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High School Extra (April 28): ECC baseball races tighten; Depew softball edges Amherst

Close races in ECIC

Wins on Wednesday by Orchard Park, Lancaster, Williamsville South, Amherst and Tonawanda kept the division races tight in ECIC baseball.

Orchard Park needed a standout pitching performance from Ben Wereski to edge Hamburg and pitcher Garrett Baugher to stay undefeated (7-0) in ECIC I.

“Hopefully we’ll start hitting the ball soon,” said Orchard Park coach Jim Gibson, whose Quakers were limited to three hits by Baugher, a transfer from St. Joe’s.

“Today was understandable because he was pitching well,” Gibson said of Baugher. “He was definitely in the mid 80s, with a curveball.”

Wereski, who will attend Columbia, allowed only two hits while striking out 15 as he ran his record to 3-0 for the season.

The Quakers got the winning run in the seventh when Jake Schurr beat out an infield hit to start the inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Next for OP is a Friday home game against Lancaster, which improved its division record to 6-1 with a win over visiting Jamestown. Colin Reformat pitched a two-hitter for the Legends, while L.J. Castillo had a home run among his three hits and Ben Monti and Dominic Monti had two hits apiece.

Joe Zanelotti pitched 5∑ innings to earn the win and Mitch Binda went 3 for 3 with two runs as Williamsville South (5-1) won 6-2 at Starpoint to move into a first-place tie with the Spartans.

In ECIC III, Amherst improved to 6-1 in the division with a 6-3 win at Depew. Nick Foster had a double, drove in two runs and scored twice for the Tigers. Nate Cole was the winning pitcher.

Watch out for Tonawanda in ECIC IV. The Warriors started the season with a pair of division losses but have now won five in a row. Wednesday, Tonawanda handed Alden its first loss, scoring in the bottom of the eighth for a 7-6 victory.

Noah Mouton led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk, took third on a single by Justin Holevinski and scored the winner on a single by Anthony Angelo. The Warriors are 4-2 in the division, right behind Alden and Eden.

Cody Diaz, normally a starter, pitched two innings of shutout relief to pick up the win for coach John Frank’s Warriors.

Taboni come through

Andrea Taboni cleared the bases with a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh to give Depew a dramatic 3-2 victory over Amherst, handing the Tigers their first loss in ECIC III softball.

Depew is 7-1 in the division and idle Maryvale also has only one ECIC III loss.

Winning pitcher Karsen Cotton started the seventh-inning rally with a single. One out later, Brooke Whalen walked and Jordan Petyk singled to fill the bases. Taboni drove a ball over the left-fielder’s head, allowing Cotton and Whalen to score easily. Petyk scored the winner on what would have been a close play at the plate if the throw had not struck the runner.

Cotton, a returning All-Western New York performer, pitched the complete game, striking out seven as she won a duel from Amherst’s Lindsey Hoak. Mia Ciccarella drove in the first Amherst run in the third and Grace Foster came across on a fielder’s choice in the fourth.

Mount Mercy rallies

Mount Mercy took over first place in the Monsignor Martin girls lacrosse standings with a 9-8 victory over Mount St. Mary. The Magic overcame a 7-2 second half deficit to avenge its only league loss to the Thunder.

Brigid Keane scored three goals in the second half to lead the Mount Mercy rally. Emily Gawlak had three goals and an assist and tallied the game winner with 1:02 to play. On Monday, Mercy had handed Sacred Heart its first league loss.

Lancers commit

The following St. Mary’s of Lancaster athletes committed to the following Division II colleges to continue their careers.

Bailey Dolegowski and Jessica Kranz will play volleyball at Daemen College, while teammate Alyssa Zirnheld signed with Mercyhurst. Christopher Gresham signed to play baseball at Division II Clarion (Pa.).