SINCLAIRVILLE - Less than 10 minutes after the Cassadaga Valley Cougars took on Portville on Wednesday afternoon, Dylan Caldwell hopped in his truck and drove out of the parking lot, presumably headed for home.
There was no over-the-top celebration by the lanky right-hander.
There was no hanging around the dugout and rehashing the outcome with teammates.
Photo by Scott Kindberg
Cassadaga Valley pitcher Dylan Caldwell delivers a pitch during Wednesday’s?CCAA?Division 2 high school baseball game.
The Cougars' baseball game was over and it was time for Caldwell to move on.
His quick departure from the field adjacent to the high school could actually serve as a metaphor for the way he efficiently went about his business on the mound in the Cougars' CCAA Division 2 opener.
"That's why he started our first league game," Coach Joe Mistretta said.
Working six innings, Caldwell gave up just two hits - none through five innings - one run, struck out six and walked one to lift the Cougars to a 4-2 victory.
The win, Cassadaga Valley's second of the season, left Mistretta with a smile on his face afterward.
"Getting the first (league win) is big," he said, "and hopefully we can get some momentum going."
The Panthers also received a strong pitching performance from Ryan Marcellin, who yielded just five hits and two earned runs, while striking out eight and walking one.
But the Cougars did just enough at the plate to reward Caldwell for his brilliance on the hill.
"He's a competitor, he never gives in and he always wants to compete. ... That's really what it's all about."
Cassadaga Valley scored twice in the third inning on an run-scoring single by Michael Lanphere and Caldwell's sacrifice fly. The hosts added an unearned run in both the fifth and sixth innings for insurance and then reliever Matt Hallowell worked out of trouble in the top of the seventh to nail down the victory.
Portville's scoring opportunities were few through five innings, but it finally solved Caldwell in the sixth. Chris Querrieo singled - the Panthers' first hit - with one out, stole second, sent to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Justus Elliott.
Hallowell came on to start the seventh and promptly gave up a leadoff double to Marcellin, who later scored on a one-out double by pinch-hitter Brandon Groth, but Hallowell retired the final two batters to preserve the win for Caldwell.
Lanphere had two hits to lead the Cougars, who are still looking to get their offense in gear.
Of course, with Caldwell on the mound, a boatload of base hits wasn't necessary.
"All of our pitchers have done well this year," Mistretta said. "We're just not hitting the ball quite enough. We're getting good pitching and that's huge."
After Mistretta gathered the team together for a postgame chat, the players headed for the dugout. As he did so, Caldwell turned to his coach and asked, 'What should I do with the game ball?"'
"Put it in the bucket," Mistretta said.
Given the way Caldwell threw the ball, though, he could have easily put it in his back pocket as he headed for his truck.
That would have been a much-deserved souvenir for a game well-played.
Silver Creek 2,
SILVER CREEK - T.J. Grant struck out 12 Randolph Cardinals Wednesday afternoon, leading the Silver Creek Black Knights (3-2, 1-1) to a 2-1 CCAA Division 2 baseball victory.
"He's our best pitcher," Silver Creek head coach Mike Janisch said of Grant, who tossed all seven innings, allowing a run on three hits while walking three. "He works very, very hard to have the success that he does.
He mixed speeds well and they could not catch up to his fastball," Janisch added.
The Black Knights scored both of their runs in the bottom of the third while the Cardinals plated their run in the top of the sixth.
Anthony Morales led off the bottom of the third by reaching on an error, before stealing second base and coming around to score on an error off the bat of Black Knight batterymate Nick Iskra. Kevin Rocque plated Iskra with an RBI single for Silver Creeks other run.
The Cardinals' lone run came on a bases-loaded free pass to Mitchell Maycock that forced home Jake Abraham. Grant settled down and averted further trouble, before shutting the door in the top of the seventh.
Each team collected three hits, with Zach Klisiewicz earning the only multi-hit performance with a pair of singles for Silver Creek.
The Black Knights will be back in action on Friday, when they host CCAA Division 2 foe Salamanca.