ELLICOTTVILLE — The last time Salamanca won a varsity baseball game with its own, non-merged team, none of its 2019 players were in high school.
The Warriors’ starting pitcher on Thursday in their season opener, Lucas McKenna, was in the fifth grade back in 2014, when the Warriors went 3-13. Since then, the school merged with neighboring Cattaraugus-Little Valley due to low numbers in the sport for two years, then fielded its own team again in 2017 and 2018, both winless campaigns.
The Warriors got back in the win column on Wednesday in their season opener, as Lucas McKenna and his brother Jarrett pitched Salamanca to a 5-3 victory over Ellicottville.
Salamanca jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but Ellicottville responded with three in the bottom of the inning. The Warriors added runs in the fourth and seventh, then held off a bases-loaded Ellicottville rally in the seventh, limiting the Eagles to just one run.
“I’m so excited I’m jumping up and down,” Warriors coach Mike “Smitty” Smith said. “The kids played wonderful. We played quality defense. Ellicottville is a quality team. We knew they used their top pitcher last night so we were disciplined at the plate and wanted to run up pitch counts.
“We are so young. We didn’t have our two captains today and we started an eighth-grader, three freshmen and two sophomores. But we had a couple errors and that’s all.”
Lucas McKenna struck out five over the first 5 2/3 innings and went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Harley Hoag was 1-for-2 with an RBI.
“They jumped on us early,” said Ellicottville coach Chris Mendell. “Lucas McKenna had a big hit for them in the first inning. I thought the difference for them was Lucas McKenna on the mound. I was impressed. He made some big pitches in key positions for them and kept them in the game.”
For Ellicottville, Kaleb Pierce went 1-for-3 with an RBI and Dan Young was 1-for-2 with an RBI.
“Steven Rowland came in (in the fourth inning) and gave us a chance,” Mendell said. “We had bases loaded in the seventh inning with one out and Dan Young hit an RBI single. Our next hitter, Logan Grinols, hit a fly ball shallow left and I tagged the runner and he got thrown out (by Mitchell Gregory) to end the game.
“It was one of those deals where I thought we could sneak a run, but they made a good play.”
Cattaraugus-LV 16, Randolph 11
CATTARAUGUS — Jason Young drove in five runs on a pair of doubles as Cattaraugus-Little Valley’s offense came alive for its first win of the season.
Also for the Timberwolves (1-2), Nick Savidge had two hits and four RBI, Kyle Germain had three hits (double) and two RBI and Sam Grey hit a two-run double.
“It was a great team victory for us, and beating Randolph after they knocked off Ellicottville,” C-LV coach Chuck Senn said. “Nick Savidge threw a great five innings for us. In the sixth inning he struggled and I had to pull him out.
“We’re young, we’re young and we’re younger. This is a big victory for us after being embarrassed the first two games, and we hit well today.”
For Randolph (2-1), Isaac Hind (triple) and Josh Brown (double) had two hits each.
Ellicottville 12, Salamanca 5
ELLICOTTVILLE — Cam Earley threw a complete game two-hitter to lead Ellicottville (1-3) over Salamanca. Early struck out eight and walked eight.
The Eagle offense was paced by Jocelyn Wyatt, Jenna Hadley and Cam Phinney, who each had two hits. Wyatt and Hadley also drove in two runs each.
Makenzie Oakes and Emma Brown had hits for Salamanca (0-2).
Randolph 11, Cattaraugus-Little Valley 10, 9 innings
CATTARAUGUS — Despite 18 hits, five of them (including a triple) from Izzy Deliman, the Timberwolves could not walk away with a victory.
Randolph’s Abby Mansfield went the distance, striking out seven and walking nine, while driving in three runs on three hits including a triple. Also for the Cardinals (3-1), Mya Abrams had three hits including a leadoff home run.
C-LV’s Lexi Mikowicz, Emma Rupp and Alex Shattuck shared time on the mound, striking out four and walking three as the Cardinals marked 11 hits.
For C-LV (3-1), Rupp had three hits, a home run and two RBI and Lauren Eaton added four hits, including a double, and three RBI.
“We were down 8-2 in the seventh inning and we came back and tied it in the bottom of the seventh,” T-Wolves coach Heather Kagelmacher said. “We were just able to string together hits with two outs. They showed us they wouldn’t give up.
“We were in it in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings but before that we were not. It was nice to see they didn’t give up offensively, no matter how they were playing defensively.”