Following Monday's 4-2 non-league baseball victory over Springville, Fredonia coach Vince Gullo hardly sounded like a coach who had won.
But after watching his starting pitcher get ejected in the first inning for what is deemed unsportsmanlike conduct and the left side of his infield commit seven errors, it was hard for Gullo to find positives on the day.
"I don't think we deserved a victory," Gullo said.
OBSERVER?Photo by Craig Harvey
Fredonia pitcher Christian?Saden delivers a pitch during Monday’s non-league baseball game against Springville.
The Hillbillies got on the board in the bottom of the first inning as Nick Hart led off with a single and stole second base on the next pitch. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Matt Coyle single up the middle. Coyle stepped into the batter's box in an unusual situation with a 2-0 count before seeing a pitch. Teammate and starting pitcher Connor Farnham was at bat when the umpire noticed he was wearing a necklace - a violation which calls for ejection.
With Farnham out of the game, Christian Saden took over on the hill and performed admirably on such short notice. He escaped a jam in the third inning as Springville loaded the bases before Saden induced a groundout to end the threat.
"Christian did a nice job," Gullo said. "He is a junior lefty. He threw strikes and that's what we need out of him. At least we had enough time to get him warmed up, but he always comes ready to play."
Fredonia added two runs in the second inning as Saden and Gawronski drew consecutive two-out walks and scored on Hart's grounder which was misplayed.
"He walked the eight and nine hitters," Springville coach Ron Tamraz said of his pitcher Andrew Scharra. "He is a sophomore and he will learn how to pitch in those situations."
The home team added a run in the fourth inning when Adam Gawronski walked, stole second and scored on a single by Hart.
"The way the bats are and the way the weather is, I had no problem moving runners to try and score runs," Gullo said. "We have enough pitching to keep scores down, but our infield needs to do a better job. We do a little bit of everything early in the season."
Springville got on the board in the sixth inning when Scharra walked and scored on a bases-loaded walk. It was the third time the visitors loaded the bases in the game, but just the first time they were able to capitalize.
They added a run in the seventh as Tyler Conklin reached on an error and scored on another error.
"It's sunny but it was windy," Gullo said. "We have to be mentally tough in these situations. We had seven errors by the left side of the infield. Those are things that are unexpected. We are who we are and we have to keep working on that. We get another game (today) against Hamburg and they are the returning Section champions so we will see how we do."
Notes: Springville was unable to use the dugout along the third base line as a raccoon made a home inside. The game was briefly delayed after the first inning as the Fredonia Police Department assisted in freeing the animal.