RIGHT OVER THE PLATE — Kyle Warner throws it home, during a recent game. Photo by Brenda Singleton.
SPRINGVILLE — On May 1, the Sprinville-Griffith Institute junior varsity baseball team took on the Depew Wildcats. The game saw the Griffins score a season-high 25 runs, in a 25 – 6 throttling of Depew. Sophomore Brian Poppenberg turned in a strong performance, at the plate and on the mound, for Springville.
At the plate, Poppenberg had four hits and scored a career-high 6 runs, to pace the Griff’s offense. On the mound, Poppenberg closed out the last four innings of the game, in his first action of the year. He replaced Matt Saboda, who left the game with a back injury, after allowing two hits, through three innings.
“I thought he was excellent,” said Coach Bill Dickinson, of Poppenberg. “His attitude was superb, because he just took the ball and said ‘Yeah, I’ll throw. I’ll pitch for as long as you want me to, coach.’ He ended up pitching the rest of the game. It was awesome. One inning, we booted the ball, a little bit, and another inning, they hit a couple bombs off of him. Other than that, he answered the call, big time.”
Springville pounded out a season-high 16 hits. Jake Smith went 3 – 5 and scored 5 runs, while Hayden Goodridge went 3 – 6, with 3 runs’ scored. Mitch Rosati went 3 – 6, hitting out of the two-spot in the win.
Springville traveled to Lake Shore, on April 29, and lost their second game of the season 12 – 11. Host Lake Shore scored 5 runs, in the bottom of first, to take an early lead and increased their lead to 7 – 0, at the end of the second.
“The ball was hit hard, by a couple of people,” Dickinson said, about Lake Shore’s first inning. “There should have been plays made, that we didn’t make. When you combine that with a couple decent base hits, all the sudden, we’re down by five.”
Springville got 2 runs, in the top of the fourth, and scored 7 runs, in the top of the sixth, but Lake Shore countered for the 12 – 11 win.
“We put ourselves in an early hole. We were pretty resilient, with the way we came back, but it was just too much to overcome,” Dickinson said. “I thought our bats were decent today but we still have to make contact and swing the bat more. Too many guys are watching strike three go by; we can’t have that.”
Devin Pazzuti scored 2 runs, for the Griffs and hit a triple. Pazzuti is leading the team in runs scored, this season. Dickinson noted that Pazzuti makes a lot of things happen, in the middle of the order.
“That’s an understatement,” Dickinson added. “He has a lot of courage; I mean, he leads the team, by far, in getting hit by pitches. He drives the ball into gaps and he creates a lot of problems, on the base paths. He’s not afraid to take an extra base, here or there, and create a situation where the other team has to make a perfect throw. He’s achieving everything this team needs him to do.”
The Griffs hosted Maryvale High School for a home contest, on Friday, May 3.