Luke O’Neal and the 14U Springville baseball team fell to North Tonawanda in the District Tournament championship July 6. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
North Tonawanda was the only team that Springville couldn’t manage to get past.
Springville’s 14u baseball team lost to North Tonawanda twice in the district tournament, with the final loss coming in the championship game on July 6.
Springville finished the tournament 3-2, advancing to the championship game after wins over Mel Ott, Orchard Park and River Rock.
North Tonawanda, which defeated Springville earlier in the tournament, 14-10, took down Springville yet again, 6-2, to take the tournament title.
“[North Tonawanda] was hitting some gaps, a few fly balls dropped that shouldn’t have,” Springville coach Jake Domes said. “Our defense played good, except for one inning. Offensively, they had a kid who was throwing pretty hard and we were actually ahead of it. We couldn’t just wait back and give the ball a ride.”
Springville took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Tyler Kostelny and Dylan Winters led off the game with back-to-back base hits. Shawn Wright drove in Kostelny on an RBI single and Luke O’Neal followed with an RBI fielder’s choice to plate Winters.
Springville would struggle from that point forward. In the home-half of the first, North Tonawanda put together a four-run inning to take that lead. Springville walked two batters (both wound up scoring) and made a costly fielding error that led to another run.
Springville couldn’t get much going with the bats in the next six innings, mustering just two hits and two total baserunners.
“We hit the ball really well all tournament, up until the championship game,” Domes said.
Wright went 2-for-3 in the loss.
In Springville’s loss to North Tonawanda earlier in the tournament, Springville was able to pound out 10 hits in the 14-10 loss. Dan Wirfel, Dan Robertson, and O’Neal each had multi-hit games to pace Springville’s bats.
On June 28, Springville defeated Mel Ott, 14-1, in its tournament opener. Springville scattered 15 hits, led by Ty Sibiga, who went 3-for-3.
Wright went 2-for-2 with three runs scored, including a home run in the third inning. O’Neal, Austin Coon and Wirfel each had multi-hit performances.
Wright had an outstanding tournament both defensively, where he played three different positions and offensively, where he led Springville with a .556 batting average in the tournament. Wright began the tournament as Springville’s starting catcher, but a thumb injury forced him to play the outfield. Playing both left and center field, Wright had three outfield assists, including one where he threw out a runner at first base.
“Despite injury, he was able to fight through it and throw kids out,” Domes said. “He’s just an all-around player. Offensively, he can hit one [in the order], he knows how to hit leadoff. He watches pitches and works the pitcher’s pitch count. He can bunt or in some of the games where we had other kids with speed, I put him No. 3 and he knocked one off the fence for a triple, to bring in three runs. You can put him anywhere in the order and he’ll come through.”
Domes also noted that he was impressed with the pitching of O’Neal, as well as the overall play of Sibiga, who hit in the middle of the order and played five different positions.
Other members of the team included: Chad Boldt, Marcus MacWilliams, and Frank Neff.