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Miles wins 800th baseball game in win at historic Doubleday Field in Cooperstown as GV/B downs Andover-Whitesville, 13-0

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Photos and story by JOHN ANDERSON (full photo gallery of 80 photos CLICK HERE)

Dennis “Dennie” Miles doesn’t like to talk about his age or celebrate birthdays, but he certainly has had some practice celebrating milestones.

On Sunday at historic Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, Miles led Genesee Valley/Belfast’s baseball team past Andover-Whitesville, 13-0 to earn his 800th career win.

Miles only trails retired coach Craig Phillips of Fort Plain, who won 806 for the most wins in New York state history. It would take a run to the state final four to break, and Genesee Valley/Belfast stands at 15-3 on the season, the No. 1 seed in Class D heading into the final week of the season and sectionals.

“How much longer will you coach?” Miles was asked by a reporter after the win at Doubleday Field. The skipper who wears No. 9 had a quick, and witty answer.

“When someone says they are going to retire in two or three years, they’ve retired already,” Miles said. “When the president of the United States is younger than I am, well then maybe that’s when it’s time to get out!”

The GVB players present Coach Miles with a banner.

He said winning and having support drives him.

“Obviously a Section V title is always my goal. I still have that hunger and thirst to win more Section V titles,” Miles said. “I’ve had nothing but great experiences in Wellsville, Avoca-Prattsburgh and now GV/BC.

“I think about years of players, parents, assistant coaches, bus drivers, support staff … someday I’ll have a chance to really reflect,” he continued. “Right now, I am really enjoying this group at Genesee Valley/Belfast. Anyone who will listen, I’ve said they are so hungry to be successful. They’ve been like sponges. They want to learn and get better. There are 14 kids and everyone has been enjoyable to be around and that makes my job so much more enjoyable.”

Miles broke the Section V all-time mark of 706 held by the late Ed Nietopski of Bishop Kearney and Cardinal Mooney while at Wellsville. After short-lived retirement, he went on to go to three more Section V finals and win two more with Avoca and Avoca-Prattsburgh. This is his first season at GV/B.

In 1976, he took over for Bob Mountain at Wellsville, which was unexpected at the time and for his career.

“In 1976, coaching baseball never crossed my mind. I had just graduated from college (Brockport State where he was an All-SUNYAC shortstop) and I wanted to coach basketball,” Miles said. “But everything fell into place for baseball and I decided to stick with it.”

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

Stick with it he did. To the tune of 14 Section V titles and just one losing season, a 10-12 campaign, since that 1976 season.

“You can’t go this long without great help. And I’ve had that. You can’t go this long without great family support. And I’ve had that. And so much support from friends,” Miles said. “The 800th win brings a lot of emotion. So many people who have been a part of this journey the Lord has blessed me with. In the blink of an eye, we are at this stage. I certainly have not taken this opportunity lightly. I thank the Lord all the time for giving me this opportunity to work with so many athletes and work with and make so many friends.”

As for the game, Andover-Whitesville senior Derek Perkins was ready to keep Miles at 799 for another day, as he threw two innings of no-hit ball. It was 1-0 before GV/B started scoring in the fourth.

“I thought Andover-Whitesville’s strategy was effective. They let the starter go two innings, then brought someone else in,” Miles said. “We weren’t swinging the bats well and it was only 1-0. We started getting some baserunners and created scoring opportunities. Unfortunately for Andover-Whitesville, things fell apart in the 5th inning. We had a lot of walks. But hats off to Andover-Whitesville, their strategy paid off for a while.”

The win went to freshman Ben Cater who struck out seven and walked three in four innings of work. Freshman Trent Hutchison finished off the shutout throwing a scoreless fifth with a strikeout.

“Ben Cater is a freshman, he struggled a little with his control and it’s the first time he’s pitched on that big of a stage and it took a little while to get going,” Miles said. “Trent Hutchison, that was his first varsity inning and he held up pretty well. But when you are up 13-0, he didn’t have the same pressure. but it was good to give him an inning and get a look at him.”

For Andover (3-11), VIncent Joyce had a single and stolen base, Rogan Perkins singled, Colton Calladine had a walk and stolen base and James Miller-Young had a single. Derek Perkins and Brady Vance each pitched two innings, Perkins had two strikeouts and Vincent Joyce struck out two in one inning of work.

For GV/B (15-3) Ian MacKenzie 2-for-3, stolen base, run RBI, Owen Heaney was 2-for-3 with two RBI’s, two runs scored and a stolen base while Nolan Hunter RBI single, run and stolen base. Evan Turybury hadt wo stolen bases, Ty Hutchison had a 2-RBI single, scored and stole a base, Trent Hutchison was 1-for-1 with three runs scored, a RBI and two stolen bases.

Genesee Valley/Belfast 001 48 — 13 7 0

Andover-Whitesville 000 00 — 0 3 5

Ben Cater (7K, 3BB), Trent Hutchison (5) (K) and Evan Turybury

Derek Perkins (2K, 2BB), Brady Vance (3) (2BB), Vince Joyce (4) (2K, BB), Jake Mattison (5) (5BB) and Colton Calladine

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