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Medina basketball duo on AAU title team

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 August 2019 at 7:11 am

Two Medina High players, Emanuel Taylor and Tyler Chinn, were members of the Western New York Rebels basketball team which recently captured the Division 2 national AAU championship at the ESPN Complex in Orlando, Florida.

The Rebels won eight straight games at the tournament over teams from Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Vertmont, New York and Massachusets capped off by a 43-38 victory over the Boo Williams ’21 squad from Virginia in the championship game.

The Rebels won a total of 10 tournaments on the season.

Elsenheimer set for senior season at Iona

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 August 2019 at 6:49 am

Contributed Photo – Maria Elsenheimer

Albion High graduate Maria Elsenheimer is prepping for her senior soccer season at Iona College.

A midfielder, she is majoring in Psychology and last year earned Mid Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) All-Academic team honors.

A three time first team Niagara-Orleans League selection during her scholastic days at Albion, she had a career total of 71 goals and 31 assists for the Purple Eagles.

Muckdogs pst key win over Black Bears

Contributed Story Posted 15 August 2019 at 6:45 am

BATAVIA – There are 18 games left in the New York-Penn League season, but there was a playoff atmosphere at Dwyer Stadium Wednesday night.

With the West Virginia Black Bears coming in just 1.5 games behind Batavia, the managers were stealing bases, making pitching changes and even the players were involved in a stand-off that lasted over three hours.

In the end, the Batavia Muckdogs improved to 34-24 with an 11-5 win over West Virginia (31-26).

The Muckdogs trailed, 3-1 in the fourth when Nic Ready blasted a home run deep over the left field fence to cut the lead to 3-2. Ready has seven home runs on the season and went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI’s and his 25th double of the season.

A 2019 Miami Marlins draft pick in the 23rd round out of the Air Force Academy, has 34 RBI’s on the season.

Batavia shortstop Dalvy Rosario had it best offensive night of the season, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, 2 RBI’s and scored two runs as well as turning two double plays with Jack Strunc.

J.D. Orr, who leads the NYPL in hitting with a .381 average stole his 24th base of the season and despite just one hit on the night scored four runs. Strunc had two hits and scored twice.

Troy Johnston, a 17th round pick of the Marlins out of Gonzaga was 2-for-4 with two runs, 2 RBI’s and a walk. He hit his 10th double of the season.

Milton Smith II is hitting .327 after going 2-for-4.

The crowd noticed a fun stand off between Batavia’s Harrison Dinicola and West Virginia’s Ryan Haug. The two held their hats over their hearts during the national anthem, then players from both teams picked them up like a statue and put them standing in the same position on the bench. During each inning, the players were decorated by Gatorade cups and never moved from the position for over three and a half hours.

When Haug finally had to leave the dugout after the game to catch the bus, Dinicola was the victor, touching off a wild celebration by the players including a water and Gatorade bath.

The Muckdogs went over 30,000 fans on the season, which is over 3,000 more than all of 2018 with 10 home games remaining.

Andrew Miller started and struck out four in 4.1 innings giving up three runs. With runners on in the fifth, M.D. Johnson came in and retired the only two batters he faced to pick up his first win of the season. At 1-0, Johnson has pitched 12.2 innings with 16 strikeouts.

Bryan Hoeing earned his third hold throwing two innings with two strikeouts, no walks, no runs and just two hits.

Brock Love then closed it with three strikeouts in the last two innings.

Tonight is First Responders Night as all first responders receive two free general admission tickets.

Youth football season begins Saturday

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 14 August 2019 at 8:40 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Getting set for this coming Saturday’s Niagara Orleans Football Association (NOFA) season opener members of the Albion JV Eagles squad practice a play. Albion will visit Tri Town in Alexander on Saturday with the Beginners at 10 a.m., Mini at noon, JV at 2 p.m. and Varsity at 4 p.m. In all a dozen programs are competing in the NOFA League this season including Albion, Alden, Attica, Tri Town, Medina, Holley, Akron, Pembroke, Roy-Hart, Newfane, Oakfield/Elba and Batavia. The league will play a nine game regular season followed by the playoff semifinals on Oct. 19 and finals on October 26.

Members of the Medina Stallions run through a play in preparation for Saturday’s league opener at Holley. The Mini will be at 10 a.m., the JV at 12 p.m. and the Varsity is 2 p.m.. The other opener involving a local team will have Roy-Hart at Batavia.

