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High School Extra (April 28): St. Joe’s walks off with victory over rival Canisius

St. Joe’s slams Canisius

Matt Ruggiero’s only hit of the game proved to be quite grand as it enabled St. Joe’s to walk off with a 9-5 win in eight innings over rival Canisius in Monsignor Martin Association baseball Monday at the St. Joe’s Robert T. Scott Athletic Complex.

With the bases loaded, Ruggiero drove a 2-2 pitch over the right field fence, enabling the two-time defending champion Marauders (8-3, 4-0) to not only stay unbeaten in the league but also win the first meeting of the season between last year’s Georgetown Cup championship series participants.

St. Joe’s used the long ball to take a 5-0 lead as Phil Wells blasted a two-run shot in the first which was followed by a solo homer by Alex Kovacs.

Derek Penman belted a two-run homer in the second inning, but Canisius rallied with three run in the fourth, two of the runs courtesy of a Brenden Kaplewicz single, and two more in the seventh on Connor Ryan’s two-out, two-run single.

In the bottom of the eighth, Bryce Donovan (three hits) led off with a single, followed by a Will Frank double. The Crusaders intentionally walked Wells, setting the stage for Ruggiero.

“The kids stayed with it,” St. Joe’s coach Paul Nasca said. “It was a hard-fought battle. You have to credit Canisius for coming back.”

The teams meet again at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday at Delaware Park.

Lancers win in 14 innings

Elsewhere in the Monsignor Martin Association, Lucas Sperduti’s two-run double in the top of the 14th inning broke a 3-3 tie and enabled St. Mary’s to beat host St. Francis, 5-3.

Freshman Zach Penska pitched seven innings of relief for the win, yielding three hits. Starter Mark Gonzalez also gave up just three hits in seven innings.

St. Francis scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 3.

“It was a well-played game on both ends,” St. Mary’s coach Mike Wagner said. “It was tough to hit today. You needed to get a guy on third base to score because the wind was blowing in. You hit a gapper and it just stopped.”

Chris Gresham went 3 for 4 for St. Mary’s, while Lancers teammate Chris Nowak’s 2-for-3 day included a two-run single.

Meanwhile, Iroquois scored three runs in the top of the seventh to overcome a 3-2 deficit and earn a 5-3 ECIC II road win at Starpoint. Joey Kwasniewski drove in the tying run, Andrew Schaefer’s fielder’s choice plated the go-ahead run and Mathew Sokolski’s long sacrifice fly drove in the Chiefs’ fifth run.

Medina improved to 5-2 as Matt Riermer struck out six during a complete-game effort, and also hit an RBI double during the Mustangs’ 4-1 Niagara-Orleans League win at Akron.

Tonawanda wins via walk-off bunt

Tonawanda swept a doubleheader from Lackawanna in ECIC IV softball, with the Warriors winning the second game via walk-off bunt the eighth inning, 3-2.

Sydney Myers’ bunted with Rachel Warthling at second base. With the defense focused on just getting Myers, Tonawanda coach Kim Fox sent Warthling who took a wide turn home and she slid in just under the tag. The Warriors improved to 2-2 overall, 2-1 in the league.

Haley Slater and winning pitcher Rachel Allen each went 2 for 4, while Warthling drove in two runs in the nightcap.

In the opener, Tonawanda won 3-0 as Warthling went 1 for 2 with two RBIs, while Slater doubled and had an RBI.

Allen finished both games with a combined 22 strikeouts.

Mucci wins it for North

Jessica Mucci’s single drove in Lauren Schreiner with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh as Williamsville North rallied for an 8-7 win over visiting Hamburg in ECIC I softball. It’s Mucci’s second game-winning RBI this season.

North trailed by a score of 7-5 entering the sixth but Katie Topolski drove in two runs to tie things for the Spartans (2-1, 2-1).

Shannon Stockman and Jamie Kenyon scored two runs each for North (2-1, 2-1).

Jenna Neumaier went 3 for 3 with a run scored and RBI to help Lancaster earn a 9-5 win over host Frontier.

GI junior tosses perfect game

Junior Alley Cutting pitched a perfect game, receiving a huge assist by Kelsey Harrigan as Grand Island beat Kenmore East, 3-0, in the Niagara Frontier League. Harrington caught a well-hit ball to right center for the final out.

Scarlett Whitman fielded three bunt plays with ease at third base for the winners.

WSRC Jr. Women’s 4 win

The West Side Rowing Club Junior Women’s Varsity Four plus coxswain finished first at the Ohio Governor’s Cup in Dublin, Ohio this past weekend. West Side defeated Three Rivers in 7:41 on the 2,000-meter course.

Team members were stroke seat Ashley Johnson (Clarence), Emily Radziwon (Orchard Park), Emily Evans (City Honors), Erica Lister (Sacred Heart) and coxswain Claire Conrad (Buffalo Seminary).

St. Joe’s took second in the Novice Men’s Eight. Team members were stroke seat Charles Pratt, Matthew Colucci, Robert Beaulieu, James Krolewski, Landon MacDonald, Patrick Klopp, Adam Trimper, Joshua Cheston and coxswain Jack Dormer.

West Side will compete in its first home event of the season, the John Bennett Regatta, at 9 a.m. Sunday.

N-W lax pulls away

Ryan Koch scored four goals, including the eventual game-winner, and had an assist as Niagara-Wheatfield pulled away from visiting Silver Creek to earn a 12-9 boys lacrosse win.

Brothers Brennen and Seth Ferguson each had two goals and an assist, while goalie Logan Hill stopped two one-on-one chances during an 11-save effort for N-W. The game was tied, 6-6, at halftime but N-W pulled away by playing more aggressive on defense.