Key hits, pitching, pace Tonawanda
A key hit in third inning and solid pitching helped Tonawanda pull out a 4-3 win over JFK in an ECIC IV baseball matchup.
JFK had taken an early 2-0 lead, but the Warriors rallied with a big third. With two outs, Tonawanda loaded the bases with a single, walk and hit-by-pitch. David Pattel then tripled, to give the Warriors a 3-2 lead. Jared Zellner's single scored Pattel for what proved to be the game-winning run.
Starter Nick Pullo pitched five innings with eight strikeouts but got in a jam in the sixth when he loaded the bases. Zellner came on in relief, gave up one run but struck out the next two and got the final batter to fly out to right field to end the inning.
"JFK beat us twice last year and we knew we'd get a good game from them," Tonawanda coach John Frank said. "My kids battled the whole game and we got key hits when we needed them. Nick Pullo, our starter, pitched a great game for us. He was solid and he was the reason why we stayed in the game."
Verhate paces Williamsville North
It wasn't the prettiest of softball games, but that's what the nonleague season is for -- fine tuning and finding chemistry. And so Williamsville North will take the 10-9 extra-inning win over Cheektowaga as the team heads into a break before league play begins.
Stephi Verhate tripled in the eighth then scored on an illegal pitch to give Williamsville North (1-1) the win. Verhate finished with three hits and three runs batted in while Hannah Pilkey also drove in three runs.
"It was kind of sloppy but we're pretty young and graduated a lot of players," Spartans coach Rick Bubar said. "We need to find out who can play what positions for us and that's what's so good about these nonleague games. It's nice to go into the break with a win and a little confidence."
Hamburg rallies for win
Trailing, 4-1, in the first quarter, Hamburg buckled down on defense and kept calm on offense to come back and defeat Niagara-Wheatfield, 13-7, in a Class B boys lacrosse game.
It was a rematch of last year's Section VI championship in which the Falcons upset Hamburg, 10-9, in overtime.
The Falcons were taking advantage of their opportunities early in the game before Hamburg regrouped and found its groove.
"We tried not to panic although it was not the kind of situation we envisioned," Bulldogs coach Jerry Severino said. "We just decided to try and settle things down and try to relax the kids instead of getting to frenetic and crazy. We created one goal at a time and once we got the lead we never relinquished it. To their credit, they didn't panic. I'm very proud of them."
Junior attackman Austin Bishop had three goals and four assists in his first game back since having knee surgery last summer. Ryan Jurek scored twice and Tom Lipomi made seven saves.
All-WNY basketball Saturday
Saturday marks the annual All-Western New York basketball issue, which features a special wraparound poster page cover. The Allen Wilson Player of the Year for boys basketball will be announced along with the girls Player of the Year and the full All-WNY teams for boys and girls. Also included -- league all-star teams, the final polls and more.
Go to the Prep Talk blog today for Keith McShea's final "How The News voted" post of the year, which reveals how he voted in the season's last boys basketball polls.