Kendall sisters duo set for senior soccer season at Roberts Wesleyan

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 13 August 2019 at 8:15 am

Contributed Photos – Kendall High graduates sisters Taylor and Maya Rutland are prepping for their senior year as forwards on the Roberts Wesleyan soccer team. Taylor is majoring in Homeland Security and Maya in History. During their scholastic days at Kendall the sisters helped lead the Lady Eagles to sectional titles in both their junior and senior years. Roberts Wesleyan will open the season at home against LeMoyne on September 5. The Roberts Wesleyan mens soccer team’s roster includes Medina High graduate Ethan Leonard, who is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science. Roberts will open the season at home against Walsh University of Ohio on September 5.

Muckdogs bow as race for first place tightens

Contributed Story Posted 13 August 2019 at 8:10 am

Contributed Photo – The Batavia defense held Mahoning Valley to one run into the ninth but couldn’t put the game away in a 5-0 loss Monday. Jack Strunc tags out a Scrapper baserunner.

BATAVIA – As the race for the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division gets tighter, the Batavia Muckdogs have four crucial home games this week.

Batavia (33-24) fell to Mahoning Valley, 5-0 on Monday night as second place West Virginia  (30-25) picked up a win to move two games out of first.

The lead was just 1-0 in the ninth as the pitching staff held Mahoning Vally in check.

Edgar Martinez who suffered the hard-luck loss, gave up one run in six innings, striking out one without a walk. He is 2-3 and his ERA dropped to 2.88

Easton Lucas had a strong seventh and finished with four strikeouts in two innings.

At the plate for Batavia, Dustin Skelton, Andrew Turner, Julian Infante, Nic Ready, Troy Johnston and Milton Smith II (stolen bases, his 17th on the season) all had hits, but the Muckdogs stranded all seven runners.

Batavia hotss Mahoning Valley this evening and then on Wednesday second-place West Virginia comes to town for three games.

Goyette earns diamond tourney MVP honor

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 August 2019 at 9:11 pm

Contributed Photo – Chris Goyette

Chris Goyette, who will be a senior at Medina High this fall, hurled the Niagara Thunderwolves to a 3-0 victory over the Zoom Baseball Academy in the Gold Bracket championship game of the 17/18U Diamond Nation Summer Finale tournament in New Jersey Saturday.

Goyette hurled a 4 hitter and struck out 10 to earn the Gold Bracket’s Most Valuable Player award.

He got out of a one out bases loaded jam in the fifth inning with a strikeout and a ground out to shortstop Liam Ward, who will be a senior at Albion this fall.

The Thunderwolves three runs came in the sixth inning aided by a sacrifice bunt by Ward and an RBI triple by Roy-Hart’s Gavyn Boyle.

White Birch places second in ‘A’ Div. playoffs

Contributed Story Posted 12 August 2019 at 1:41 pm

Contibuted Photo – White Birch finished second in the Medina Women’s Softball League ‘A’ Division playoffs on Saturday losing to Banes in the finals 14-2. White Birch advanced to the finals by defeating Tower Tattoo 16-4 and Jr Wilson 1 4-1. In front are Anna Lewis, Mallory Albone and Maddy Boyle. In back are Morgan Hungerford, Cassidy Boyce, Aubrey Lewis, Kaity Albone, McKenzie Muck, Alecia Hinkson and Chelsea Silversmith. Missing from the photo is Maddie Gardepe.

Recalling the Medina Womens Softball League’s early champions and rivals

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 12 August 2019 at 8:04 am

Contriibuted Photos – The 1980 Bailey’s Drillettes Medina Women’s Softball League playoff championship team included, in front,  Cheryl Nudd, Tinker Eddy, Ann Geiger, Donna Myhill and Mary Guzik. In back are Yvonne Zambito, Lou Ann Watkins, Pat Mitchell, Marian Gerhardy, Ann Hyndman, Carol Corser and player-coach Annette Finch.

Over the past five years Bane’s Machine Shop/Banes Plumbing has had a strong run in the ‘A’ Division of the Medina Women’s Softball League winning four regular season and three playoff championships.

Interestingly when the league began play in 1968 the first dominate team was the Abex squad which captured the first three championships in 1968, 69 and 70. Abex in fact posted a 16-2 record during the 1970 season. Those were all regular season titles as the league did not begin playoff competition until 1971.

