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Westfield gets to state final four

BATAVIA – Westfield rolled through the Section VI playoffs, outscoring opponents, 30-1, for its first title in 28 years. Facing the Section V champion Saturday wasn’t much different.

The Wolverines scored often and senior ace Nolan Hunt was his usual dominant self as they handled Webster Christian, 10-1, in the Class D baseball Far West Regional at Dwyer Stadium.

Hunt didn’t allow a hit though five innings, and Westfield (21-2) secured its first state final four berth. The trip to Binghamton came after losses in the Section VI Class C final each of the last four years. There was no stopping the Wolverines this time.

“It’s been a crazy ride,” said Westfield coach Doug Kaltenbach. “Winning the sectionals was great. We’ve lost it so many times in really rough ways.

“The very first day I walked in and we said, ‘We’re going to the states. Forget the red or blue” sectional “patch. We’re going by that.’”

Hunt made sure Westfield wouldn’t be denied. The Canisius College-bound lefty struck out 13 batters, walked one and hit another. Webster Christian (16-4) had no hits until after Kaltenbach sent out Greg Schroeder to pitch at the start the sixth.

Hunt led the Wolverines’ 13-hit attack, going 3 for 3 with two RBI doubles.

Hunt and Westfield will play Section III (Syracuse area) champion Oriskany in the state semifinals at 1 p.m. next Saturday at Conlon Field at MacArthur Park.

“We’re excited about it,” Hunt said. “We just want to finish the deal. We just want more.”

Westfield scored six runs in the first two innings Saturday. A two-run double by Max Bates (3 for 4) highlighted a three-run top of the first and allowed Hunt to relax before he even took the mound.

“I don’t know if I’ve given up three runs all year,” said Hunt, who threw a one-hitter against North Collins in the Section VI finals.

Webster Christian, undone by six errors, had three hits off Schroeder, whom Kaltenbach wanted to give some work before heading to Binghamton.

When the Wolverines get there, don’t expect them to be intimidated.

“We’ve played a lot of teams in the last six or seven years and beaten every single one of them that have gone on to win the states,” Kaltenbach said. “We have beaten these champions. We can do this.”