PAHS baseball: Gators “make a statement” against OV, fall at Coudy

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
May 14, 2009

The first time Port Allegany and Oswayo Valley met on the baseball field this season, the Green Wave turned a comfortable seventh-inning 13-2 Gators lead into a 13-11 nailbiter, sending the tying run to the plate before Port escaped with the win. Last week, coach Nate Zitnik expressed his displeasure with his team’s letdown in that game and talked about wanting to “make a statement” in last Thursday’s rematch at Moose Park.

Statement delivered, loud and clear. Shortly after jogging around the bases as part of Senior Day ceremonies, starter Mark Larson took the mound and dominated the OV hitters, striking out 10 and allowing just two hits, and the Gators pounded out 12 hits of their own in a 13-3, five-inning game.

“All but one guy in the lineup scored, and a lot of guys multiple times. When you’re doing that through the order, you can’t ask for much more than that,” Zitnik said afterward.

Camrin Stuckey boosted his team-leading .429 batting average by going 3-for-3 with two doubles and added two stolen bases, and Stuckey, Charlie Buchanan, and Lucas Kline each drove in three runs in the win. Kline hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot down the third-base line in the fourth inning, to pull within one of Larson in that category.

The big hits help – but sometimes, small, seemingly unnoticed plays can also make a difference, as the other two senior captains, Bryce Healy and Josh Guerrero, proved against OV. With the score 12-3 and the bases loaded, Guerrero took a pitch to the ribcage to bring in Healy – on third base after also “taking one for the team” earlier in the inning – with the game-ending run.

“We talk about selfless baseball, and the guys have bought into it,” Zitnik said.

That should bode well for their postseason chances, something he and assistant coach Justin Bienkowski are beginning to focus on with the playoffs right around the corner.

“We’d like to get a home game. I can’t remember the last time we had a home game here,” Zitnik said before adding with a grin, “Or a bye. I’d take a bye.”

Coudersport is one of the teams vying with the Gators for a good seed, and the Falcons (13-4) staked their claim on Monday afternoon with a 10-7 win at CARP Field to sweep the season series and earn that tiebreaker against Port (10-3). Coudy pulled ahead 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning and added a five-run sixth to secure the win, despite homers from Stuckey, Healy, and Seth Lowery.

The Gators have two more chances to better their winning percentage before the district seeding meeting, with Smethport visiting Moose Park Wednesday afternoon to complete last month’s rain-delayed game and play the rematch. The regular season concludes with a home game against Johnsonburg on Friday.

At Port Allegany, 5/7:

OV 0 0 1 0 2 3 2 1
PA 3 3 2 1 4 13 12 1

Austin (1 SO, 5 BB), Miller (4)(2 SO, 1 BB) and Jandrew
Larson (10 SO, 7 BB) and Guerrero
HR: Kline (2)

At Coudersport, 5/11:

PA 0 0 3 0 1 0 3 4 7 3
C 0 0 1 2 2 5 x 10 5 2

Larson (3 SO, 10 BB), Stuckey (6)(1 SO) and Guerrero
Mickle (2 SO, 1 BB), Wolfinger (7)(1 BB), Mickle (7) and Buckler
HR: Stuckey (2), Healy (1), Lowery (1)

PAHS track: Gators finish second at league meet

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
May 14, 2009

All season long, Gators track coach George Riley has counted on his teams’ depth to help score points and win meets. That strength in numbers served Port Allegany well once again last Friday in Smethport. Despite winning only one event, both squads finished a strong second at the North Tier League meet, the last competition on the schedule before Friday’s District IX Class AA Championships in Kane.

Nikki Drabert, Emily Schena, Breanna Foster, and Bryanna Evens scorched the field in the girls’ 400-meter relay, crossing the finish line in :55.67 to barely miss earning a trip to districts. Evens, scheduled to compete in the 100, 200, and 400-meter dashes in Kane, also placed second to Northern Potter speedster Rebecca Warriner in all three events. Schena (300 hurdles), Jessica French (800, 1600, 3200), and Kelsey Payne (high jump) each medaled while tuning up for districts in their specialties, and Carli Johnston (pole vault) and the 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams also added to Port’s 106-point total, 22 behind meet host Smethport.

Northern Potter won the boys’ meet with 118 points, with the Gators finishing close behind with 99.

Chris Fabish (discus), Tyler Payne (3200), and the 400-meter relay team will all seek to repeat their medal-winning performances at districts, and Denzel Middleton (100 hurdles), Paul Woods (shot put), and the other relay teams also placed. James Nellis (high jump) and Ben Osani (javelin) have also posted district-qualifying marks, and will make the trip south on Friday. The meet is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

PAHS softball season winding down

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
May 14, 2009

As the name of the sport suggests, pitching is a critical part of the game in high school fast-pitch softball, and Port Allegany coach Dave Roae thought sophomore Sarah Brodhun could fill that role for his team this season. So, when Brodhun was lost for the year with a shoulder injury, it dealt a huge blow to the Gators’ goal of finishing .500.

“That was definitely a big blow to us … that definitely hurt,” Roae said. “Amarae (Reinard) and Becky (Andrus) have come in and done a good job for us, but it’s still a step down from Sarah to anyone else.”

The Gators dropped a trio of games last week, then faced undefeated Coudersport on Monday. The Falcons have overwhelmed teams all season,and did the same at the Port field, chalking up a 16-0, four-inning win to run their record to 18-0. Cora Bova collected the Gators’ only hit, a second-inning single, and also went 2-3 with a triple in last week’s game against Cameron County.

Roae admits it’s difficult to keep his young squad positive at times, but thinks the game time they’re getting this year will eventually pay off.

“It was a very young team, with one senior starting. That lack of experience shows up out there,” he said. “But we’ve got almost a whole year under our belts, so next year, I can basically put the same team out there. And hopefully Sarah’s back and ready to go for next year.”

Seniors Shelby Gleason and Brittany Freer were honored in a ceremony following the Coudersport game. The Gators, now 3-12, finish their season on the road this week, with a doubleheader at Smethport on Wednesday and the season finale at Johnsonburg on Thursday.

Port Alle-Catt team starts season with win

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
May 14, 2009

Chilly temperatures and gusting winds didn’t suggest prime hitting conditions for Port Allegany’s Alle-Catt baseball season opener in Roulette on Sunday afternoon, but J.R. Page’s two-run home run and a solo shot by Derick Morey powered Port over the visiting Olean Oilers, 6-2.

Zach Hetrick and Rick Veilleux both doubled in the win and also shared pitching duties, combining to scatter five hits in nine innings of work.

Next Sunday, Port, the defending Alle-Catt East Division champion, will travel to Franchot Field to take on the Olean Royals. The 13-team amateur league also includes clubs in Austin, Crosby, Cuba, Emporium, Kane, Ludlow, Mount Jewett, Shinglehouse, and Wellsville, with teams playing each other once before the playoffs begin in late July. Port will once again play its home games at the Buckler Drive field, just off Route 6 in Roulette, with all games slated for a 2 p.m. start.

17 – at Olean Royals
24 – Emporium
31 – Olean A.O.H.

7 – at Kane
13 – at Shinglehouse
14 – Ludlow
21 – at Wellsville

5 – at Crosby
11 – Cuba
12 – at Mount Jewett
19 – Austin