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Cygan twirls three-hitter for win

In one of the best pitching performances at any level of local baseball this season, senior-to-be Walker Cygan pitched a complete game, three-hit shutout at Elma on June 30. His Gowanda team had to go eight innings to defeat the host team by a score of 1-0.

Gowanda had just nine players in uniform, with several forced to play out of position, but committed only one throwing error during the extra-inning affair. Meanwhile, the right-handed Cygan baffled the opposing hitters from Elma, Marilla and Wales (EMW) with his fastball and curve. Only one EMW runner reached third base during the entire contest.

Gowanda, however, could not solve EMW's hard-throwing pitcher, Josh Keating, as he, too, limited Gowanda to just four hits over the first seven innings. But the top of the eighth was a different story.

Leadoff batter Cole Dailey reached first on an infield hit. Josh Balzer then put down a sacrifice bunt that moved Dailey to second. Cygan reached first on an infield hit that moved Dailey to third. Josh Mitchell walked to load the bases with just one out. Chase Williams then stroked a sharp single past a drawn-in group of infielders that scored Dailey. Gowanda would not score again in their half of the inning and returned to the field protecting their first lead of the game.

EMW was able to get a runner to second base, but Cygan fielded consecutive ground balls from the mound and threw both runners out to secure the 1-0, eight-inning win. Williams,Cygan and Dailey each had two hits in the game.

Defensively, right-fielder Alex Emery thwarted an EMW threat in the fifth inning, when he caught a fly ball and made a perfect throw to third to cut down a runner who attempted to tag up. Dalton Francis made a nice catch in centerfield that also preserved the shutout. Carter Benton and Cole Dailey were moved from their normal positions and made all the plays from shortstop and second base. Williams again was steady from his new found position as the team's substitute catcher. Lorenzo Taylor was able reach base twice via base balls and an error. He and Benton were the only Gowanda players to reach third base until the Gowanda rally in the eighth. Manager Tim Smith made several aggressive calls during the game that kept his nine-man squad in contention to win.

With their latest victory, Gowanda increased their summer record to 4 wins against 1 loss. The team will travel to Hamburg on July 7 to face Frontier at Rogers Road Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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