WEST VALLEY — During week one of the season, the West Valley Central School boys varsity baseball team started off 4 – 0 and played at home against North Collins, on April 17, looking for its fifth straight. The Wildcats led 4 – 0, after one inning.
Heading into the fourth, the boys held an 8 – 0 lead, but lost their grip, after that point.
North Collins sent home eight runners, in the top of the fourth, to tie the game, although West Valley responded, with 1 run of its own, to hold a 1-run lead, when the Wildcats got the third out of the inning. North Collins added 2 runs, in the following inning, but the Wildcats responded, by scoring 4 more runs, in the fifth, to push their lead up to 3.
West Valley sat with a 13 – 10 lead, going into the sixth. During that inning, West Valley lost the game.
The road team scored run after run, in the sixth, amounting to 11 total, to take a 21 – 13 lead. West Valley made up 3 of those runs, in the sixth, but a scoreless seventh inning sent the Wildcats off the field, with a 21 – 16 defeat.
“When you have 13 hits and score 16 runs, you win most games,” Coach Bryan Hansen said. “Unfortunately, tonight we didn’t. We were unable to stop the big innings tonight, and that was the difference.”
Collin Proctor had a 1,000 batting average, going 3 for 3 and scoring 3 runs, to go with an RBI. Mike Grigsby, Jared Ras, Derek Wells and Keegan Kittle had two hits each, while Grigsby scored 3 runs. Ras led the team, with 3 RBIs.
At the mound, Wells surrendered two hits and 2 runs, but Cole Stanbro allowed 8 runs on six hits. Ras, unable to duplicate his offensive production, on defense, surrendered 11 runs, on six hits. He and Stanbro had four strikeouts and Wells had three.
West Valley headed to Clymer for its next, lower-scoring, game, through five innings, in which Clymer led 1 – 0. During the top of the sixth, Marcus Enser and Austin Wierzba scored, to put the road team up 2 – 1. The Wildcats failed to protect another lead and surrendered 4 runs, during the bottom of the sixth, and could not counter with any scoring, in the seventh. Clymer took the game by a 4 – 2 score.
Wells pitched most of the game, registering eight strikeouts and giving up 2 hits. “Derek pitched a great game tonight,” Hansen said. “He really kept them off balance.” The coach said that, overall, he is looking for more focus, from a team that committed five errors, during this game. “As a team, we need to be sharper in the field and better on the base path,” he said. “We are committing too many mental errors.”
The Wildcats looked to right the ship, when they hosted Cattaraugus-Little Valley on April 22, but this game did little to re-establish the team’s standings. After two innings, the visiting team was 3 – 0, which became a 4-run lead, after four.
During the fifth inning, the score was 9 – 0, before Stanbro came home for the Wildcats, to put them on the board. The final score was 10 – 1, in favor of Cattaraugus-Little Valley.
“We did not come up with timely hits,” Hansen said, after the game. “We left the bases loaded, in the second, and 11 guys on base, for the game. When you don’t get a hit or two, with runs on, it is hard to win.”
West Valley fell to 4 – 3, including a 1 – 2 league record. The Wildcats hosted Ellicottville on April 24, before heading to Sherman on April 26, looking to get back in the win column.
The team will participate in the Jamestown Community College Showcase, against Randolph, on April 27. West Valley’s next regular game will be held on Monday, April 29 in Ripley, at 5 p.m.