Coach John Haynes gathered his Blue Devils in what had to be one of, if not the very hardest, end of season talk in his coaching career.
Haynes told his boys that they and their season are not defined by one game. But by the entire journey. Most of all he told them to never forget that they made history.
The most memorable season in Kenmore West baseball history came to a heartbreaking end when Section V’s Canandaigua beat Kenmore West, 11-0, in the Far West Regional Class A title game at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia.
The game was especially tough for the Blue Devils to digest because it came to an early end in the bottom of the sixth. Seth Vigneri stroked a two-run triple that put the Braves up 11-0. That evoked the 10-run mercy rule.
"I’m sure we’ll eventually smile but right now it hurts a lot," Blue Devils senior captain Zach LaPlante said.
Braves starter Michael Sculli, the Section V Class A Player of the Year, spun a two hit gem thanks to a filthy curveball that helped him record 15 strikeouts and keep Ken-West batters off balance all game long.
While Sculli was on his game the Blue Devils, by their own admission, didn’t do themselves any favors. They were not as sharp in the field as they usually are.
Offensively, they were unable to string together consistent at-bats.
"He’s a very good pitcher. There’s a reason why he’s the Class A Player of the Year in Section V," said second baseman Zac Boyes, who had one of the Blue Devils’ two hits.
The Braves broke the scoreless tie in the third when Joe Brinza cracked a two-run triple into left field, then scored on a throwing error .
Once the Braves took the 3-0 lead the pressure was on Ken-West. This time they couldn’t work any magic.
Finishing at 20-3 overall, the Blue Devils’ historic season not only included winning the Niagara Frontier League title but also the program’s first ever sectional title and first trip to regionals.
Brocton back in semis
Senior Ronald "Bubba" Brown was 3 for 4 and fanned 17 batters as Brocton earned a return trip to states after beating Section V’s Honeoye, 6-4, in the Class D Far West Regional title game in Batavia.
Brocton now advances to the state semifinals in Binghamton Friday where they will face Lisbon of Section X at 2 p.m.
"Hey, we’ve been here so I know what it's like," Brown said. "I’ve been pitching in these big games so I kinda brush off the pressure and just play my game."
Bulldogs head coach Rob Fetterick said that Brown, who struck out the side in the sixth, came through when he was needed most.
A four-run fifth inning put Brocton up to stay.