Not long after Abex, the Bailey’s Drillettes team from Albion put together the league’s first decade long run of success as from 1976 to 1986 the team claimed no less than six playoff and four regular season titles.

During the early part of that run Bailey’s top rival for the title was Apple Depot.

The two teams shared the regular season title in 1976 but Bailey’s prevailed in the playoffs and went on to repeat in 1977.

Apple Depot then bested Baileys for regular season and playoff honors in both 1978 and 1979.

Bailey’s got the playoff crown back in 1980 and then captured both the regular season and playoff championships in 1981, 1983 and 1986.

The only team to best Bailey’s during that stretch from 1981 to 1985 was Village Sports which claimed both the regular season and playoff titles in 1982, 1984 and 1985.

More recently the most dominating team in league history was Hammertime which captured regular season and or playoff titles for eight years in a row from 1995 to 2002.

The 1979 Apple Depot regular season and playoff championship team included, in the back row Debi Stornelli, Diane Willis, Mari Ehrenreich, Gus Fox, Cheryl Schnackel, Barb Draper, Cathy McCormick and Coach Louie Forman. In front are Cheryl Wertman, scorekeeper Skip Draper, Linda Sansone, Kathy Meyers, Cheryl Fuller and Teri Lavery,

The 1970 champion Abex team, which claimed the league’s first three titles, included, in front Louretta Sheelar, Barbara Dennis and Kathy Pawlaczyk. In the middle row are Betty Hassall, Dorothy Fuller, Mary Stillinger, Jenny Preston and Diane Brigham. In back are Carol Schening and Shirley Ridenour who was the league’s organizer and its first president.

Muckdogs blank Mahoning Valley to hike lead

Contributed Story Posted 12 August 2019 at 7:55 am

Contributed Photo –  Batavia manager Tom Lawless called on Joey Steele after an injury and the pitcher threw 2.2 scoreless innings for the save. Steele has not give-up a run in 13.1 innings this season and just one walk with 22 strikeouts. Catcher Michael Hernandez called the shutout, handling all four pitchers in the win.

BATAVIA – Just a day ago, the Batavia Muckdogs were in danger of losing the lead in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

However, back home at Dwyer Stadium, the Batavia pitching staff and clutch hitting led the Muckdogs to a 5-0 shutout of Mahoning Valley Sunday.

With the win and a West Virginia loss, Batavia (33-23) now has a 3.0 lead in the division.

Julio Frias improved to 4-2 wth the win, throwing five shutout innings with two strikeouts and one walk.

Jonaiker Villalobos struck out two in a scoreless sixth for his second hold and Geremy Galindez earned his second hold, but left the game with with discomfort after a pitch.

Joey Steele, the 30th round draft pick this year of the Miami Marlins who has a perfect 0.00 ERA, was called to the mound in the seventh with one out. With a few minutes to throw and stretch, he went out and threw 2.2 innings of one-hit, shutout ball with four strikeouts and no walks for his first save.

Steele has now thrown 13.2 innings with 22 strikeouts, no runs allowed, 11 hits, one walk and a 0.88 WHIP to go along with his 0.00 ERA.

“That was huge of Joe, he really picked up the bull pen, went 2.2 innings … that was big time of him,” said Batavia catcher and Miami native Michael Hernandez. “We really needed that.”

Hernandez not only handled the four pitchers for a shutout but had a basest and scored a run.

“I’m just taking it one pitch at time and trying to hit the ball hard,” said Hernandez. “We are in first place, there is no better feeling than winning. It’s always a great day when you get a shut out, that means it’s a combination of defense and pitching … it was a great day for us Muckdogs.”

At the plate, J.D. Orr was close to an inside-the-park homer when his sharply hit single to right skipped off the glove of an outfielder to the fence. He raced around the bases, scoring three runs on the play.

Orr finished 2-for-4 with two runs, his 13th RBI and increased his NYPL leading average to .384.

Nic Ready had two hits and scored a run while Sean Reynolds ripped a RBI single and Jack Strunc had a single and scored.

Not only did West Virginia (29-25) lose, but State College (27-28) in third place lost and Mahoning Valley (25-30) is in fourth.

The Muckdogs have five game left in this home stand, taking on Mahoning Valley Monday and Tuesday with games at 7:05 p.m. all week.