A GOOD RUN — The West Valley Central School varsity baseball team’s playoff hopes ended, thanks to a game played against the North Collins varsity baseball team. Photos by Judd Brown.
WEST VALLEY — “The playoffs for the West Valley Wildcats marked both highs and lows for the team,” said Bryan Hansen, head coach for the West Valley boys varsity baseball team, at the close of the season.
A 9 – 9 record got the boys into the playoffs and a 14 – 5 victory against the Ellicottville Eagles pushed the Wildcats into the second round, for the first time in four years.
Pitcher Derek Wells
West Valley’s Derek Wells was on the mound for the entire Ellicottville game and ended the evening with 10 strikeouts.
BATTER UP — West Valley’s Patrick Enser gets on base, with a single.
West Valley nailed 14 hits, including four doubles and three triples. Wells, Jared Ras, Patrick Enser and Keegan Kittle were responsible for the doubles and Collin Proctor and Cole Stanbro hit triples, of which Stanbro had two.
“The team really played well today,” Hansen said. “We had timely hits and great defense and pitching, as well. It was our best complete game of the season.”
That win was followed up with a season-ending defeat, when the team dropped its second-round contest to the North Collin Eagles 3 – 2. “The season ended with a heartbreaking loss,” Hansen said. The matchup was in the quarterfinals of the sectional playoffs.
Two runs in the first inning by the opponent set West Valley back, right from the start, but the Wildcats battled back. Ras hit an RBI double in the fourth inning, bringing Stanbro in, and the same situation tied the game at 2, during the sixth.
The tie did not last and North Collins scored a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, setting up the win for West Valley’s opponents.
“The kids played their hearts out today,” Hansen said. “They deserved the win today. Cole [Stanbro] pitched an excellent game, and the team played well, behind him. We just came up a couple of hits short, today.”
Stanbro threw every pitch for West Valley, allowing 4 hits. He had seven strikeouts.
Ras was the leader at the plate, getting two hits on three at-bats. Both hits were RBI doubles.
The team’s final record on the season was 10 – 10. “I am very proud of the team and how well we ended the season,” Hansen concluded.
“We were playing our best baseball at the end of the season and it was great to see us end on a high note,” the coach added.
With the season complete, the West Valley team looks forward to the spring sports award event, scheduled for June 7 in the gymnasium at West Valley High School. “Please come and support the baseball team and all the student athletes from West Valley,” Hansen said.