Starpoint had a standout season a year ago, only to have its season end in the sectional semifinals against Williamsville South.
This year the Spartans had a few bumps in the road, but they’ve rallied at the right time.
Starpoint got a four-hitter from Alex O’Donnell and two RBIs from Mike Lane as they used a three-run first to get started on a 5-2 victory over South in the Section VI Class A-1 championship game Saturday afternoon at Lew-Port.
“Last year we went 18-5 and lost to Will South, this year we had some injuries and lost some players and we lost a couple of games,” said ninth-year Starpoint coach Tim Racey. “They’ve really played well the last six games. They’ve done a great job in sectionals. It’s great to watch them play, I’m so proud of them. I think they’re realizing how they’re a pretty talented group.”
O’Donnell struck out nine while also going 2 for 3 with a triple.
“O’Donnell came back on four days rest after a complete game against Iroquois, and he typically needs a little longer to come back, but he was dealing today,” said Racey. “He signed with Canisius early in the year and he sure looked like a Division I player out there today.”
Starpoint (13-5) will take on Albion for the Class A title at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Lew-Port, an old Niagara-Orleans League matchup (Starpoint moved to ECIC in 2004).
Albion defeated Springville, 8-3, in the second game of the doubleheader at Lew-Port. Connor Barleben got the victory on the mound and helped start the Purple Eagles off with a three-run first with his two-run RBI double.
CLASS B: Fredonia and Gowanda will return to Jamestown’s Diethrick Park to play for the overall championship on Wednesday.
On Saturday, Gowanda scored a big win in the B-2 final (7-1 over Cleveland Hill) after a big hit in the bottom of the seventh lifted the defending Class B state champions in B-1. Jarod Burmaster singled up the middle with two outs to score Weston Ley and give the Hillbillies a 3-2 victory over Olean.
CLASS C: Cassadaga Valley beat Westfield, 7-3, which is believed to be the Cougars’ first title since 1958.
CLASS D: North Collins’ late season surge continued as junior David Lynch struck out 11 during a two-hitter as the Eagles beat Brocton, 7-0. North Collins won its first title since 2009 as it extended its win streak to five games, four of them in the postseason. The Eagles (11-7), who only have one senior starter, have not given up a run in 20 straight innings.
“This is a great win for the kids, they really started to gel at the right time at the end of the year,” said North Collins coach Paul Kellner. “We didn’t expect a lot this year, and at the end they started playing well. We’re playing good defense and we’re pitching well.”