Starpoint, Wilson baseball also defeated in VI semis
By John D'Onofrio Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport High School’s championship baseball season came to a bitter end on Friday afternoon, but the anticipation for 2014 is palpable enough to ease the pain.
Lancaster sophomore right-hander Joe Preziuso (9 strikeouts, 1 walk) hurled a five-hit, complete-game shutout at sunny, but chilly Outwater Park, lifting the visiting No. 3-seeded Redskins over the No. 2 Lions, 3-0, in a Section VI Class AA semifinal contest.
With the win, head coach Mark Dalfonso’s team improved to 12-3 overall. Head coach Steve Styrzo’s Niagara Frontier League-champion Lions finished 14-4.
“We practice in uniforms. This week we were the ‘Black Attack,’ then the ‘White Out,’ then the ‘Red Out.’ Tomorrow morning when we hit the practice field, we’re going to be the ‘Black Attack’ in celebration of this win,” said Dalfonso, whose team wore black uniforms on Friday.
“We don’t have one player who’s stood out for us all season. Everyone’s been taking their turn on this team. Tonight, Joe really did a great job on the mound. He’s a smart kid with a 99 average in the classroom. Coaches and teachers alike think a lot of him.”
With the win, the Redskins advance to the 2013 Class AA championship game Thursday against top-seeded Clarence. The Red Devils beat No. 4 Orchard Park in Friday’s other AA semifinal, 1-0.
Lancaster scored the only run it needed in the top of the second on a Lockport throwing error, then added two insurance runs in the fifth, the first on another error and the other on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to right field.
“We self destructed today,” Styrzo said. “We made mental and physical mistakes both inside the lines and out. But we’re young and we’ve got guys who want to play — that’s the good thing about this group.”
The Lions will return 12 players from their postseason roster, including seven of Friday’s starters. Playing their final baseball game for the Lions on Friday were seniors Will Diebel, Mike Bouchard and Alex Weaver.
“They got ahead of us early. We hit the ball, just not at the right times,” said Diebel.
Weaver said, “They just out-played us. It’s been a great experience playing baseball in Lockport and I don’t want this to be my last game. I think baseball will always be a part of my life.”
Bouchard attributed Lockport’s success this year to “great” coaching.
“We’re a tight team and we had a lot of team chemistry. I’m glad that I was a part of this group,” Bouchard said. “I hope next season they build on what we started. I think they will. Next year will be the season.”
The Lions managed five hits off of Preziuso, including a fourth-inning double by Lions starting pitcher Brad Wroblewski (6 strikeouts, 4 walks, 5 hits).
The future looks especially bright for LHS sophomore David “Double D” DiTullio, who had two solid base hits in a second straight quality post season performance at the plate. Lockport’s other two base hits were singles by juniors Noah VanDenBosch and Danny Bronson.
Ben Haefner had two hits, including a double for the Redskins. Ryan Bonafede also doubled for the winners.
CLASS A-1 SEMIFINAL
1-Will South 3, 4-Starpoint 2
WILLIAMSVILLE —Pat Stasiak led the host Billies at the plate, hitting 3-for-4, including the game-winning RBI, plating Damion Powers.
Mike Calandra earned the mound win for top-seeded Williamsville South.
CLASS B-2 SEMIFINAL
4-Akron 4, 9-Wilson 2
AKRON — In an all Niagara-Orleans League Class B-2 semifinal, Tommy James, who came on in relief in the second inning, got out of a bases-loaded jam in the final frame with a clutch, game-ending strikeout to advance the No. 4-seeded Tigers to the sectional Class B-2 finals.
Akron scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the sixth inning as Austin Mietz singled, stole second and third, then came home on a suicide squeeze by Trevor Foster.
The Tigers scored three times in the first on a sacrifice by James and a two-run error.
Akron is trying to win a sectional title for the first time since 1974.