SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute junior varsity baseball team took on the Tonawanda Warriors in a nonleague showdown, on April 8. Behind the pitching of freshman Kyle Warner, the Griffins won their first game of the season 12 – 2.
Warner threw a complete game, striking out 14 Tonawanda batters, in the win.
On April 15, the Griffins hosted the Depew Wildcats. Springville scored 5 runs in the bottom of the first, to take a 5 – 0 lead. Depew scored, in the top of the second, but the Griffins offense proved to be too much for the Wildcats.
Springville scored 1 run in the second, 2 in the third, 1 in the fourth and 2 in the sixth, en route to a 10 – 1 win, against Depew. The boys did not play against Fredonia and North Collins during spring break, leaving the Griffins with just the Tonawanda game, to prepare them for league play.
First year Griffins Coach Bill Dickinson talked about the sudden slate of games, due to rainouts, and starting the year 2 – 0.
“I think it’s very important,” Dickinson said, about the current season tallies. “The rest of the games this week and next week are going to have some questions answered and we really don’t even know what those questions are, yet. We’re just going to have to roll with the punches, during the stroke of the game, and hopefully we come out with our heads up.”
Brian Poppenberg had 2 hits, out of the leadoff spot for Springville, and Devin Pazzuti reached base three times, stole three bases and scored 2 runs.
On the mound, Wyatt Sibiga and Tucker Grimm pitched six innings, scattering 2 hits. The two players combined, for 10 strikeouts, and allowed four walks. Grimm relieved Sibiga, due to an injury.
Dickinson said that he was impressed by Grimm’s performance. “He stepped in, for the last 3 1/3 innings, and we didn’t know he was going to be so excellent,” he said. “He really pitched his butt off. They had trouble touching him; he was just really good.”
The Griffs traveled to Maryvale to take on the Flyers, on April 17. The Flyers squeaked across 1 run in the first inning and 1 run in the second, to beat Springville 2 – 1.
Springville hitters struck out 13 times; six were done, via a called strike three. The game started with Maryvale’s striking out two Griffins.
“We need to swing the bat,” Dickinson said. “We need to swing the bat, if we expect to hit the ball. I’m a little confused right now, to why we’re not swinging the bat, with two strikes. We’re swinging it very well, when we’re up in the count, but when we get two strikes on us, we’re looking at it, too much.”
Warner followed up his first outing, by striking out six over 6 innings and not allowing an earned run.
“He’s looked outstanding, so far, this season,” Dickinson said. “He throws strikes. He only had one walk tonight. He likes to throw the ball in and, if he can’t get someone to chase with two strikes with a curve in the dirty or some high heat, he can drop a curve ball in for a strike or put his fastball wherever he wants it.”
The Griffins also took on East Aurora, on April 19.