanda Thursday evening.

All of Roy-Hart’s scoring in fact came in the first two innings.

The Rams grabbed a quick lead in the first inning on a two-run single by Charlie Brigham as a single by Jacob Bruning and two walks loaded the bases to set up the threat.

The Rams doubled their advantage by plating two more runs in the second inning on an RBI single by Al Xapsos and an error.

Roy-Hart first baseman Charlie Bruning catches the ball just before Medina’s Trevor Luthart touches the bag.

Medina, which left runners stranded at second and third in the second inning after a walk, a single by Chris Goyette and a sacrifice bunt by Trevor Luthart, capitalized on a two-run error in the third frame to cut the deficit to 4-2. Singles by AJ Seefeldt and Brian Fry and a walk loaded the bases to set up the opportunity.

However, Medina could not cross home plate again.

The Mustangs twice got a runner aboad in the fifth frame but both times the runner was pick off, first by Rams pitcher Jacob Bruning and then by catcher Noah Hardy.

Medina then got a leadoff double by Brett Riemer in the sixth but again couldn’t capitalize as Jacob Bruning, who came on in relief in the fourth frame, retired the next three batters in order on two infield popups and a strikeouts.

Jacob Bruning then closed out the Rams historic win by striking out the side in the seventh.

“It’s special. We really wanted this one ” said Jacob Bruning whose Rams finished in the runner-up spot in last year’s B2 playoffs. “We came up short last year so as a team we really wanted this one. It was a tough game. Medina has a very good team and Trevor pitched real well.”

Bruning allowed 2 hits and struck out 7 over the last four innings.  Walker Samanka, who hurled the first three frames for the Rams gave up 3 hits and struck out 5.

Luthart went the distance on the mound for Medina scattering 5 hits and striking out 6.

Roy-Hart will next face B1 champion Olean for the overall Section VI Class B title and a berth in the state playoffs at noon on Saturday at Orchard Park High School. Olean defeated Fredonia 12-8 in the B1 final.

Roy-Hart, which captured the N-O title, split a pair of regular season meetings with Medina which was making its first appearance in the sectional finals since 2005.

Medina first baseman Zach Fike gets the ball just before Roy-Hart’s Noah Hardy touches first.