Yes! Wind Power for Cohocton

Friday, June 03, 2011

Quint Baird starting pitcher

.....Double trouble: Nobles’ big night pushes Eagles in BB title game.Zoom Photos. Derrick Balinsky.Way-Co starting pitcher Quint Baird.

By Derrick Balinsky
The Evening Tribune
Posted Jun 01, 2011 @ 10:45 AM

Dansville, N.Y. — Zach Nobles put both his bat and glove to good use Tuesday night.

The outfielder-pitcher notched a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI, while also pitching a solid 1 1/3 innings of relief as the top-seeded Wayland-Cohocton Eagles made their way to the Section V, Class BB championship round with a 10-5 victory over the fourth-seeded Livonia Bulldogs at Babcock Park in Dansville.

“It’s nice to get back to this stage. It’s been a couple of years since we been to the finals,” Way-Co skipped Wager said minutes after the conclusion of the game which was delayed nearly an hour due to an unplayable heat index on the field. “It’s nice to see the kids get excited but not overly celebrate because I think that they’re not satisfied yet.”

Livonia bounced back from an early deficit to knot the game at three with a three-run third. They opened up a 4-3 advantage in the top of the fourth, but the maroon and gold would answer with a five-run fifth which essentially sealed the Bulldogs’ fate.
“We had a couple of clutch hits,” Wager said when asked about the fifth-inning offense. “In the inning before, we had bases loaded with nobody out and two, three, four in our order coming up and I think we only came up with one. So it was nice to see a couple of clutch hits to finally break the game open a little bit.”

“We got that first out on a pop-up to the shortstop and then on a second pop-up, my second baseman got a little gun shy after a collision earlier,” Livonia head coach Scott Gillman said. “You could see that he didn’t want to go after the ball. Once that fell in, you’ve got yourself base runner to contend with and the next kid singled. Before you know it was just hit after hit after hit. When you extend innings like that, especially with how hot it was, people get tired and it starts to wear on you.”

The Bulldogs spotted the Eagles a 3-0 head start by the end of the first inning.

“The guys have done a good job this year of getting off to good starts,” Wager said. “In any sport that’s important. You get off to a good start and you build confidence as you go, and hopefully you keep it.”

“It was very difficult to try and come back after getting behind early,” Gillman said. “We did the same thing against Aquinas — we were down three after one and it was the same thing here. You can’t live too long falling behind as much as we did and it finally caught up with us. Even though we were able to catch up and take the lead, we weren’t able to do that the second time. I think it came down to their ability to hit the ball and our inability to throw strikes. Our freshman walked seven kids and that’s just something he’ll have to get better at.
“Experience and depth,” Gillman added, referring to the biggest differences between the two clubs. “We don’t have a whole heck of a lot of experience. And as far as pitching, we don’t have a whole heck of a lot of depth. Our freshman started tonight and it was a good experience for him to pitch a semifinal. Hopefully that will carry him for the next three years.”

Evan Englert went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Tyler Brown also ended up 2-for-3. Ryan Gibbs was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Tyler Thielges chipped in at 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI.

Quint Baird struck out seven over 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits and four walks.

“I thought he was solid. For the conditions, and as hot as it was, I thought he pitched very well,” Wager said. “He was just over 100 pitches and he said he was fine, but we just thought it was time to make the switch.”

The Bulldogs go out of business at 13-8 and will lose five starting seniors to graduation.

“It’s always tough when you lost your last game,” Gillman said. “My expectations are always high coming into any season, but I didn’t expect to win 13 games with this team. We only really had four returning players and a bunch of young kids stepping in. To win 13 games and reach the semifinal round of our bracket, we’re proud of that but still the short of it is that you don’t want to lose.
“We lose our senior horse who has done most of the pitching for us, a three-year catcher and our shortstop. The center fielder will be tough to replace, too, because he’s our catalyst lead-off hitter.”

The Eagles will meet up with second-seeded Hornell on Friday afternoon at a time and venue that has yet to be determined. The two teams split their regular-season series, Wayland winning on its home field 8-5 and Hornell winning 4-0 at Maple City City Park to clinch the Livingston County Athletic Association Division I championship.

“These are two pretty evenly matched teams. We split during the regular season, but I think the kids are confident,” Wager said. “They know that we’ve had a lot of success against these guys the last few years. Again, they’ll be confident going into the game, it’s just a matter of producing and getting the job done.”

Wager was unsure which of his pitchers would be called upon to get the next start and he didn’t rule out throwing Baird back on the hill.

“It’s hard to say,” Wager said. “We’ll see how Quint bounces back. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

Copyright 2011 Hornell Evening Tribune. Some rights reserved


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