JAMESTOWN – After Brock Schuster earned a walk-off hit in the championship game, the Westfield freshman admitted that he initially did not want to take that swing.
With runners on second and third in the bottom of the eighth, Schuster barely made contact with the ball, but it was enough to send home Eric Fermier with the winning run for top-seed Westfield in a 2-1 victory over North Collins, It gave the Wolverines a second consecutive Section VI Class D championship.
“It wasn’t a pretty hit,” coach Doug Kaltenbauch said after his seventh straight final. “He was like ‘I didn’t even mean to hit it.’ He did the job.”
No. 4 Frewsburg captured the Class C crown with a 5-2 victory over No. 3 Barker in the second game of the doubleheader at Diethrick Stadium. Matt Hair pitched the Bears to their 21st sectional championship, striking out seven in a two-hitter.
“We had a lot of confidence in him but didn’t nearly expect that performance,” Frewsburg coach Jay Grann said.
Westfield will play the Section V representative in the Far West Regionals on Saturday at Diethrick Stadium. Frewsburg will play a regional on the same day at a venue not yet announced.
The D final ended when a hesitant Schuster swung late at Brandon Zielinski’s curveball. The impact sent the ball toward third, where Tanner Loretto’s glove toss could not beat Fermier to the plate.
“That curveball was coming right at me,” said Schuster. “I just hoped for the best and swung at it.”
With temperatures reaching 90 degrees, Westfield (16-4) overcame a Nick Woronowski RBI single in the second. The Wolverines got their equalizer in the fourth when Max Bates scored on a passed ball.
Trevor Mercado was relieved by Zielinski after giving up a hit and a walk to start the bottom of the seventh. Westfield loaded the bases but Zielinski pitched out of it, getting, the third out on a fly to center.
Kaltenbauch wanted to pull his own starter, Greg Schroeder, in the eighth when North Collins (13-7) plated two. The senior captain had other plans.
“He said ‘Coach, let me get one more guy,’ ” said Kaltenbauch. “He’s been my pitcher for four years and I at least owed him that.”
Schroeder struck out his 10th batter to end the threat and set the stage for Schuster’s game-winning infield hit.
Frewsburg Bears (17-6) had 10 hits in their win as the Raiders (12-8) rode their ace, Eddie Wasnock.
Hair allowed just one run and was just as effective at the plate. He had two hits, scored two runs and drove in another.
Cam Fox and Kyle MacDonald drove in the Barker runs.
Michael Mammoser had three hits, including a two-run single, for Frewsburg. Kole Brink had two hits, Jacob Peterson added a hit and an RBI. Christian Proctor, batting ninth in the order, had two hits to help win the Bears wins their first title since 2012.
“Growing up in Frewsburg, this is what you dream about,” Hair said.