BY CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com
CANISTEO — Whether it comes at the beginning of the game to help set an early tone, or later on to help author a resilient finish, one single run can make all the difference on some occasions. For the majority of Saturday afternoon’s battle in Canisteo, the defenses took charge in the field. It was only a matter of who could crack through first.
With limited time remaining and minimal room for error, Canisteo-Greenwood made sure that time was worth it.
With the game riding in the balance, a shapeshifting swing was connected. The Redskins have Thomas Sirianni to thank for it, as he blasted a massive double to the outfield to become the game’s go-ahead run. He would ultimately find his way around the bases and then to home to score it on a perfectly-positioned ground ball into the infield, as the one run ultimately stood as the game’s x-factor in their 1-0 shutout of Genesee Valley/Belfast.
“Both Matt Cater and their two pitchers pitched great games. We just couldn’t get the bats going today. There were good defensive plays on both sides, but it stinks losing close games just like this one,” said GV/Belfast coach Kevin Scott. “You have to tip your hat to them. When we did hit the ball, it was right at them and they made the plays. Fortunately, they were able to build off of that and score the winning run in the end.”
Korbyn Osterwald was the recipient of the game’s lone RBI for Canisteo-Greenwood, as the catcher put down a perfect grounder into the infield just far enough for Sirianni to use his legs and speed into home for the game’s lone run in the bottom of the sixth. Sirianni’s double was one of just four hits that the Redskins totaled through the course of the battle.
On the mound, the day witnessed a pitcher’s duel between both Genesee Valley/Belfast’s Matt Cater and Canisteo-Greenwood’s Noah Warriner, as the two hurlers handed out chairs left and right to keep one another off balance, with Warriner settling for a 10-strikeout, one-walk no-decision. Taige Stewart was awarded the win in relief, adding five more strikeouts and issuing one more walk.
For Cater, he was just as resilient for Genesee Valley/Belfast (0-4), fanning eight and walking three in his four-hit complete game. But the offense behind only produced two hits against the Redskins defense, belonging to both Brody Heaney and Garrett Miller.
Genesee Valley/Belfast will try it again after the weekend back home, as they welcome in Hinsdale for a 5 p.m. first pitch in Belmont.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 000 000 0 – 0 2 1
Canisteo-Greenwood 000 001 X – 1 4 1
GVB – Matt Cater (LP) (CG, 8K, 3BB) and Thai Norasethaporn.
C-G – Noah Warriner (10K, BB), Taige Stewart (WP, 5) (5K, BB) and Korbyn Osterwald.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 3, Canisteo-Greenwood 1
CANISTEO — Although the bats weren’t clicking on both sides between Genesee Valley/Belfast and Canisteo-Greenwood/Jasper-Troupsburg, the defensive play was put on outstanding display from start to finish. But with a 1-1 tie needing to be broken, the visitors in black and grey were able to scavenge just enough firepower at the plate to produce the game’s last two runs to squeeze their way towards a 3-1 win on Saturday in Canisteo.
“It was a well-pitched game. There weren’t many walks, a few errors happened here and there, but these hot days, it was brutal out there,” said GV/Belfast coach Mark Sullivan. “But I’m not complaining one bit. I’ve played in 30 degree weather before. But the girls have to hit the ball better. We’ve won two games where we haven’t had our best day, but the defense behind that has been playing good. Hannah (Southwick-Powers) has been pitching really well for us, and she’s been our big key to winning games. 2-1 in the first week, I am pretty pleased with that.”
Hannah Southwick-Powers dominated the circle once again for Genesee Valley/Belfast (2-1). One game removed from tossing a no-hit performance, she bounced right back to hold Canisteo-Greenwood/Jasper-Troupsburg to just two hits on the attack, handing out 14 chairs and walking three.
The energy she helped create, transitioned to the offense, especially down the stretch as Genesee Valley/Belfast found a way to break a 1-1 tie with clutch runs coming across in both the top of the fourth and sixth innings to pull ahead of the hosts. With the lead in hand, it was now up to the defense to secure the win for good, as they went on to toss a fourth straight shutout inning to close out the afternoon.
Leading the bats was Abby Sullivan, who recorded a base hit and scored two of the team’s three runs.
For Canisteo-Greenwood/Jasper-Troupsburg, Sidney Drouin struck out seven and walked five in her four-hit complete game in the circle.
Genesee Valley/Belfast is back on the road to Andover on Wednesday, as they prepare for a 6 p.m. first pitch against Andover/Whitesville.
Genesee Valley/Belfast 100 101 0 – 3 4
CGJT 010 000 0 – 1 2
GVB – Hannah Southwick-Powers (WP) (CG, 14K, 3BB) and Jenna Hill.
C-G – Sidney Drouin (LP) (CG, 7K, 5BB) and Riley Winans.