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High School Baseball: North Collins, Eden still finding winning formulas

Leaping tall catchers Tyler Shaw gets high into the air to score a run, jumping over the catcher in Hamburg’s 14-5 win over Sweet Home on May 2. The Bulldogs are now 8-3 in ECIC II. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)

Despite fielding one of the youngest teams in recent memory, North Collins is still finding ways to win ball games.

The five-time defending sectional finalists remained in a first-place tie in CCAA IV with a 6-3 victory at Ellicottville on Monday (May 13). The win moves the Eagles to 6-2 as they traveled to Ripley a day later and host Sherman on May 15.
North Collins’ junior Jacob Fyock hauls in a throw at first. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)

Austin Winter, just a sophomore himself, pitched North Collins’ first complete game of the season, striking out three batters, walking none and showing enough savvy to get out of two big jams. One of them was a two-on and-nobody-out threat in the seventh.

Jared Keppel and Jordan Keough, two of the four seniors on the team, recorded two hits each, while freshman Jake Jasinski, sophomore Kyle Loretto and junior David Fera added hits in the win. Winter helped his own cause with two RBI, including a suicide squeeze in the seventh, which added a big insurance run.

Also winning often of late, Eden, which is also on the younger side this season, improved its ECIC IV record to 7-3 by earning victories in two out of three contests last week.

Eden beat Lackawanna 15-1 behind David Baskerville’s 4 for 6 performance, which included a home run and four RBI, and Jake Schlegel’s four hits. Matt Henry and Brad Palmerton added triples to fuel the offense. Matt Bialy picked up the win throwing a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts.

On Friday in a 9-1 win over Holland, Eden received a complete-game, three-hitter with 11 strikeouts from Palmerton, who also provided the offense going 3 for 4 with a two-run homer. Carson Gill and Kevin Delia added two hits each, with Brian Losel and Declan Pierce each scoring twice. Gill and Delia had a pair of RBI each in the win. The game lasted just one hour as Palmerton erased batter after batter in quick fashion.

Eden couldn’t hold on to a three-run lead in the seventh and lost 12-11 to Tonawanda in extra innings. Tonawanda loaded the bases with two outs in the 11th and picked up the game-winning hit on a blooper to right field. Palmerton picked up four hits in the loss and Baskerville, Seggio and Gill added three hits each.

After Tonawanda tied the game 11-11 on a two-out fly ball that was misplayed, the teams both had good chances to score. Eden had two men on with no out in the eighth and botched a suicide squeeze in the eleventh with neither opportunity providing runs. Tonawanda had bases loaded with one out in the 10th before Eden turned a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.

Despite the result, the game showed marked improvement for Eden, which opened the division season at home losing to Tonawanda 6-0.

“From the beginning of the year to where we are now, this team has taken leaps and bounds,” Eden coach Eric Cooper said. “The guys that were struggling a little early on, now they’re hitting consistently and making contact. At this level, if you put balls in play things are going to happen. They really competed at Tonawanda in a tough and raucous place.”

Elsewhere, Lake Shore lost for the first time in ECIC III play, falling 9-0 to East Aurora on May 3, but bounced back on Monday (May 6) by beating Pioneer 10-7. Christ Conley and Tyler Mascio both homered for the first-place Eagles, who improved to 9-1 with three division games left.

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