Sophomore Kyle Warner earned a spot on the ECIC III first team after an impressive season on the mound
SPRINGVILLE—The Springville-Griffith Institute varsity baseball team had one of its’ best seasons in program history this spring and with that came all star recognition.
Springville had four players selected to the Erie County Interscholastic Conference III first team and eight players in total honored with all-star recognition. Senior Adam Wolfley, sophomore Kyle Warner, junior Kyle McCarthy and junior Kyle Crotty were named to the first team. Wyatt Sibiga, Tyler Conklin and Drew Scharra took second team honors, while Pat Emmick was named an honorable mention.
Wolfley was also named ECIC III Player of the Year after leading the league with a .500 batting average.
After making second team as a sophomore, Crotty was promoted to first this season. Overall in 19 games, Crotty hit .459 with 31 RBIs, while batting cleanup. Of his 34 hits, 14 were for extras bases. On the mound, he went 5-1 overall.
“Hitting is contagious and when guys were on base, Crotty was zoned in,” Springville coach Ron Tamraz said. “He knew that his job was to hit the ball to score runs and he didn’t fail us too often. They had to pitch to him because of the guys we have behind him like McCarthy and Sibiga.
After hitting ninth last season, McCarthy moved up in the order and so did his numbers. He hit .500 in league and sectional play and had an on-base-percentage of .614.
“Kyle had two strikeouts in the entire season,” Tamraz said. “He’s a smart hitter that knew where to put the ball. He almost always put the ball in play. He would have had a lot more RBIs if Crotty wasn’t hitting in front of him.”
After being called up to varsity before the season, Warner hit .408 in league and scored 18 runs. The left-hander had a sparkling 0.55 ERA on the mound and averaged 13.8 strikeouts per seven innings.
“He didn’t play like a sophomore, that’s for sure,” Tamraz said. “Him playing in his travel leagues in the summer, the tournaments that he’s gone to, he played much older than a sophomore. He had composure. You could explain something to him and you didn’t have to remind him about it again.”
Sibiga emerged as Springville’s No. 2 pitcher behind Crotty. The hard-throwing right-hander went 3-0 in league and sectionals with a 2.89 ERA in 26 2/3 innings. He allowed just 19 hits and struck out a team-high 36 batters. Conklin received second team honors for the second-straight season by hitting .300 in league, with 12 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Scharra was named an ECIC III all star for the third time by hitting .308.
Springville finished the season 14-5, 10-2 in league, the best winning percentage that Tamraz has had in 15 years as the head coach of the varsity team. In 1999 Springville had 15 wins, but back then, teams were allowed to play 24 regular season games and the team went 15-10 that season after a playoff loss.
“When it comes to wins and losses, we won a heckuva lot more than we lost,” Tamraz said. “From that standpoint, it was big improvement from last year. It was the second most wins I’ve ever had as the coach. I don’t think we’ve ever had more than seven league wins. From those personal and team things, it was successful year.”
Tamraz added this year’s team was the most talented offensive squad he’s ever coached. Springville had seven players with a batting average of .300 or better and had five players batting .340 or better, for a team average of .336 in league play. The Griffs averaged more than eight runs per game in league and scored five or more runs in 13 of their 19 games this season.
“From top-to-bottom, all of the kids could put the ball in play,” Tamraz said. “We didn’t have any big power guys, we didn’t have any home runs. We had line drive hitters that knew how to hit their spots. Last year we talked about hitting the other way and doing this and doing that, these guys were able to do it a lot this year. Line drives, gap-to-gap, taking extra bases, look at our on-base percentage, they swing at good pitches the majority of the time. Their plate presence was really good, that’s what made the difference.”
Springville’s pitching staff had a team ERA of 2.72 in league and sectional play. Springville’s top-three pitchers: Crotty (2.12 ERA), Sibiga (2.89) and Warner (0.55) each had ERAs under 3.00. Teams had a batting average of .178 and had a .326 on-base-percentage against Springville pitchers, with 118 strikeouts in 103 innings pitched.
Tamraz will be retiring from Springville-GI following this school year. The biology teacher has been working at the district since 1986. He has coached baseball since 1999 and has also spent time coaching football. In 1996, Tamraz was an assistant coach on Springville’s football team that won the New York state championship. He hopes to continue coaching the baseball team next season.
The All-WNY teams will be released in the coming weeks. Stay locked in with The Journal to see if any Springville players make the cut.