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Pitching depth key to S-GI baseball success

SPRINGVILLE—Poor weather left Springville’s varsity baseball team with just one day of play last week. Fortunately for the Griffs it was a doubleheader and they were able to get in two games for the week.

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Hosting Lackawanna, Springville dismantled the Steelers 14-1 and 10-0 May 3. The key to Springville’s success this season has been depth – both on the mound and at bat – and it was never more apparent than against Lackawanna.

Pitchers Dan Wirfel and Jarrett Wolf allowed only seven hits combined in the two games, struck out 14 and gave up just two walks with almost identical performances. While both recorded seven strikeouts apiece, Wolf allowed one more hit than Wirfel with four, but one less run.

According to Coach Rick DeKay, the second game of the doubleheader was the first time this season the Griffs didn’t record double-digit hits. That’s the kind of hitting slump any team would love to have, especially when your team scores 10 and allows none.

In the first game, Lackawanna might have been better served to throw-in the game after the fifth inning – which they are allowed to do – and focus on the matinee matchup. Had Lackawanna exercised that option the first contest would have ended at 8-0, but prolonging the outcome allowed the Griffs to rack up 15 total hits.

Nine of those hits came via four players with Ian Baker leading the way with three, including a double. Wolf also had a double to go with a pair of hits. Dan Robertson and Trevor Bunch each had two hits, as well as a pair of RBI.

In the second game, Springville got half of its 10 runs in the first inning and added a pair of runs in the second to go up 7-0 before hitting cruise control for the final five innings.

Baker and Wirfel had more than half of the team’s nine hits with Baker again leading the way with his second three-hit performance and six total hits on the day. Baker recorded his second double of the day, while Wirfel was the only other multi-hitter in the second game with a pair of hits that also included a double.

Baker’s double, however, knocked in Robertson for the game’s official winning run that made it a 1-0 contest. In all, Springville registered two dozen hits over the course of both games and just as many runs.

DeKay feels fortunate that he has hitting power at both ends of the lineup and enough solid pitchers to not have to save one for the better opponents, although he does think that’s what other teams do when facing Springville.

“Everybody in our league is capable of putting their best pitcher out there and giving us problems and we seem to face everyone else’s number one pitcher every time,” the coach noted.

Although DeKay sees both Tonawanda and Holland as threats even in already securing wins against both, he thinks Eden might be the toughest challenge moving forward although he was quick not to rule out JFK. Springville’s lone loss was to Eden in a slugfest where the Griffs held the lead late and lost it, the team has yet to face the Bears.

With the pair of wins over Lackawanna, the Griffs improved their league record to 5-1 and their overall record to 7-1. There will be a lot of baseball the following two weeks to make up all the rain-out dates.

The Griffs had early week contests against Eden, JFK and Tonawanda, and then finish the week at Holland May 12 at 4 p.m. and Cleveland Hill May 13 at 11 a.m., with the latter a home contest. The results from this week will go a long way in determining where the Griffs will be seeded for the playoffs.

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