WESTFIELD - Austin Alonge launched a two-run homer, Rob Burgess threw five effective innings and the Westfield Wolverines downed the Brocton Bulldogs, 7-2, Tuesday, in non-league high school baseball.
Burgess' day could have started a little better, as leadoff batter Scot Laurie laced a double down the left-field line, but the sophomore righty pitched out of the jam - just as he did all game for Westfield.
"We have a lot of guys who can pitch," Westfield coach Doug Kaltenbach said. "I thought it was good for (Burgess). It was important for him and it was important for our defense. I thought he pitched very well."
OBSERVER?Photo by Mark Anderson
Westfield's Brandon Johnson slides safely under the tag of Brocton catcher Casey Miller, during first-inning action in Westfield, on Tuesday. Westfield won the non-league contest, 7-2.
The Wolverines wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, plating two in the bottom of the first.
Brandon Johnson led off with a double over the head of left fielder Kyle Schrantz. Anthony Leone followed with a slow chopper to third and was able to beat the throw to first. After Alonge flew out, Brett Morrison hit a seemingly harmless fly to right-center.
Neither outfielder could get under it and the ball fell to the grass. As Johnson raced around third and headed home, the relay throw had him beat by a good five feet, but the ball glanced off the catcher's mitt and Johnson slid in with the first run of the game.
Greg Best added an RBI single to score Leone and give Westfield a 2-0 lead.
For the second consecutive inning, Brocton's leadoff hitter smacked a double but wasn't able to score. In the second inning, it was Schrantz who collected the two-bagger. Once again, Burgess pitched out of danger and kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard.
"We're playing pretty well," Brocton coach Terry Presto said. "We hit the ball hard, but right at them. If we hit it in the gaps it's a different story."
The Wolverines added three more runs in the third inning, two courtesy of a big fly off the bat of Alonge.
"To watch him hit is just amazing," Kaltenbach said of Alonge. "He sits on a pitch and he is very patient. He's going to have a good year I think."
Burgess kept the momentum going for Westfield in the top of the fourth. He threw just 14 pitches, striking out the side in order.
Burgess finished his five innings with six strikeouts and two walks. He didn't allow a run on five hits.
"I do really like our team," Kaltenbach added. "We have a lot of seniors and a lot of guys who have been really good leaders. I love coaching these guys."
The Wolverines opened up the game with another pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Alonge drew a leadoff walk and went to second on a single by Morrison. A walk to Jon Coe loaded the bases for Cameron Wright, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the third inning.
After an RBI single his first time up, Wright came through again - this time with a two-run double that came within 10 feet of being a grand slam.
Kaltenbach was pretty sure Wright earned himself a starting gig with his play Tuesday.
"It was nice to see him come out here and earn a spot."
Brad Johnson threw the complete game for Brocton. He struck out four and walked four while allowing eight hits and seven runs.
Dylan Kawski took over pitching duties in the sixth for Westfield and, after the first batter reached on an error, he promptly struck out the next three batters - all with called third strikes.
The Bulldogs finally broke through for a pair of runs in the seventh.
No. 9 hitter Tayler Appel drew his second walk of the game to get things started. Laurie followed by reaching on a sharp ground ball that ate up shortstop Alonge.
It was the fourth time in the game Laurie hit the ball hard and the fourth time he reached base.
"He's one of the best leadoff hitters I've had over the years," Presto said of his first baseman. "He's got good baseball instincts."
Cody Merrill and Dan Ferguson added back-to-back RBI hits to get Brocton on the board.
"That's one good thing," Presto continued, "they didn't hang their heads and go three batters and out."
NOTES: Johnson pitched 1-2-3 innings in each of the 'even' innings. He sat the Wolverines down in order in the second, fourth and sixth innings ... Laurie paced Brocton's attack with three hits while Merrill added a pair of hits and reached base three times ... Leone and Alonge each scored a pair of runs for Westfield and Wright added three RBIs.
Fredonia 15, Springville 0
SPRINGVILLE - Fredonia made a strong statement Tuesday with a 15-0 battering of Springville in non-league baseball action.
Trent Thompson and Connor Farnham combined on a two-hitter for the Hillbillies. Thompson went five strong innings with three strikeouts. Farnham shut the door in the last two innings with a pair of strikeouts.
"Trent was throwing strikes in and out," Fredonia coach Vince Gullo said. "He had great command. It was a great start to his season.
"(Farnham's) capable of being an ace also," he added. "We're pretty happy with how our pitching staff performed."
Fredonia essentially put the game away with a 10-run third inning that included five hits, six walks and a hit batsman.
"We caught Springville at the right time," Gullo continued. "They burned their one and two pitchers in a league game (Monday)."
There was no shortage of key offensive performers for Fredonia.
Jude Gardner led the way for the offense with three hits, four RBIs and two runs scored. Zack Buckley and Thompson each added three hits.
Nick Hart collected a pair of hits while Farnham knocked in three runs and scored as many. Matt Coyle contributed a two-run single.
The two teams meet again Monday at Fredonia.