Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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April 17, 2014

Grand Finale for Starpoint's O'Donnell

Spartans ‘9’ primed for another playoff run

PENDLETON —

A year removed from a heartbreaking sectional loss to the eventual state runner-up, the Starpoint baseball team appears primed to go on a playoff run.
Boasting a plethora of returnees, including Canisius-bound all-star Alex O'Donnell, the Spartans should be in position to make noise in what might be Western New York's toughest division, ECIC II.
Starpoint had a 2-1 lead on ECIC II rival Williamsville South in the Section VI Class A semifinals last year before the Billies staged a late comeback that sparked a run through the state playoffs.
Leading the Spartans this year is O'Donnell, a slick-fielding shortstop who batted .439 last season, scored 22 runs and knocked in 22 more. He also struck out 21 in 19 1/3 innings with a 1.45 ERA, recording two wins and two saves.
Last spring, O'Donnell set the Spartans' career record for doubles, notching 14, and was named First Team All-Western New York and First Team All-ECIC II. He signed to play at Division I Canisius last November.
“I’ve been coaching for a long time and it’s not often you can just sit back and enjoy watching your guys play without coaching," Racey said.
"There were times, watching him pitch or make great plays one after another, that I had to tell myself not to get used to this. You only have him for one more year.”
Also returning is the senior pitching duo of Mike Lane and Chris Cribbs, which will be charged with filling the shoes of departed Austin Speaker, last season's ace.
Lane, an intimidating presence at 6-feet, 5-inches, has started two Starpoints' games this season. Cribbs, more dependent on accuracy and a mix of pitches, plays in the outfield when not on the hill. Both have signed on with Niagara County Community College.

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